Definitely Vain! Guest Contributor

A new monthly Guest contributor is Jenny from Anything Pretty, Look what she did with this bathroom vanity, if you have ugly old cabinets, believe me you NEED to read this!:

It’s not news that honey oak and I are not friends (like here, here, and here). The guest bathroom remodel of course included honey oak that needed to be conquered. I have painted honey oak and loved the results, but this time I wanted to try something different. My goal was to make it look like wood-dark wood-but not dark oak that restaining would result in. The answer I came up with-reglazing. How do you think it turned out? Before After (full room pics coming soon)- The best part? So cheap….we did this entire cabinet makeover with materials we already had. So this is how I did it…… Materials Ugly oak vanity Paintbrushes Sandpaper Orbital sander (not required but will make it so much easier) Clear Mixing Glaze (I used Valspar) Paint (I used paint sample from Benjamin Moore in Branchport Brown) New Hardware Wood Filler in color close to final stain Empty container with lid for mixing and storing glaze Polyurethane If replacing hinges with concealed or euro hinges- Drill New hinges Hinge template set Clamps How-To 1. Start with an ugly door with ugly hardware and ugly hinges. Wash it with soap and water. Remove the said hardware and hinges. 2. We replaced the external brass hinges with euro hinges that you cannot see from the outside of the cabinet. This added extra steps but in my opinion it is so worth it and totally modernizes the cabinet. In order to install these hinges some extra steps are involved. Home Depot and Lowes sell a template and special drill bit for using these hinges and the couple of bucks was definitely worth it. (We also did this in the kitchen) Derek marked the spot to drill using the template (he centered it on the hole from the previous hinge.) And then drilled with the special bit. Leaving this hinge hole- But when you set the hinge in there, the old hinge hole on the side is ugly. So fill it with wood filler in a similar color of the finish glaze. This step is my second least favorite of the whole process as it takes multiple fillings and lots of messy fingers (and maybe some cursing). 3. Now for my least favorite part- sanding. I used an orbital sander with a medium grit sandpaper on the large areas which was not so bad. But then I had all the edges and crevices to do….by hand….very thoroughly….which sucked. This step is the primary reason I could have never have used this method in the kitchen. It took forever and I only had four doors and two drawers. I did not worry about get all the honey oak color off, but the coat of gloss poly had to go from everywhere if the glaze was going to stick. Here is a door all sanded-4. Now onto the fun part…..glazing. I used Valspar’s glaze and a Benjamin Moore paint sample that I picked up awhile ago. The bottle said you could mix the glaze with a ratio from 4 parts glaze and 1 part paint to the ratio of 8 parts glaze and 1 part paint. I wanted the glaze to be fairly thick to hide the oak ugliness, so I used the ratio of 4:1 (and started on the back side of a door in case I was wrong). Here is my mixing can and measuring device that just might be a shot glass. I promise that it won’t go back into the bar. I put three very thin coats of glaze on all the doors and cabinet face. By thin coat I mean I was almost drybrushing to make sure it went on evenly. 5. To protect the finish I then put on three very thin coats of MinWax semi-gloss polyurethane. 6. Add the new hardware and hinges. We used hardware that had the same drilling space as the old hardware so we did not have to refill holes. Put it all together and you get this- I like it because it still looks like wood and not just brown paint sitting on top of wood. But is better than stain because it minimizes the oakey grain. At least I think so….but I may be delusional because I want to think all that sanding was worth it. I am living on the edge and going out of my normal order of posting the room reveal and then how-to projects but I wanted to share since we put it all together over the weekend. I can’t wait to share pics of the entire room, but right now I am just happy to report that honey oak has been banished from every room in the house (ok except one). Update: Complete Guest Bath pics can be found here.

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >Wow, that is an amazing transformation!!! The vanity cabinet turned out beautifully and it doesn't look like oak at all anymore! Gorgeous!

    Kat 🙂

  2. >WOW they look completely different, There adorable and look so expensive! good job!
    stop by some time

  3. >Wow! Beautiful job! They look like brand new cabinets that you'd buy in a custom home!

  4. This is EXACTLY what I want to achieve with my honey oak cabinets! I’m definitely going to try this method. I contemplated painting them, but I really didn’t want to waste the oak by covering it. I do want it to turn out with a slightly less red color. I’m not too sure how I’m going to achieve that yet. Very nice redo!

  5. I am impressed. This looks rich. Now you have given me yet another project to add to the list. Thank you for sharing. I totally love the finished product. I also appreciate the honesty about the difficulty…. Keepin’ it real is a good thing.

  6. Very beautiful job! I really like the whole design. I love the pattern of the door handle too, could you please let me know where to buy it? Thanks.

  7. What type of Benjamin Moore paint is this? Can the valspar be mixed with a gel stain? And would you recommend a stain brush or paint brush for that smooth finish?