Get the size you need!

Bathroom vanity makeover - helpful tips to update bathroom vanity

September 08, 2023 | Updated on: September 13, 2023

white bathroom vanity, towers and wall cabinet updated without renovating

The concept of updating a bathroom without renovating has gained immense popularity in recent years. A  bathroom is no longer just a utilitarian space. Today, homeowners view their bathrooms as sanctuaries, places of respite and rejuvenation. And the bathroom vanity plays a pivotal role in setting the tone for this oasis.

Why the sudden fascination with bathroom cabinet makeovers, you ask? Well, it's a confluence of several factors. Firstly, social media has opened up a world of interior design inspiration, making it easier than ever for homeowners to explore creative ideas. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are teeming with stunning ideas for updating same old bathroom cabinets that range from simple and chic to lavish and opulent.

Cabinet Doors

Secondly, the surge in home improvement shows on television has fueled the DIY spirit. Watching ordinary individuals take drab spaces and turn them into dreamy retreats has inspired countless homeowners to roll up their sleeves and embark on their own projects.

Lastly, the economic uncertainty of recent years has made many of us more budget-conscious. There are many inexpensive ideas for updating a bathroom to remodel a bathroom vanity without breaking the bank. So, if you're planning on updating bathroom cabinetry without a major financial commitment, read on for some fabulous ideas on updating bathroom cabinets on a budget.

Transformative tips for updating bathroom vanities

Louvered bathroom vanity updating

Before diving into updating cabinets in the bathroom, it's essential to consider your goals and budget. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your bathroom cabinet remodel. Are you aiming for a complete overhaul or just a fresh bathroom vanity update? Once you have a clear vision, you can start exploring ideas and options to update bathroom vanity that align with your objectives and have a clearer idea of how to update bathroom cabinets.

  1. Paint it beautifully

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to refinish a bathroom vanity is to give it a fresh coat of paint. Choose a color that complements your bathroom's overall scheme, to refinish bathroom cabinets whether it's a calming coastal blue, a sophisticated gray, or a classic white. Remember to sand and prime the surface first for the best results, and consider updating the hardware (knobs and handles) to match your new color palette.

  1. Embrace the power of wallpaper

Another bathroom remodel vanity idea is applying wallpaper Wallpaper isn't just for walls. You can use it to add a pop of personality to your bathroom vanity. Pick a stylish and water-resistant wallpaper, then carefully apply it to the vanity's front panels or drawers. This method is a great way to introduce patterns and textures without a permanent commitment.

  1. Refacing and resurfacing

If your bathroom vanity is structurally sound but looks dated, consider refacing or resurfacing the cabinet doors and drawers. This type of bathroom vanity remodel involves removing the existing surface and replacing it with a fresh material. Options in redoing bathroom cabinets include laminates, veneers, or even adhesive wood planks for a rustic touch.

  1. Upgrade the countertop

Sometimes, all it takes to update a bathroom cabinet and vanity is a countertop upgrade. Swap out your old laminate for a sleek and modern quartz or granite surface. While these materials for bathroom cabinets’ makeover can be a bit pricey, they add a touch of luxury that can transform the entire space. For those on a budget, consider alternatives like solid surfaces or concrete.

  1. Open shelving

For trendy and minimalist bathroom cabinets remodel, remove the cabinet doors entirely and install open shelving in their place. Updating bathroom cabinets not only makes the bathroom vanity feel more spacious but also encourages you to curate your essentials and keep things tidy.

  1. Statement sink and faucet

An eye-catching sink and faucet combo can be the focal point when updating a bathroom vanity. Choose a vessel sink in a unique shape or color and pair it with a stylish faucet to create a striking visual impact.

  1. Lighting matters

Don't underestimate the importance of lighting when you remodel bathroom cabinets. Swap outdated fixtures for contemporary options that provide better illumination. Consider installing sconces on either side of the mirror for balanced and flattering light.

  1. Mirror magic

Refinishing bathroom cabinets also involves putting décor and accessories such as mirrors. Speaking of mirrors, don't settle for a basic one. Upgrade to a decorative mirror that complements your bathroom's style to remodel bathroom cabinets. Whether it's a vintage-inspired frame or a sleek, frameless design, the right mirror can elevate the entire space.

