Cheap Ways to Make Your Bathroom Look Rich

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April 24, 2014 by bridgitgillis


Finished product. I put a dark red stain/poly on the vanity and mirror and painted the walls a rich color in a high gloss paint that reflects light and fights off bathroom grime.

1. Stain the vanity and mirror frame a rich color.

I hadn’t changed my bathroom paint color since I moved in, and every time I went in that room the military khaki walls screamed at me for a change.  The cheap, worn vanity didn’t do much for the room either.  I had no budget for this makeover, but I had paint in the garage and motivation to make some changes.  I am very pleased with the result!


As you can see, the before picture of the vanity looks like any typical cheap vanity you’d get at your local home improvement store.  It had three gold knobs that I had already taken off in preparation for painting.  What I used on the vanity was a stain/poly combo.  This is a great product because the poly is a clear coat that protects from moisture and daily wear and tear.  The only drawback to using it is that it was oil based, so I had to use brush cleaner to clean up instead of plain soap and water.  (Always read your paint can to make sure you know the proper way to clean your brushes.  If given the choice, I opt for soap and water clean up.)


I used the stain like paint and brushed it on.  Since I wanted a dramatic color change and I was covering finished laminate, I did not wipe the stain off like you would if you were staining unfinished wood.  I used varying degrees of saturation, layering on the stain in some areas and brushing it thin in others.

I wanted to make my knobs a charcoal gray color, and since I didn’t purchase any paint for this project I used some craft paint I had on hand.  Once the gray was dry I took the knobs outside and sprayed them with a coat of poly (clear spray paint works too) so that the paint won’t come off when they get wet.  They looked great.

I don’t have a picture of it, but I actually decided to paint the gold light in my bathroom that same charcoal gray.  Since the light won’t be touched the acrylic paint should do just fine without a clear coat.


This is the finished vanity before I painted the walls their new color.

2. Choose a paint color that is rich.  If you go dark, go with a high gloss finish.

I actually got lucky with the paint color I chose for my walls.  This color would not have been my first choice, but since I was “shopping” in my leftover paint supply in the garage, my choices were limited.  This paint is actually a high gloss indoor/outdoor paint.  High gloss paint almost always needs a minimum of two coats, so if you ever plan to paint with gloss or semi-gloss, plan on 2 coats when purchasing your paint.

After painting the walls this rich, chocolaty color, the vanity just popped.  It was amazing at how rich my bathroom looked just by using a little paint and elbow grease.


This is the side of the vanity, and you will notice the wall has now been painted a darker color.


I decided to makeover my clock and create the two owl signs to go with my newly made over look.


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