Want new vanity cabinets but don’t want to contend with swapping out the plumbing or investing in a new countertop? Just repaint!
Repaint Your Bathroom Vanity Cabinets
Ken Gutmaker


  • Wood filler (if wood needs patching)
  • Primer for slick surfaces
  • Gloss or semi-gloss latex paint or latex enamel, 1 quart per 50 square feet (to allow two coats)


  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s masking tape, 1 inch or wider
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Rubber gloves, bucket, and sponge
  • Household cleaner, or deglosser if existing paint has a gloss finish
  • Putty knife (to apply wood filler)
  • Sandpaper or sanding sponge, 100 grit and 180 grit
  • Microfiber dust cloth
  • Synthetic-bristle brush, 1½ inch or 2 inch


  1. Prep. Apply tape to any adjacent surfaces that won’t be painted. Remove the cabinet drawers and, with the screwdriver, remove the knobs. With the pencil, number the drawers (on the bottoms) and number their corresponding locations in the cabinet. Place the drawers face up on a drop cloth. Wearing gloves, wash the drawers with water and the cleaner or deglosser. Let dry.
  2. Smooth the surfaces. With the putty knife, press wood filler into any nicks. When the filler dries, sand the patches smooth with 100-grit sandpaper or the sanding sponge. With the 180-grit sandpaper or sanding sponge, scuff all the surfaces. Remove residue with the dust cloth.
  3. Prime. Working on one drawer at a time, brush on the primer. Start from the center of the drawer. First paint the center panel, then the bevel around it. Then work out to the edges of the drawer front. As you complete each part, brush away any drips. Repeat for all the drawers. Position a drop cloth beneath the cabinet. Brush primer onto the remaining cabinet areas, in the direction of the wood grain. Let dry.
  4. Paint and complete. Apply the paint in the same way. After the first coat dries, apply a second coat. Let dry. Remove the tape, reattach the knobs, and replace the drawers.
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