  1. Accessorize and organize

Finally, the finishing touches matter. Invest in stylish bathroom accessories like soap dispensers, trays, and decorative jars. Use drawer dividers and organizers to keep your essentials neatly arranged, making your daily routine more efficient.

Old bathroom vanity makeover

Unfinished bathroom vanity - old cabinet makeover

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of updating an old bathroom vanity, it's essential to have a plan in place. What's your vision for this restoration project? Do you want to preserve the vanity's original charm or give your old bathroom cabinet makeover a modern twist? Once you've determined your goals, you can start exploring the following techniques:

  1. Resurfacing bathroom vanity

If your old bathroom vanity's surface shows signs of wear and tear, consider resurfacing it. This process involves stripping away the old finish and applying a fresh one. You can choose to stain the wood for a classic look or paint it in a color that complements your bathroom's decor.

  1. Restoration bathroom vanity

For those who wish to preserve the vanity's vintage appeal, restoration is the way to go. To restore bathroom vanity, it involves repairing any damaged or missing parts, such as drawers, handles, or trim. Afterward, you can refinish the piece to revive its original beauty.

  1. Updating old long bathroom countertops

The countertop is often the focal point of the bathroom vanity. Updating old, long bathroom countertops can be a game-changer. Consider replacing them with a sleek and durable material like quartz or granite. Alternatively, you can update the old bathroom vanity by resurfacing the existing countertop with a modern finish or even paint it for a fresh look.

Bathroom vanity makeover ideas

Updating an all-wood bathroom vanity, door removing

In this section, we'll explore different ways to update existing bathroom vanity that will help you revitalize your space. You’ve probably heard of bathroom vanity refinishing in your search for ideas on upgrading vanities. Refinishing bathroom cabinets is one of the easiest and budget-friendly ways of doing a vanity makeover. However, refinishing a vanity cabinet is just one of the many ways that you can do a bathroom vanity upgrade. Let’s explore other different ways how you can update vanities made of different materials so they can match the color palette of your interior space!

  • Updating an all-wood bathroom

Wooden bathroom vanities, especially those made from oak or featuring brown cabinets, have a timeless charm. However, over time, they may lose their luster. So, how to update a bathroom with oak cabinets? One effective way to update wood bathroom vanity is by restaining. Restaining bathroom cabinets is done by first, removing the cabinet doors and hardware. Then, gently sand the surfaces to remove the existing finish, allowing the natural wood grain to shine through. 

When updating bathroom cabinets with stain, choose a stain that complements your bathroom's style, whether it's a rich, warm tone or a more modern, lighter shade. Update the oak bathroom vanity by applying the stain evenly and finish with a protective polyurethane coat for durability. Also, when updating oak bathroom vanity or updating brown bathroom cabinets, don't forget to update the hardware – switching out old handles or knobs for new ones can give your oak bathroom vanity makeover a polished and cohesive look.

  • Updating dark bathroom cabinets 

Dark-colored bathroom cabinets can create a sense of constriction and age in your bathroom space. However, there's a way to breathe new life into these cabinets while enhancing their natural wood grain to seamlessly blend with your interior color palette. 

When updating dark bathroom cabinets, enhance the natural grain by lightly sanding the cabinet surfaces. This gentle sanding and refurbishing of bathroom vanity not only smoothens the wood but also creates a textured surface that will help the paint or stain adhere more effectively. 

When updating bathroom cabinets with faux wood, selecting the right finish is crucial. Consider updating the bathroom vanity with paint or stain that complements your bathroom's overall color scheme. If you want to maintain a natural look, opt for a stain when updating plastic bathroom cabinets that allow the wood's natural grain to shine through. Choose a hue that harmonizes with your interior for a cohesive and inviting appearance. 

  • Update laminate bathroom vanity

How to update laminate bathroom vanity? Laminate bathroom vanities are a budget-friendly option, but they may lack character. To update laminate vanities, start by cleaning the surfaces to remove dirt and residue. Apply a high-quality primer designed for laminate surfaces to ensure proper adhesion of your chosen finish. 

Select a paint color that complements your bathroom's overall theme and color palette. Apply paint meticulously in multiple thin coats to achieve a smooth, uniform finish. Finish the project with a clear polyurethane or sealant to enhance durability and protect your refreshed vanity.

