Why remove when you can improve? How to successfully upcycle your bathroom cabinet

Everyone has their own idea of what their dream bathroom would look like. A standalone tub, a huge vanity, a spa like escape or a bathroom that really packs a colourful punch (if you’re looking for bathroom inspiration try clicking here). But with budgets low and potential costs high, more and more people are deciding to upcycle their old bathroom suites, turning them into real statement pieces.

If you’re looking to create something original and utterly unique, then read on. Here you’ll get the lowdown on how to successfully upcycle your bathroom cabinet!


  • This will not be a quick fix project. Make sure you’re realistic when it comes to timing!
  • Cabinets have lots of different components and areas to prep and paint!
  • If you’re upcycling because your cabinet is no longer functioning as it should i.e. warped drawers, misaligned doors etc – then consider purchasing something new. Upcycling won’t fix these issues!

General prep

  • First things first. Make sure you clear out all the items in the cabinet, even those pesky hair grips that always get stuck in the joints!
  • Cover your floors, walls and any other items that might be susceptible to paint splashback or spray.
  • You will have to take the unit apart, so make things easier for yourself; label each part clearly and put all fixtures and fittings in separate bags!

The fixtures

  • Take your time with a screwdriver or a reversible drill – depending on your confidence and strength.
  • Make sure all hinges, knobs, handles and pulls are removed. If you’re hoping to go for a really fresh look, then consider replacing these with new ones.

Prepping the cabinet

  • Firstly, your cabinet/unit will need a good clean. Think of all the dust, grime and soap that’s accumulated over the years. Wash each part thoroughly before you take any other steps.
  • Use warm soapy water or try sugar soap to ensure that your surface is truly clean.
  • This is an important part of the process. It gives you a perfect base to paint on, giving you the best result possible.
  • Use medium to fine sandpaper. Then afterwards, use a damp cloth to remove any dust.

The first coat

  • Now the exciting part.
  • It’s recommended that you use a primer before paint. If you’re using a brush, paint in long sweeping strokes to get as much coverage as possible. This also prevents brushstrokes from being visible.
  • Allow the primer to dry
  • Now it’s time to add the paint. Use the same kind of painting motions to give your cabinet a professional finish.
  • Paint the edges of the doors, followed by both sides and then any other part that is visible, once that is dry move onto the back.

The second coat

  • Once you’re confident that the first coat is dry, apply the same technique and paint the cabinet a second time.

Finishing touches

  • Once finished, attach old/new handles, pulls or knobs and fit back together. Voila!

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