Our guest bathroom was a bit of a disaster when we moved in. It is stuck in the middle of the house with no windows and is not huge by any means. But for some reason, the previous owner thought it would be a great idea to paint it in very dark colors and install a black vanity with a yellow formica counter top. Yes, I said YELLOW.
A while back, I finally got around to repainting the dark green and yellow walls. And again yes, your heard me correctly. It was a yellow counter top against a yellow wall. Thankfully, the yellow and green walls were not hard to fix. However, the black and yellow vanity was going to be harder to tackle.
The floor was tiled to the vanity (poorly), so it was going to be hard to replace the vanity with another of the exact same size and no legs (just flush with the floor). So I decided to try and remedy this the same way I did the walls – with paint.
I read about this “magical” cabinet/furniture paint that required no priming or sanding of furniture prior to painting and thought I would give it a whirl. RECLAIM Beyond Paint claims that is an all-in-one bonder/primer/finisher that cures to a durable, washable surface in just one or two coats. No other steps necessary. So I purchased the nantucket color and gave it a shot.
My results were somewhat varied…
First of all, on black cabinets, it definitely took more than “one or two” coats. It took about 3 and a half. Which is fine – dark cabinets, I get it. The paint did not go on quite as smooth as I would have liked it to, but again, I can get over this.
After three coats and some touching up in certain areas, I finally got the doors back on the vanity. Unfortunately, the paint started to chip, peel, and scratch immediately – revealing the wonderful black paint beneath. While the paint was completely dry, I decided to think positively and allow that it might need more time to cure. So I waited about a week before I asked Andy to add the knobs and pull.
While the knobs and pull looked amazing, unfortunately, the paint continued to chip and peel. I decided to touch up the spots that had peeled and hit the entire vanity with a clear protective spray that I purchased at the recommendation of the Ace Hardware rep. It was another furniture paint brand, Amy Howard, and it worked great! I am now able to hit, scratch, and touch the vanity with no peels or chips in the paint. Success.
RECLAIM also has a sealer that they recommend for “any project that requires extra-strength durability or weatherproofing.” However, it is a paint and not a spray paint and I was not in the mood to spend $30 more plus shipping on one of their products (and wait several days to receive it). So I am very happy with my decision to go with the spray protectant.
Now it was time to tackle the vanity top, because no matter how much better the bottom looks in blue, it doesn’t negate the fact that the top is still yellow. I did a decent amount of research on products for this. RECLAIM also has a countertop paint, but I scratched that idea for obvious reasons. I read an article on the blog “It All Started With Paint” and decided to go with the product that the author used, Homax Tough as Tile Epoxy paint (also purchased from Ace). I was not loving the thought of brush marks and was thrilled when I discovered a spray on version of the same paint!
I followed the instructions given on the blog article and Homax box to a letter. I scrubbed the sink with CLR Sink and Bath and steel wool a total of 3 times and then wiped it down with a damp paper towel at the end. I had to scrub a little harder than most due to the fact that I use this sink to rinse out my paintbrushes, so there was some paint residue to contend with. I was also very careful to ensure that the surface was clear of any stray animal furs (as my house has them everywhere).
Since this is spray paint versus regular paint, I definitely put a good deal of time and energy into preparing the area. This was the countertop after spray one. I had to contend with a few drips that had come from the nozzle and wish I had stopped to clean the nozzle as the instructions had said. (I guess I’m not that good at following directions…).
I continued to spray every 15 minutes for quite some time, finally stopping after seven rounds. Yes, I said SEVEN. Stupid yellow kept trying to show through or I would notice spots that I had not hit as well.
Even with a few more drips that I decided to not brush off, I was pretty happy with the finished product! It has to cure for 3 days, so we let it cure for 4 (laziness more than cautiousness) and decided to clean it and spray it two more times to make sure everything was as good as it was going to get. And it really did come out great! While not prefect, it certainly looks much better than the yellow and only fails inspection when scrutinized VERY closely. It also seems to be very strong and durable which is exactly what I was looking for.