  • Update veneer bathroom cabinets

Veneer cabinets can be transformed with creativity and DIY effort. Clean the surfaces meticulously and lightly sand them to create a textured surface that promotes paint or stain adhesion. Choose a finish that aligns with your bathroom's aesthetic. 

Apply the chosen finish in even coats, allowing adequate drying time between each layer. To add a fresh touch, consider replacing the cabinet hardware with new knobs, handles, or pulls that complement your updated bathroom decor. 

  • Update European-style bathroom cabinets

European-style bathroom cabinets often have a sleek and modern appearance. To refresh this style, start by cleaning the cabinets and removing any outdated hardware. Consider using a bold and contrasting paint color for a statement look. 

Upgrade the cabinet hardware with contemporary knobs or pulls to instantly modernize the cabinets. For an open and airy feel, think about incorporating open shelving or glass fronts. This allows you to display stylish bathroom accessories, adding both functionality and visual interest to your European-style bathroom cabinets. 

These makeover ideas will help you transform your bathroom vanity into a stunning focal point that complements your overall bathroom decor. Whether you're aiming for a classic, modern, or unique style, these updates will breathe new life into your space.

  • Update bathroom accessories

Don't forget about the smaller details! Swap out your old bathroom accessories like soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, and shower curtains with modern, coordinated options. These small changes can significantly impact the overall look of your bathroom. 

  • Update bathroom cabinet hardware

Replacing cabinet hardware is an easy and affordable way to update the vanity's appearance. Choose knobs, handles, or pulls that match your bathroom's style, whether it's traditional, contemporary, or something in between.

Updating bathroom vanity top

white painted bathroom double vanity with mirror

Of course, when it comes to vanity makeovers, we shouldn’t forget about the countertop. A bathroom counter makeover can make a whole lot of difference in the overall look of your bathroom. Updating your bathroom vanity top can be a transformative step in your bathroom makeover journey. Whether you're considering updating a Corian bathroom countertop, refreshing an old marble bathroom countertop, or simply looking for an easy bathroom countertop makeover, there are options to suit your preferences and budget. You can update bathroom countertops by choosing from a variety of materials such as granite, quartz, or even cost-effective laminate. This update not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom but also adds functionality and durability. So, if you're looking to refresh your bathroom's look and feel, don't underestimate the impact an updated bathroom vanity top can have on your space.

Ideas for updating the bathroom mirror

Updating the bathroom mirror is a fantastic way to refresh the entire look of your bathroom without a major renovation. There are numerous creative ideas to consider when updating full bathroom mirrors. Firstly, frameless mirrors can be adorned with a stylish frame to add depth and character to the space.

Alternatively, you can opt for a frameless mirror with integrated LED lighting for a modern and functional touch. Vintage mirrors or mirrors with unique shapes can bring an element of charm and personality to the room. Adding a mirrored border or mosaic tiles around your existing mirror can also create an eye-catching focal point. Ultimately, updating your bathroom mirror is an opportunity to inject your personal style into the space while enhancing its functionality and aesthetics.

DIY updating bathroom cabinets vs. professional help

professional update bathroom vanity wall-mounted

Whether to opt for a DIY update bathroom vanity or seek professional help depends on your budget, skill level, time constraints, and the complexity of the project. DIY updating bathroom vanity such as getting rid of a countertop offers more creative freedom and cost savings but may require more time and effort.

Professional help guarantees expertise and faster results in bathroom vanity makeovers, albeit at a higher cost. The decision to update bathroom vanity diy should be based on your specific needs and priorities. Here’s a detailed comparison of the two.


DIY updating bathroom vanity

Professional help


Generally lower cost, primarily materials and tools.

Higher cost due to labor and materials.

Skill level

Suitable for those with basic DIY skills.

Requires professional carpentry skills.

Time investment

Can be time-consuming, especially for complex projects.

Faster with a team of experts.

Design flexibility

Full creative control over the design and style.

Limited creative control, but expertise in design.

Tools and equipment

Requires basic tools like a saw, sander, and paintbrushes.

Professionals have specialized tools and equipment.

Quality of work

Quality depends on individual skills and experience.

Professional work often results in higher-quality finishes.

Time frame

DIY projects may have longer completion times.

Faster turnaround times.

Bathroom Cabinets


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.