Vanity Facelift

The kids’ vanity used to have no reason to harbor the homonymous vice.  I wish I had a better before but all I have is this half shot:

guest bath b4But you get the jist – the only thing the worn, brown cabinets had going for them are the fact that they are well-made, solid wood.  The cream-colored laminate countertop were (and still are) blah-zay (concrete tops coming soon!), the drain on the back of the sink was rusting and the faucet was old and worn.  The mirror was great but needed an upgrade and the lighting was a builder-grade fixture the previous seller put up.  Those 80’s posts/poles/spindles had to go and, this is completely unrelated in that it’s personal decor taste, but who puts a lamp on their bathroom countertop?! 

Anyway, the lamp and everything but the countertop is now much changed and much better and barely cost us anything considering the change.


There’s a lot to cover so I’ll just start from the top…literally.  The old light fixture had four bulbs which was way too much light for this little bathroom.  Plus, we don’t do the builder-grade dance.
IMG_8659                                                                                         (In progress)
Originally I really wanted to DIY a two-light fixture but time got away from me and still is.  Lucky for me, I had been watching this fixture on Amazon for a long time and it just happened to go on sale (and still is!!) for $15 cheaper the week we needed it .  *Angels singing.*  However, it came and not only were the glass shades too big for what I had planned for it but we just weren’t a fan of them.  So, you can imagine my excitement when I found two vintage shades at a local thrift store (Open Doors for you locals) a couple of weeks ago for $2 each that I LOVE (and so did everybody who voted them in on Instagram!)
So when I said that the old shades were too big for the plan, I meant they were too wide to fit since the light fixture was going to sink down into the existing groove of the new mirror, which you can see above.  You probably remember that our original plan was to keep the old, large mirror and just frame it out but then it got broken.  I found this mirror on a local resale sight though:
57da81fea8912bce0c41245e105f8852It was nearly the same size as our now-broken mirror and the lady selling was only asking $15!!!  The shape had me at hola!  And then I tried 1000 times to contact her to PLEASESELLMETHISMIRRORNOWINEEEEEEDIT and she never, ever responded.  Bummer.  Such a bummer.  It would’ve been kinda amazing, no? 

Oh well, lucky for us we saved the old mirror that went with our very first thrifted dresser set so Anthony retreived it from the attic and I got busy.  Originally it looked like this one, being sold on the same resale sight currently (image that!), but I removed the top decorative finial and that decorative trim:
58ca86054700cd26f2ef70c03339ea86The fact that it now had a half-circle opening up top meant that the round base of a light fixture would be right at home inside, kind of a happy accident…though it was a big pain to hang the mirror so that it lined perfectly up with the new fixture, let me tell ya.  I spray-painted the mirror white only I had a little hiccup - at the very bottom of the mirror the spray paint crackled:
IMG_3598So, I sanded the paint off and tried again.  It crackled again!  Annoyed, I sanded the paint and the top coat of varnish or whatever sealer was used on the mirror off and it still crackled!  I wasn’t about to waste more time so, after my two fails, I just pulled out a brush and some oil-based primer, primed it with that, and then spray painted it with the flat spray paint I used up top.  Worked like a charm.  So weird though…

In keeping with the difficulty it wanted to offer, after everything was all painted and good, I noticed a small strip of decorative trim at the top of the mirror peeling off so I just peeled the rest off to keep things cohesive.
It didn’t look the greatest – kind of like badly stained wood – so I filled it in with some of the wall paint.
IMG_4122It didn’t dry as smooth as it looks while it was being painted but it still adds a little bit more character that wasn’t there before.  :)

Moving on, the entire sink and faucet was in need of a facelift so we facelifted the whole thing out and put in a sink and faucet I bought secondhand.
IMG_8701The two were in excellent condition and are still sold stores (for $100 combined) when I found them gently used for $25.  Our only qualm, the faucet swivels 360 degrees!  Who in their right mind creates a faucet with a swiveling neck?!  We, of course, didn’t realize this until after we had installed the sink so we are both crossing our fingers that the kids never find out and if they do, that they obey the new rule of “never, ever, ever touch anything but the handles of the faucet” or we will have water eeerwhere.  So much fun.  Disappointed smile

The vase is from Goodwill, the little glass jar was a project years ago, and the greens are courtesy of the neighbors tree and some strong winds last week.
And can we talk about how you would never know there was a half wall there?  :D  Can we also talk about how removing that wall didn’t cost us a cent?  Nope.  Not a one.  We used drywall mud we had laying around from projects at our first house, extra paint, and Anthony re-used the front of the half wall for the patching.
However, the previous owner painted over the original wallpaper so patching was a B.  I can’t even count how many coats of mud Anthony had to lay on and sand to get smooth edges.  It took like a week to just pound out that part of this little reno but the results are in and they’re great and we are never looking back…though I’m still working on forgiving the previous owner because she did the same in the master bath and in the dining nook.  Annoyed  

But, floors!  We have new tile floors!  We snatched the new tile up at Dirt Cheap before the girls were born for like $15 and just now got it laid.  I guess that’s what happens when you just keep having kids after kids.  Back burners are real folks.  ;)

We laid the tile right over the existing laminate (which is glued to our concrete slab) after researching the idea and getting the green light from Danny @ Today’s Homeowner.
FullSizeRender (10)
Anthony gave the laminate a good sanding just so we could be double sure the tile would stick but we did try to move the first pieces we laid a couple of days in and they would not budge so four thumbs and a couple of “phews” here.

I wrote this post on how we lay tile in the past but if you’re looking for something even more comprehensive, Katie at Bower Power has a great tutorial here.

FullSizeRender (11)
Last but not least, lemme show you our new legs!  They might be my favorite new addition!
You’ll never guess where they came from…well, I think I might’ve mentioned the idea on Instagram at some point so maybe you will but, SPINDLES!
I was staring at those pesky spindles one day while the kids were splish-splashing in the tub and it dawned on me that, cut up, they were make great legs for the vanity.  When I told Anthony of my hair-brained scheme, he gave me that skeptics brow but cut them up for me anyway.  What a mighty good man.

FullSizeRender (13)
He cut them so they fit just perfectly underneath that little ledge and, even though they are wedged in there pretty good, I added some hot glue for extra staying power.
IMG_4068(The above picture was in progress and the new legs were just sitting there, hence why the leftie looks a little crooked.  He was too far back and had fallen into the hollow above.  He’s nice and straight now.)

I also painted the back of the ledge underneath with some gray paint to give the illusion that the legs were not of the faux variety.  I usually don’t use tape when I’m painting anymore (angle brushes are my bff!) but since the area was a tad cramped, I taped off the tile and went to town.
Two coats later, we had a faux shadow.
I’m on the fence as to whether the gray is dark enough…maybe I should go darker or even black?  It’s hard to tell in pictures but in real life, I feel like you can definitely tell it’s gray paint IF you know to look. 

I think that’s enough about a vanity in one day.  I’ll be back with a whole post on the new rug and the other side of the room later!  I guess you could say I’m going to take a bathroom break.  ;)


PS, Happy Mothers’ Day weekend to all you mamas out there!  I wish you all the love-spoiling you deserve!  :)

.           .           .

*Affiliate links are included in this post.

1 comment

  1. Love the gray paint idea! And the whole reno! Can't wait to see the post on the rug.