Three Hoots For Gray Owl

Ding dong the witch is dead vanity is done.

Bathroom Vanity Painted In Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

And all it took was two solid weekends of priming and painting.  I wish I was kidding.  And of course, in true Angie fashion, I anticipated total painting time of about four hours max…wrong!  More like four hours max just to prime the body of the thing!  Isn’t that always the case?  Please tell me I’m not the only one who way underestimates the amount of time it takes to finish a project?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Anywho, let’s get to the how we did it portion of the program.  It all started with a good ol’ fashion sand job.  The vanity was super shiny so I gave her a good sand down with the orbital sander and some medium grit paper to take the shine away and scuff up the finish so the paint would adhere to it better.

Sanding Down The Bathroom Vanity

I’ve got my serious face on in that one.  It only comes out for official business like sanding and ice cream eating.

My paint of choice for the project…Zinsser primer combined with Benjamin Moore Semi-Gloss Regal Select paint in Gray Owl.  Which, by the way, I’m totally digging the subtle gray color.

Primer And Benjamin Moore Regal Select Paint In Semi Gloss

Side note…I’ve totally become a big, big, BIG fan of Benjamin Moore paint.  This was my second go around using the stuff for furniture painting and it was a huge upgrade from my usual Valspar choice.  It’s more durable, finishes smoother, and doesn’t have a tacky feel that I usually get with Valspar semi-gloss (which never seems to go away even two years post painting).

After sanding the vanity down, I gave her a good little priming.  I didn’t HAVE to prime the vanity since the paint was a paint/primer in one. But primer is cheap, paint is more expensive, I was using a light colored paint, so I primed for security reasons.

Primed Bathroom Vanity

And then covered the vanity in two coats of Gray Owl paint in a semi-gloss.  And here is where we get into the why-this-took-so-long-to-paint part.  One…there were a lot of intricate parts to the vanity that made painting difficult.  And two…it was just about 10 degrees too cold outside to take the piece outside and use the paint sprayer on it.  Curses.  I almost braved the 48 degree temps to save some time but knew I would end up having to redo the finish, using more time in the long run, since it was so cold out.  So I resorted to painting the piece of furniture with a brush and two painting tricks:  a craft brush works wonders in getting into nooks and crannies and when in need of a stubby brush for tight spaces, just have your husband chop the handle off a long handled brush with his saw.  It saved a trip to the store for a stubby brush!  Genius!

Paint Brush Tricks For Furniture Painting

I layered on two coats of paint on the body of the vanity along with the two upper drawers, two doors, and one larger, bottom drawer.  I even managed to follow the painting instructions on the can (look for the blue moon folks cuz that never happens) and waited the proper 3+ hours for the paint to dry between coats along with waiting a week or so for the paint to harden up and cure before reassembling the whole thing.

Painted Bathroom Vanity Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

After waiting for the appropriate amount of dry time, I couldn’t wait to put the whole thing back together again and check out my handiwork.  I was like a kid at Christmas playing with my new toys.  But instead of Christmas, it was a Monday and instead of toys it was hardware from Target.

Bathroom Vanity Painted And Assembled

Speaking of hardware, I had been drooling over all the gorgeous hardware at Anthropologie for weeks in anticipation of the bathroom vanity makeover.  But at $8-$14 apiece, and needing 8 pieces, I wasn’t about to drop $64 – $112 in cabinet hardware.  So during a “quick trip” to Target that turned into an aimless meandering of the aisles (it happens…happens all too often) I came across some beautiful Threshold hardware.  And at $14.99 for a four pack, I could pick up enough hardware for the cabinet (8 knobs) for $28 (after using my Target card for a 5% discount).  Sold!

Threshold Hardware From Target

The porcelain style knobs with the brushed nickle surround was a perfect tie into our bathroom since all our fixtures are brushed nickle and the white can be found throughout the space on the mirror, trim, and bead board.

So let’s talk about the doors on the cabinet a little bit.  I powered through and painted them, but we’re about 98% certain that we’ll end up replacing them.

Painted Bathroom Vanity Door

It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but they’re warped, heavily dinged up, and despite repeated alterations will not close for the love of Goose!  In the famous words of Cher (Clueless Cher…not Sonny & Cher), “it’s a total Monet”.  You know…it looks good from far away but when you get close up it’s a total mess.

Hardware Attached To Vanity Doors

The drawers on the other hand, are amazingly awesome.  I’m already scheming up organizational plans for the top drawers.  I’m thinking Colby gets one for all his man stuff and I can have the other for girly things like nail polish and razor blades.  Isn’t that what great marriages are built on?  Separate bathroom vanity storage?

Modified Top Vanity Drawer For Sink

But we can’t quite call the Craigslist buffet turned bathroom vanity project complete just yet because…duh…it’s still in our kitchen.  Our next step is to hoof it upstairs, which we’re both so dreading because it’s heavy and our staircase takes a tight turn at the top.  Then there’s installing, hooking the pipes back up, installing the sink and faucet and then (my personal favorite) making it all pretty and setting it up.  Fingers crossed the vanity survives the trek upstairs!  Or more importantly…fingers crossed WE survive the vanity’s trek upstairs.  She is a heifer and will crush you!

Pssst…What have you guys been painting up lately?  Any favorite painting projects?  Or do you have a favorite paint brand?  Any other Benjamin Moore lovers out there?


  1. The vanity looks awesome and I think your target hardware looks fabulous on it! Great job!

  2. love the target hardware! I’ve been drooling over some of their Threshold hardware recently, esp since it’s been on clearance, but have no where to use it! alas, at Target it stays….

    1. There has been SO MUCH awesome Threshold stuff going on clearance lately! I love it! So much goodness to snatch up! Haha…at least if you come to need some hardware you know where to get it!

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