DIY Stained Bathroom Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

This super easy DIY stained bathroom cabinet project was just what my tired bathroom vanity needed.  And the best part:  no need to strip off the old finish first!

Wow! Looks so good! DIY stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!

I’ve been busy updating my hall bathroom.  I’ve already picked out my paint to cover up my outdated faux finished paint, and now I’m moving on to the messy fun stuff.  This weekend I tackled my bathroom cabinet.   Here’s a peek at the finished product:

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required! Here’s what I started with:

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!
We got this cabinet at Home Depot when we first moved into the house.  It looks pretty good in the photo.  But it really hasn’t stood up to the abuse my two kids dish out every day.  Up close the finish looked like this:

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!

DIY Stained Bathroom Cabinet Tutorial

Meet my Minwax friends:  MinWax PolyShades, and Wipe-on Polyurethane.  I have used Wipe-on Poly before and I just love it.  It is so easy to apply and the results are fantastic.   So much easier than the brush on products.

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!
I took the door, the drawers and the top dummy panel off and gave all parts including the base a good sanding.  Then I brushed on a thin coat of Minwax PolyShades in Classic Black Satin.

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!
I allowed it to dry overnight, then I took some fine steel wool and distressed the edges.  I followed up with a coat of wipe on polyurethane.  I  replaced the brushed nickel knobs with some simple black ones and I was done.


Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!
I’m very happy with the finish.  It definitely has a high-end cabinet look, not just a Home Depot stock cabinet redo look!

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!

Wow! Looks so good! Stain your bathroom vanity cabinet with gel stain. Such an easy DIY project. No stripping required!
Sorry for this rotten photo.  The bathroom is pretty narrow, so it was really hard for me to get a good photo of the whole thing.  I can’t wait to update my other bathroom with this easy method!

I love what a coat of paint or stain can do!  Have you seen my Craigslist Dresser Makeover?

What have you revamped lately?

38 thoughts on “DIY Stained Bathroom Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

  1. This looks so easy…can't wait to try it! My cabinet looks just like your before picture. My only concern is if the stain will hold on the sides and front of the cabinet. My door and drawers are wood, but the rest isn't. Even with sanding, I don't know if stain would hold to laminate of fake wood. How did it work on yours?

  2. WOW!This looks fantastic. How well did the wipe on poly last? I have used some of the wipe on stuff in the past and the finish didn't last. Don't know if it was just my brand or if I did something wrong. I would love to do this in my bathroom. Thanks.

  3. Looks fantastic. Question: After you brushed on the stain, did you wipe it off or leave it on full strength until the next day? My cabinets are just like these. I will have to give this a try.

  4. Okay, that is AWESOME!! I have been wanting to paint my bathroom cabinets but now I am determined too. GREAT tutorial. Bookmarking this page for future reference. Thank you!!

  5. thanks so much … believe it or not we bought a home a year ago with the same cabinets and counter tops… in the kitchen and baths… we painted the kitchen before moving in.. IT was a long progress.. painted using oil base paint took way to long .. needless to say we did not what to do baths..but now that you have shown a easier way … they will be done shortly… thanks again

  6. Hi Leslie, wow(!), your cabinets look gorgeous !! What a beautiful transformation … well done !! I'm getting ready to attack our master bath with new paint and am considering painting our maple cabs, too. Thanks for the inspiration. Stop by sometime, Becca (Adventures in Decorating)

  7. The cabinet looks very well done. I had a question…when you say you gave everything a good sanding how much sanding did you actually do? Did you completely sand down everything or just rough up the surface a good amount? my email is les_baird@hotmail.com and my name is Leslie

  8. Oooh, Carolyn, this looks fantastic! It goes so well with the countertop, too! I never would have thought to use stain and this might be a good option for me {rather than paint} for a pine piece I have that I wanted to do in black. Love the distressing ~ just the right amount.

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