Vanity Vanity


When I was little I traveled from Indiana to Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents. Since they lived in a different state I didn’t get to see them very often so this was an exciting trip. I was so young that I don’t remember much about the visit, but I do remember sitting at my Grandmother’s vanity. I would watch her get ready, and then I would sit on the stool and get ready myself, brushing my hair and putting on fake makeup. When she passed away my family got the vanity. Since then it’s been through a basement flood, and moved with me to Connecticut.  I loved the vanity for sentimental reasons, but it’s also a really practical piece of furniture. It holds a lot of my makeup/hair accessories and jewelry. It also holds some of my clothes. I still sit in the stool to get ready. Even though I used it daily and loved it, the vanity was in need of a serious upgrade.

I decided to repaint the vanity and recover the stool. After reading some blog posts about how to repaint furniture and a trip to Home Depot I got to work. I wanted to share my steps and results with you. I was really pleased with how the vanity turned out. It doesn’t look perfect, but it looks soooo much better. It was fairly easy to repaint and if you’ve got a piece of furniture you want to redo, or you find one at a used furniture store, I say go for it!

Before pic:


The vanity was also very cluttered and in need of some organizational upgrades also.


Notice all the stains and scrapes.



The stool was in the worst shape of the whole piece. It even had mold/mildew growing on the bottom! (Also note the super sweet puzzle piece fabric I picked out in 6th grade!)

I started by sanding all the vanity and all the drawers. After many years of use there were a lot of scrapes and stains. Sanding didn’t eliminate all of the wear and tear, but it definitely smoothed the surface for painting. I used a large sandpaper block for this.


Then I started painting. I bought a paint and primer in one. A little more expensive, but it saves the step of priming (especially when you’re painting something that’s been previously painted). I did a really thin first coat. I think this is really important. A few years ago I tried to repaint some furniture and I tried to paint it on really thick first in one coat. It ran a lot and is still sticky several years later. If you want the furniture to look good you have to be patient. Thin first coat, then go for a second and third if needed. The second coat goes much faster.


This is a picture of the first coat. You can still see the white paint streaking through. Also the scrapes are still visible, but the stains and minor scrapes are covered.


Then I let it dry in our garage for several days, and then I covered the stool. I’m not in love with the new fabric. I wanted something with a print, but I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I’m still on the lookout. Most stools or chairs have screws on the bottom that you can remove to take off the seat. I just used a regular stapler and stapled the fabric on the pad after removing it from the stool. I think the end result is a big improvement.

















I also got several things to help organize the vanity. I first got a tray to put my makeup on, and also a cup to hold my brushes and other makeup. I actually used a votive candle holder. I also got a soap dispenser that I really liked and put my lotion in it. Also I got a birdcage of sorts for my nailpolishes. I liked the look of this, and it cleared up some room in the drawers for other items, so the top of the vanity is less cluttered.




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