Painting Our Bathroom Vanity (Twice To Get It Right)

Let’s talk about vanity, shall we? Specifically the sink vanity that we last left off as primed in this post.

This is one of those real-life stories where we painstakingly stared at about fifty swatches before carefully choosing a pretty kelly green tone that we thought would be awesome. A fun pop of color in a white room (sort of like this). So off to the store we went and grabbed a quart of Baby Fern by Benjamin Moore in their semi-gloss Natura paint. And after one coat – even though we gave it two in the hope that the second one would work a miracle – we knew…

Baaaaaaad call.

Seriously, at one point Clara said it was the same color as Kermit The Frog. How did this happen?

So we did what any self respecting DIYer would do and we whined a little and then we laughed for a while and then we went out to the garage and stared at all of the paint cans that we have sitting around and finally found the one we were looking for: Silhouette. It’s an awesome moody brown/gray tone with the slightest plum undertones. Really, photos of it hardly do it justice but we first used it for a bunch of book projects and fell in love, so it’s no surprise it was our “rebound guy.” We didn’t want our hearts broken again, and we thought it would be really sophisticated with the slate too. And happily, it was:

Now instead of the white bathroom with the colorful vanity, it’s shaping up to be the chic little black and white bathroom (ok, it’s not really black, but it’s close enough to give it that vibe). We especially love how it looks with the dark doorknob and hinges.

And although we did have some need-to-repaint bad luck, when it came to the knobs the universe threw us a bone. We went to Anthropologie just to look around (sometimes we fall in love with $14 a knob items, which are a little too steep for us) and these cool faceted knobs were marked down to $2.95!

One of my favorite things about their octagonal shape is that they mimic the angles of the mirror, which also has the same tone in it.

How lucky is that?

And we also grabbed this toilet paper holder from Lowe’s on clearance to replace the old wood one we had there before.

Remember this guy?

Definitely an upgrade.

You’ve come a long way, half bathroom.

So that’s the story of gaining a little vanity va-va-voom, with one of those surprise DIY speedbumps along the way. I think the lesson is that you win some and you lose some, but as long as you keep on trucking – and course correcting as you go – things usually work out OK.

Next up I have to scrub or replace the grout, and switch out this leaky faucet.

And we can’t forget our upside down light (remember I turned it around here to allow for a bigger mirror?). Doesn’t it look like two beady little eyes and the mirror is the mouth? Like the bathroom’s making the same face I’m making in this super flattering picture?

The light is a smidge off-centered from the mirror. The issue is that the faucet and the light don’t line up, so if we centered the mirror on the light it would be really off compared to the faucet, so we sort of split the difference so it’s less noticeable for now.

So yeah, there are a few more things that we’d love to do in here for this Phase 1 update – mainly some grout fixing, light updating, and a new faucet. I’m weirdly excited about light shopping (and completely avoiding the grout project – so we’ll see how long I can go). Even though we have plans for a more major bathroom upgrade down the line (grasscloth wallpaper? tiled accent wall? pedestal sink?), it definitely feels nice to make some cheap tweaks to make it more welcoming in the meantime. Anyone else working on a half bathroom update? How goes it?


  1. Steph Nelson says

    I don’t love that green either and I am a huge green fan. Maybe an emerald would have been better? Oh well, at least you tried! :)

    • Cindy D. says

      I wasn’t a fan of the green, either. I love the color you went with and will write the name down to use when I paint my cabinets.

  2. mollie says

    hey! i bought those same knobs last week for 2.95! one of life’s small pleasures when you dig through the sale box and find the number you’re looking for. cue anthro cackle here.

  3. Lisa E says

    Good call. True the second coat would have made it darker, but I think it still would have been an in your face Kermit the Frog color. Clara is clever, lol! It’s also amazing how yellow the green made the vanity top/sink look.

  4. says


    Is it wrong that I love when you guys make a bad call?
    LOL… it makes me feel so much better about all the times I mess stuff up!

    Looks really good, guys… keep chugging along!!

  5. Maggie S says

    WOW! That is the perfect color with the floor!!
    I love it –and I might copy it for a bath vanity I have to paint ;-)

  6. Eri says

    > the same color as Kermit The Frog.

    Hahahahaha, exactly my thought! Good job Clara :)

    Thanks for this story of your color adventure. Silhouette is one of my faves, and def love the new look. Very chic and adult powder room. Fabulous!

  7. Steph says

    Hah, that is so funny Clara thought it was Kermit, when I was scrolling through I thought you covered the whole thing in Frogtape for some reason! The new color looks great though!

    • Evie says

      Made me laugh out loud, Steph!

      The new color looks very sophisticated and just right…..but isn’t fun that we all know the vanity has a froggy heart!

    • Stephanie says

      I thought the same thing! “I wonder why they’d cover the whole thing in frog tape? They must have something really cool planned!”

    • Jennifer says

      That’s exactly what I thought!

      While the green didn’t work…I still would have done a color on the vanity. No more grey!!

  8. says

    I’m dying to upgrade all the bathrooms in our new house, but, ya know, budget. I think painting the vanities in all three of them will be our “for now” solution. Right now, they’re all darker wood but none are in good shape. I think they’re all original to the house (1979) and the master even has a phone jack in it. I have no idea when we’ll actually get around to vanity painting. It feels like there’s still a million other things to do/buy. Half of our rooms are virtually empty. That’s the fun part/overwhelming part, I guess.

    • Kathryn says

      LOVE that your master bath has a phone jack in it. For some reason as a kid, I just knew that was the absolute height of luxury – something that clearly all millionaires had.

    • says

      Yeah, it would’ve been really sweet back in the ’90’s when I was in elementary school. I could’ve plugged my see through phone into that sucker. But I haven’t had a landline for about a decade so…

  9. Melly says

    It’s like a breath of fresh air compared to the before. The plum looks great with the mirror, too!

    I had the same problem in my bathroom with the light not lining up with the faucet and having to split the difference with the mirror.

  10. kalibrooke says

    The green, in and of itself, is a great color (at least Kermie thinks so…), but ugh, it made the countertop look all shades of gross.

  11. mribaro says

    Nice. Still, for the splash of happy color on the vanity, I would probably pick the blue color you painted your entrance door.

    • Lisa says

      Yes! That color would have been lovely for the vanity. This color is OK on its own, but it doesn’t go with the floor tile at all.

  12. says

    I strangely like the green better! I’m sure you’ll add a pop of color but I just loved that shade of green! Even if it does sort of look like Kermit…

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