away for the weekend: cabinet facelift

Sunday, June 10, 2012

cabinet facelift

If you’ve been following along, you might remember my bathroom project – from long, long ago. Okay, so this project is taking forever. I’m learning the hard way, that projects on a vacation home kind of drag…..

Anyway - as part of that project, I gave the builder’s stock cabinet a little facelift. To refresh your memory, here it is before. Sorry - bad angle, but you are all probably familiar with cabinets like these.

I admit there was a part of me that said “don’t even bother” and another part of me that felt skeptical about painting laminate. So I did one of the things I do best – research.

Zinser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 primer was highly recommended for laminate. I’m pretty sure there are others that will work, but this one requires no sanding (I sanded a little, anyway) and it is supposed to have great gripping power.

I thought about painting it something dark (more rustic) but wanted to keep it pretty neutral, so I chose a soft off-white color (BM Muslin). It’s just slightly darker than the paint I used on the walls.

The part of me that tends towards traditional style probably would have left the cabinet like this. I really like that the new hardware adds a little bit of a rustic touch. Even so, this is not saying "cabin" to me.

So against every impulse in me that was screaming “Noooooo!!!!!”, I lightly sanded the painted surface, sanding it down to the wood is some spots. Then I used Minwax stain in Provisional which I brushed on with a foam brush, immediately wiping it down with a cloth. (Sorry – no pictures of this process. I was much too traumatized to be thinking of photos.)

I probably could have distressed it a little more - but really, this is all I could handle. This room is so narrow, it's really hard to get a good shot.

We’re going to be switching out the faucet, and framing the mirror.

Here it is in process – after my first failed attempt. (Please ignore all the piles of stuff you see in the reflection) There are lots of tutorials out on the web for framing a mirror – and when they say to use Liquid Nails – please, please, please use Liquid Nails. Not all glue is created equal!

After a minor melt-down that went something like
(there may have also been a little stomping around)
We tried again, and this seems to be working – if it doesn’t, there will just be no frame on the mirror. I’ll let you know….

I’m happy with the finished cabinet. Of course, the cabinet I really want would be something like this -

Pottery Barn William Sink Console

But I am liking this change – a lot!

So now our bathroom is almost done – phew!

I am joining:
The Newbie Party at Debbiedoo's
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Power of Paint at Domestically Speaking

Thanks for dropping in!


  1. Your cabinet makeover looks really nice. I use the same primer,it's great stuff. Also liquid nails is the way to go if you want whatever your doing to stick. That is for sure.
    Also, thanks for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment about my DIY Wine Crate.

  2. Well, now. That sure is an improvement! It's amazing what some paint can do. I have some neglected painting projects that need doing here. Drop on over with your brush! :)


  3. Looks great! I really like your drawer pulls!

    I absolutely LOVE PowerGrab from Loctite. It hold great and dries clear!
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks so much of the tip - if this one doesn't work, I might give that one a try.

  4. Wonderful cabinet re-do! Love the new hardware - great job.

  5. Just stumbled across this while doing my own research. My kitchen cabinets are RED laminate. I've passed the point of being able to ignore them but terrified of ruining them. I love what you've done with yours and may just take the plunge. I like the way you went over and sanded and used the minwax stain to make it more rustic. I look forward to looking around your blog and getting more ideas. Thanks!

  6. Thank You So Much for Sharing !! I have the EXACT SAME Cabinets and have been so scarred to paint them and know I am not afraid anymore !! Yeay ! So doing this


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