Make-Up the Vanity




Introduction: Make-Up the Vanity

About: We are Matt and Brooke Mullens! We have been married since 2013, started our rental business in 2014, and spend all of our free time fixing up our 1926, 1930 and 1937 Tudor style homes in a well-established...

Check out the transformation (and 'how to' of course) of turning a drab desk into a glam vanity!

This desk was a piece of trash that someone was going to throw away that I deemed savable. Now it has a home in our Master Bedroom!!

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Step 1: Gather Supplies

Supplies needed:

Step 2: Remove Drawers

Remove drawers so each piece can be painted separately.

Step 3: Remove Hardware

Remove hardware to paint the drawers. These broken hardware pieces were discarded and upgraded hardware is installed in Step 8.

Step 4: Set Up a Well Ventilated Work Area

My favorite spot to work with chemicals and spray paint is outside where I do not have to worry about fumes or overspray.

Step 5: Deglosser

Use a rag and apply a thick coat of deglosser following the manufacturer's instructions. Wear gloves and glasses! Deglosser replaces the need for sanding.

Deglosser vs Sandpaper: This was my first time using deglosser vs. sanding and I loved it!! I chose deglosser for this particular project because the wood was in great shape and just needed the top gloss layer removed. If there had been imperfections in the wood I would have used a sander and sandpaper.

Deglosser will micro-etch the surface so the new paint can adhere - seen in this blurry picture. I applied 3 coats.

Step 6: Spray Paint

3-4 coats is my preferred coverage for spray paint.

***Now I chose to use metallic spray paint instead of Silver Leaf because of the research I did on How To Silver Leaf. It is very tedious, messy, time consuming, and more expensive. After reading advice from several other bloggers comparing silver leaf vs metallic spray paint, metallic spray paint was the recommended option. I'm extremely glad I used spray paint as it took me about 10 minutes of spray time - can't beat that!***

Note: I definitely recommend buying this handy spray grip for $3! It saves your hands from cramping and makes the job much more enjoyable!

Step 7: Apply Polycrylic

This is where I made a HUGE mistake! I wanted to keep the fast pace going of spray painting, so I opted for the Polycrylic in a spray can... NEVER AGAIN on furniture! Use the polycrylic in a paint can - which I have linked.

I shook the can extremely well and was working in the recommended temperature, but the spray can kept leaving drip marks everywhere... IT LOOKED AWFUL!

Lesson learned: I sanded the surface to get rid of the drip imperfections, added another coat of metallic spray paint, and used the correct polycrylic!

Polycrylic vs Polyurethane: Polycrylic dries crystal clear and is water based. It won't hold up well to heat and chemicals and overall isn't as durable as polyurethane. Polyurethane dries with a yellow-ish tint and is oil based. It is more durable especially in heat. Both come in a variety of finishes from satin to gloss. My recommendation is to always use polyurethane on a darker color where a yellow-ish tint will not be visible. However, polycrylic does a fantastic job when needed on those white and lighter color paint jobs that need to be protected.

Note: Wipe down the surface between each coat - especially after sanding. The last thing you want is residue stuck underneath the surface of your paint which will lead to easy chipping!

Step 8: Add Hardware

Older furniture is known for not having standard sized knobs and drawer pulls. The new purple crystal knobs I ordered from Amazon came with thinner bolt heads than had previously been drilled (1st picture). I just added a washer which easily took care of my problem (2nd & 3rd picture)!

Step 9: Fix Drawer Slides

Whether adding completely new slides as seen in my blog post Dressing Up a Dresser or fixing some low hanging plywood that caused difficult drawer movement (this vanity) - usually old furniture needs some type of mechanical fixing.

I used my Milwaukee right-angle drill to get into some tight spaces.

Step 10: Enjoy!

I absolutely love that I have tons of storage for all my makeup and hair products and especially the fact that I don't have to fight Matt for room in the bathroom while getting ready! It's super girly and it's all mine!!


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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Lovely. Why did use a thick coat of deglosser, why three coats and how did you know to add more coats? I was going to try using it on window trim. Thanks


    Reply 3 years ago

    I used a thick coat of deglosser per the instructions: "Fold and re-saturate cloth frequently to prevent re-depositing of soils".

    I used 3 coats per my judgement; since I use this vanity every day I did not want to risk the paint not adhering properly to the wood. Only 1 coat is needed per the directions of Klean Strip Deglosser, but I just wanted to be safe than sorry. I have used deglosser on window trim, using 1 coat of deglosser, and the paint adhered perfectly :D

    I hope this helps!


    3 years ago

    I am inspired... beautiful job!


    Reply 3 years ago

    I am so happy :) Thank you!