Gwen’s Painted Bathroom Cabinets

Well, this morning was one of those mornings. I forgot to set an alarm, woke up late, and then had to rush out the door. But even with the late start, I was able to finish painting Gwen’s bathroom cabinets. Wanna see how they turned out?

Here’s how they started out:

And here’s how they look now:

(We’ll be changing the hardware. I just put those back on so that the doors/drawers could be opened easily.)

Paint makes all the difference in the world!! I used a satin finish oil based paint from Kelly Moore, but I had them mix a color from Behr called Distance.

I always, only, forever and always use oil-based paint on cabinets. The finish is second to none, and once you get the feel of it (yes, it’s a bit different from latex), it’s actually easier to paint with. Not only is it more durable than latex, but it covers better and has a fantastic self-leveling quality to it that makes the brush strokes disappear. There’s really nothing like it.

Here’s a view of the other side of the bathroom. For the most part, it’s still in the “before” state. The only thing that’s been changed is the wall color. It’s now a very pretty medium brown. Actually, it’s the same color we used in the bedroom. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before–use the same color in the bedroom and master bath–but we tried other colors, and just came back to this one. We both agreed that it was the perfect color for both rooms.

We’ve still got lots to do in here before it’s finished. The window will get a natural woven shade just like the bedroom, and then it will be topped in a valance out of this fabric:

And because this is a budget makeover, we’re not going to put money into a new shower door. So in an effort to minimize the harsh brass frame on the shower door, we’re going to cover it with a custom shower curtain in this fabric:

Those fabric pictures came off of the fabric company website. The colors are a bit off. I promise, they do actually coordinate.

We’ve also got new lighting to be installed over the vanity, a new chandelier over the tub, and that builder’s plate glass mirror is going to receive a little facelift as well.

It’s a process! But I’m having soooo much fun being so hands-on with this project.

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  1. I love the idea of putting a shower curtain over the dated shower stiles. I agree with you on the oil-based paint. It's a dream to paint with, but awful to clean up. I will often just throw the brush away rather than try to clean it up! I'm looking forward to seeing it completed.

  2. Sally, I completely agree about the clean up. Unfortunately, it's a complete headache. I can't tell you how many brushes I've wrapped in plastic, put in the fridge with the plans of cleaning later (because I'm a procrastinator), and then found a month later, hard as a rock. lol…I should buy stock in Purdy!! I think I alone could keep that company afloat.

  3. I finally have my husband convinced that it is okay to paint the cabinets. We too have honey oak colored cabinets through out our house. He wants me to ask you if you used a filler or primer to get a smooth look? Great color choice by the way.

  4. I don't use a filler of any kind, but I DO use a primer. Always, always, always use primer. It makes the paint go on smoother and the finish is much nicer.

    Here's what I did with Gwen's, and hers were super-glossy light stained oak:

    1. Using a clean rag, I applied a good amount of Klean-Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser. I used it according to the directions. You can buy it at Home Depot.

    2. After the deglosser dried, I used a high quality 2 1/2 inch sash brush (that's the angled kind, and I always use Purdy brand brushes from Home Depot) to apply a coat of primer. I prefer Kilz latex primer, and this time I asked them to tint it for me so that it was dark. If you're using a dark paint color…or RED…you need to have them tint the primer for you.

    3. After the primer was completely dry, I used the same kind of brush (either one that says specifically that it's for oil-based paints, or for all kinds of paint–there are some that are just for latex paints), and I applied the oil-based paint.

    I only bought one quart of oil-based paint, and I painted this entire cabinet, as well as the cabinet above the toilet (that I don't have a picture of), and it only took 1/2 of the can. It goes pretty far.

    Hope that helps!!

    Oh, and always, always, ALWAYS, paint WITH the grain of the wood.

  5. everything looks beautiful. When you have a moment i'd love to know the color of the bedroom wall paint 🙂 thank you!

  6. Jenn, I finally found it! 🙂

    The wall color is Toffee Crunch (700D-5) by Behr. It has quickly become one of my favorites!!

  7. I really like the patterns and colors you used for this bathroom. And what a really neat idea to make a shower curtain over the shower instead of dealing with the gold edging. Very creative!

  8. Hi Kristi, wow, you have a definite gift for envisioning creative flare! Good stuff. I really liked what you did with Gwen's bathroom cabinets and loved the color choice as well. I wonder, have you ever experimented with changing the color or texture of the infamous out-dated 70's orange kitchen counter tops? I would be interested in some of your ideas, thoughts or examples of something you have done along these lines. Hope to hear from you soon.

  9. Everything is beautiful. I want to paint my bathroom cabinets. They're white and I want to paint them a dark color. Should I paint the inside of the drawers the same color or leave them white? Paint does wonders. I love your ideas.

  10. Hi Barbara~
    I never paint the inside of drawers, and I only paint the inside of cabinets if they're old and need the paint. If they're in good shape, I leave the inside alone.

  11. It is necessary to keep bathroom cabinets clean…. The bathroom cabinets in the above pictures are elegant…..

  12. I am speechless by watching above shown designs. You done really terrific job. I have nothing else to say but just outrageous.

  13. What experience have you had dealing with the faux wood veneer? I am looking to paint it but am anxious that it will not adhere for long. Do I need to sand paper? Home Depot suggested the Behr paint and primer combo. Do you think I should be doing a primer first and if so should I use the paint and primer combo as well after? Am I over thinking this? I hope to see your response here.
    Thanks for your help

  14. My suggestion for painting faux wood veneer would be to prime first using oil-based Zinsser Cover Stain. It is supposed to stick to anything, even shiny surfaces, veneer, melamine, etc., without sanding first. Then you can follow up with your choice of paint (either oil-based or latex).

  15. Oh, and BE SURE to have your primer tinted to match the paint you'll be using!!!

  16. It is necessary to keep bathroom cabinets clean…. The bathroom cabinets in the above pictures are elegant…..

  17. I really like the patterns and colors you used for this bathroom. And what a really neat idea to make a shower curtain over the shower instead of dealing with the gold edging. Very creative!

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  19. Hi Kristi, I am going to paint my bathroom cabinets (I believe they are fake wood) because of the paint has chipped off and I was wondering if I should sand the chipped areas first or just prime and move on to paint? Thanks.