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The Taylor Made Life

Bathroom Cabinet Painting

Our house was built in the late 70's or early 80's and our guest bathroom most likely hasn't been touched since the house was built. It is so outdated! The counter top may have been a shade of white about 20 years ago but has since turned to a beautiful stale yellow color. We are starting a large renovation on the kitchen and living area of our home and since we had maxed out our budget in that part of the house, I decided I was going to attempt a DIY bathroom makeover in the guest bathroom.

There is a local shop in our area called Rustic Journeys. It's the most precious store for re-purposed furniture, chalk painted furniture, and little knick knacks for around the house. They carry a brand of paint that they swear by (as do many other bloggers based on my research), so I decided to make a visit to their store. To say they were beyond helpful is a complete understatement. The owner of the store walked me through this process step by step and encouraged me by saying, "Even if you mess this up 3 times you STILL won't be at the cost of a new vanity and counter top!" Thank you ma'am, I'll be sure to tell my husband that if he doesn't like the paint color!

So as she did, I will walk you through step by step of painting your bathroom counters and encourage you that even if the paint seems pricey, it's not as much as a new vanity! So get busy! Paint away!


Materials Needed:

Screwdriver, Ziplock Bags, Gloves, Sharpie, Sand Paper, Painters Tape, Dixie Bell Paint, Dixie Bell White Lightning, Dixie Bell Gator Hide, Paint Brush

This size project needed one 16oz jar of paint (Hurricane Grey) and Gator Hide.

Step One:

Remove all doors, drawers and hardware. Biggest tip I can give you is to label EVERYTHING. Although your hardware looks the same on each door, the screws may be different lengths, the holes of the hinges may be a different distance, handles may not be perfectly even. Remove the drawer, label it "Top Right" or whatever the proper placement is. Remove the hardware and place it in a plastic bag with a label. You will thank yourself at the end of the project.

Step Two:

Using a very high grit number (or maybe its low, I'm no handyman) lightly sand anything you are going to paint. I used a 225 grit sandpaper. There is no need to sand it down to its bare bones, just a friendly scuffing to remove any sealer on the cabinet.

Step Three:

Mix the White Lightning powder with some water in a mop bucket. Using a rag, wipe every inch of the area you are going to be painting. You will be disgusted from the gunk and junk that comes off of your cabinets. Or maybe that is just me because of my 1970's cabinets. :) Allow the cabinets to dry or wipe down with a dry rag. If the area still looks dusty from sanding or there are still water spots repeat this step.

Step Four:

PAINT BABY, PAINT! Well, prep your area first with painters tape to ensure you don't get paint on stuff you don't want paint on. Dixie Bell paint is a self-surfacing (I think that's what they call it) paint. What that means is it that as it dries it will even itself out! It's magical. No brush marks! What a dream! When you are painting only dip the TIP of your brush into the paint. To help myself remember that I poured a small amount of paint into a paper bowl so my brush could only go so far. Like painting anything else that's wood, paint in the direction of the grain. Another magical trait of this paint is that it is water based. During the project there were many times the paint looked darker in one area than the other, or that my paint brush felt like it was sticking as I stroked. Simply dip your brush in paint and stroke over the darker parts of the area. The paint will drag beautifully and lighten up. Magic! I only needed two coats of paint for this project. Quick tip...paint drawers and doors on a table with something under them to lift them up (a bucket, brick, etc.). This makes it easier to paint the sides. Also, wait about 5-6 hours in between paint coats to ensure the material has dried completely. In between coats place your brush in a cup of water. Dry it well before starting the next coat.

Step Five:

When you are sure you have the shade of color you want (depending on number of coats) you may begin to the brush on Gator Hide. Gator Hide is a water repellent. If you are painting a hutch or table that would not have water on it or near it I don't think you would need more than one coat on it. In the bathroom I wanted to put on multiple coats to ensure water was not going to ruin the cabinets. As you brush it on, it WILL change the color of your paint. Do not be alarmed! It will dry the color you started it. Hopefully this saves you a mini heart attack. In between each coat wait 2 hours for the material to dry completely.

Step Six:

Reassemble! The most exciting part! You get to see your final product! Remember, you labeled your materials so it should go back together very quickly! Celebrate what an amazing job you did. Another thing to remember...if you hate it, go get a different paint color! It's still cheaper than a new vanity!


It's really that easy! I never thought it would be. Could you use a different paint, of course! However, this paint just worked so wonderfully and so easily I don't think I ever would use a different paint in the future. Best of luck in your venture! You can do it! I have faith in you!


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