Before and After: A Basic Brown Vanity Becomes a Textured Teal Beauty for $85

published May 1, 2022
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Before: Brown vanity with white top and black pulls

Deep and moody teal is a popular paint color choice for DIYs these days — especially for cabinetry. “This rich, luxurious peacock-y hue is that happy place between navy and hunter green,” writes Apartment Therapy contributor Arlyn Hernandez. Because it’s such a dark color, it’s perfect for anchoring a space, and it’s slightly more unexpected than black, dark gray, or navy without being overwhelming.

Furniture flipper and DIYer Michelle McRae (@shellychicboutique) added the color to some basic brown cabinetry, transforming a basic mid-century-style Facebook Marketplace find (listed for super cheap because it had a crack in it) into a textured, teal beauty.

Her inspiration for the vanity was this cool hand-carved Anthropologie vanity, which was, sadly, too large for the space; Michelle put her own twist on the design using pole wrap and shims and applied it to the smaller brown vanity.

First, she measured and cut some pole wrap, a roll of fluted-looking material usually used to surround tall pipes and polls. She glued it and some shims to the faux wood vanity, cutting the shims down to size. Next came sanding the newly textured vanity, and then came paint.

“I used a brush instead of a sprayer for this one,” Michelle says, a perfect choice for giving it the handmade, hand-painted look she was going for.

She chose Behr’s Ocean Abyss for the piece and paired it with some gleaming gold hardware from Amazon. “The color was new to me, and I can’t wait to do another piece in that gorgeous blue-green!” Michelle says.

Her expert tip for completing a bathroom vanity is to apply “poly, poly, poly,” she says. “It needs to be really well sealed because it will inevitably be getting wet.”

The same tip applies if you’re going to be changing the top of a vanity, too. Make sure whatever stone or slab you choose for the countertop won’t show hard water stains.

Michelle’s creation took about three days and went “miraculously without any major hiccups,” she says. Best yet, her smaller version of the vanity cost $85 to create compared to the $1600 inspiration piece.

“I am absolutely in love with the end result,” she says.