Vanity – not always a bad trait

There is this little vanity in my bathroom that I have been using for a few years…. it was a road-side find for my mom that she so graciously gave to me. It is a pretty sturdy piece of furniture for being pressed wood. My bonus daughter has been using it a lot lately, and with Christmas approaching, I decided that with a little make-over, this little vanity would fit quite well in her room. I originally was going to turn it black and zebra striped, but really, white is such a nice color for a piece like this. And I also felt it needed a more girly touch to it as well. Sadly, I realized after I had taken it apart that I had no before shots of it assembled. So I pieced together the pics of the disassembled piece for you to use your imagination to decide how she looked all put together.

I enlisted my dad’s help on this project since frankly, this is the first one I have done like this. I really didn’t want to make a bunch of rookie mistakes on a tight schedule. Did I mention I started this the weekend before Christmas?? lol, yea, that wasn’t the best of plans, but that’s what I had to work with! And thank goodness I had my dad to help out since he noticed there was a little spot on the mirror where the wood had separated and he got it glued and fixed right up for me. He used some Elmer’s all purpose glue on it, then put popsicle sticks to get even pressure across the area glued. We glued it and let it sit overnight before I sanded, primed and painted the mirror.

Next, we sanded down all of the pieces. We just scuffed it up enough to wear down that high gloss so that the paint would adhere well. My dad has a nice assortment of power tools, so we used his DeWalt hand sander on it…I can’t imagine doing a lot of sanding without one of those!

We wiped it all down with a damp rag to get the dust off, and then it was time to prime it. Here is where I ran into my first snafu. I purchased Valspar spray paint. I use Valspar in my home, and I really like the coverage it has, but I have never bought the spray paint. BIG mistake. The way the lid was shaped caused the spray radius to be obstructed, which caused dripping as well as some splatter. Not good for the nice smooth finish I was looking for. And then on top of that, it seemed to have very poor coverage. Now, I will admit, being a first timer on this type of project, it could be that I was expecting more out of that little can of paint than it was capable. But either way, it wasn’t working out well and taking a ton of time. Here is the progression:

1. First coat of primer
2. Second coat of primer
3. First coat of white
4. Second coat of white

You can see that after the second coat of white it appeared to be covering well. This picture makes it look awesome, and had those been the actual results, I would have kept up with what we were doing. But sadly, the picture looks far better than how the piece was coming along.

So… we broke out the paint brush and roller and used good old bucket paint. My parents had some Behr white paint+primer on hand and we whipped that out and smeared on a coat of paint. It ended up needing 2 coats of paint to do it justice. I did one coat on Saturday, then came back on Monday to do a follow-up coat on it.

I also sanded, primed, and put the first coat on the mirror. I taped the mirror off with newspaper and tape to try to keep those edges clean and paint off of the mirror. Oh, and that hand in this pic is Garrett, my bonus son, he helped out with the end of this project. 🙂

The next step was to make the top “girly” and make sure it could stand up to a 12-year-old abusing it a bit. I pictured a white top being smeared with make-up and nail polish and just looking dirty after a month or 2. So I opted to decopauge some scrapbook paper onto the top for a camouflage effect. I ended up using 3 pieces, cut into sections to fit the top. I wasn’t really happy with how this turned out since the paper wanted to wrinkle up as it got wet from the mod podge, and you can feel the seams in the paper. I will come up with something to remedy the top eventually, but it did the job for the time being. I highly doubt that Hannah will care. But of course, I do, so a remedy must be found!

You can see the wrinkles well in this pic. Those little pieces go between the mirror and the picture frames on the top of the vanity.

While all of that was drying/curing I got started on the seat for the vanity. When my mom picked this lady up from the side of the road, there was no seat, but I had a hand me down stool that I had been using with it. It originally had black legs that we spray painted white, oh and I sprayed those little pieces on the top of it as well. SO here is a sorta before of the stool.

I had a roll of this batting in the closet from where I made some decorations for Ashton before he was born. I figured that this would work for a little padding and save a buck at the same time.

I folded it up as many times as I could while being big enough to cover the stool. Then I flipped the stool upside down and traced the edges right onto the batting.

I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut it out. It’s not real pretty but you won’t see it anyway.

I had purchased half a yard of this zebra print fabric for the seat. I cut that in half and it was just enough to cover the entire surface.

I flipped it all over and got started stapling the material around the stool. I folded pieces over and pulled it snug as I went so there would be no loose edges.

This was super simple to staple down.

And there you go! One seat done!

Here is the drawer front completed as well… I sprayed the hardware silver before putting it back on.

And here you see it with some “accessories” that Santa brought (decked out with brushes from Jeff and I). Miss Hannah loves funky stuff, so that little “vase” is actually a hand making a peace sign.

And where the frames go I put some of the leftover scrapbook paper from the top of the vanity and then filled in with a little saying that I had on my computer from ages ago. I used some paint chip samples in hot pink to fill the edges. I did the same with the other side except I used a pic of her and Ashton. Sorry for the terrible glare, you can see better in the next pic.

And here she is!! All put together and ready to use!

I am not happy with how that mirror turned out either, but that is an easy fix, some paint bled onto the mirror, so I need to scrape it off. Then touch up around the edges a bit. I also want Hannah to help pick out what to put in those other frames. Possibly string some wire across them and hang earings? Or maybe put some magnets in there and use that as a place to put notes? It’s all up in the air right now, Hannah gets to decide!

And here is the best I could do for a before and after….it’s not perfect but you can get a good idea of how it started and where it is today!

P.S. She loves it! 🙂 I really hoped that she would. I hope that in the coming years it becomes here go to spot for hair/makeup/and general primping. Lots of changes going on in her room these days so stay tuned for some of the before and afters of those once we get them complete!


2 thoughts on “Vanity – not always a bad trait

  1. Your vanity turned out so well! I love furniture with hips and strong lines. I searched all over for a writing desk with those long slender legs, but unfortunately couldn’t find one. We did, however, find an elegant treasure at a thrift store near by, so I can’t complain 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your restoration!

    • Thanks Kristina! I am a fan of both hips and straight edges…I have another restoration to do once the weather turns warmer. So glad you found a good find as well! So much fun!

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