How to Use Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint to Add Character to a Builder-Basic Vanity

If your bathroom vanity is in good shape but lacks personality, you can get a beautiful, high-end look with a little elbow grease and imagination! For this makeover, we used mirrors cut by a local glass cutter (for a total cost of about $20) and Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White, which retails for just $19.95 at Oser Paint and Flooring. That's almost half the cost of similar matte-finish paints sold in high-end design boutiques.

If you're not familiar with chalk paint, it's a paint that gives you a beautiful matte-finish and requires little to no prep. That's right! No sanding and or priming are required, which saves a lot of time and energy. You can use chalk paint on a variety of surfaces but it's a favorite among DIYers because it even adheres to hard-to-paint surfaces like laminate, glass and metal.

Here's how we got the look for this vanity:

1. Use mild soap and water to wash your cabinets before you begin to remove any soap scum or dust. If your cabinets have been painted before as this vanity had been, the chalk paint should still adhere to the surface.

2. Remove the cabinet doors and paint only the outside rectangle and edges of the door. You will be covering the recessed part of the door with a mirror so there is no need to paint that section. Paint the base of the vanity as well.

3. Your first coat will not look great. Don't worry! Think of this as your "primer coat." With your next coat, it sometimes helps to pour a small amount of chalk paint in a bowl and mix with a tablespoon of water. You do not want the paint to be too thin so it is better to add the water in small amounts until you have a nice consistency. Add a second coat over the doors and vanity base and allow the coat to dry for 30 minutes to an hour. Once that is dry, check to make sure you haven't missed any spots and touch up as needed until you have the look you desire.

4. Apply two to three coats of Rust-Oleum Matte Clear Finish with a brush over the the dry chalk paint. This will seal the paint and protect it for daily use. This product is similar to furniture wax but it's so simple! You really just brush it on, directly over the paint.

5. Use Heavy Duty Liquid Nails to glue the mirror into the recessed part of the cabinet door.

6. Use painter's tape to mark off a thin "X" across the mirror. Remember, chalk paint adheres to glass so instead of fussing with wood trim, you can simply paint your "trim" directly on the mirror. Once the "X" is dry, peel the tape and use a small detail brush to paint Matte Clear over the chalk paint. This will protect the paint from scratches.

7. The last thing we did to add character to this builder-basic vanity was remove the toe kick from underneath the cabinet and add pre-made wood furniture legs. This was a simple way to make the vanity look more like a piece of furniture than a plain, bathroom vanity.

The total cost of this project was about $60 and the vanity has a very similar look to high-end vanity styles that retail for as much as $1500! This would definitely be an easy project to tackle next weekend to freshen up your bathroom for spring.