As I mentioned yesterday- it’s time to redo my bathroom! It’s full of 1950’s retro tile that I’m keeping. But the rest needs modernizing. First up- the bathroom cabinet! It was laminate, not original to the space, and just kind of sad looking. So I decided to do a fluted bathroom cabinet refacing DIY. I think you’ll love this transformation!
fluted bathroom cabinet refacing diy
First up- what is cabinet resurfacing? It’s when you keep the inside of the cabinet while replacing the doors and drawer fronts. This could be with new wood or laminate. While refacing, sometimes the hinges and knobs are also replaced.
The great thing about this is you get a whole new look AND you’re being environmentally friendly (since you’re reusing the insides) AND you’re being budget conscience. So it can be a definite win win situation!
Here’s the bathroom cabinet before we started-
It wasn’t horrible and paint would have made a huge difference! But I wanted to give it a whole new look. For some reason the crocked doors, boring hardware, and gaps in the laminate weren’t doing it for me ;).
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My friend Cyn from Hot Pink Pineapples recently did a bathroom renovation in the home she rents. It turned out so beautifully! On her cabinets she resurfaced them to get the fluted look. I’m doing a different method that what she did (simply because of the supplies that are available to me- I couldn’t find the same trim in stock she used). Here’s a link to her tutorial!
- Fluted Molding– I got 6 pieces for my 24″ wide vanity
- Wood to Back the Molding/ new cabinet doors– 1
- 2×4– 1
- Screws– 1
- Brass Knobs– 2
- Construction Adhesive
- Wood Filler
- Primer- Slick Stick
- Paint- Dixie Belle Chalk Paint in Sea Glass
- Wax- Easy Peasy Wax
- Applicator Pads
- Paint Brush
We spent about $100 in supplies to do this project since we used a bunch of supplies we had on hand. The least expensive vanity I liked was $350, so I’m pretty happy with those savings!
step 1 – demo and cabinet base construction
The key part of this project is the molding. It’s fluted so that means is that it has repeating groves that have ridges. If you think of a flute, it’s a long skinny cylinder. Fluting is a series of repeating cylinders. To get this look, we cut the fluted molding to the same height as the doors.
Speaking of the doors, we removed the originals and are not using them for this project. If they had been flat, they might have worked as the base. However, we did end up reusing the hinges.
Instead of the faux drawer that we used to have, we replaced that with a 2×4 screwed into the front of the cabinet to be flush with the sides. We needed the support from this piece, but the new doors will hide it.
Next, we cut two pieces of MDF to become cabinet doors. This will be the backing board. We drilled holes so the hinges fit inside. Note, when I say “we” I mean my husband. He does the cutting and construction and I do the dreaming and finish work. We meet in the middle with what is actually doable.
For a more modern look, we decided that tall cabinet doors were the way to go. This way, we didn’t have to have a seam in our flutes (like we would have if we’d still had the faux drawer up top).
Next, cut the pieces of molding to the height of the doors. We ended up needing 4 pieces of molding for each door.
After those were perfectly cut, I used construction adhesive to glue them to the MDF backer board.
Since we wanted them to hold tightly, we used screws on the back of the MDF to hold the molding in place.
step 3- Finish work
And now, use wood filler to close gaps and the holes in the bottom of the cabinet doors. You might need to do a few coats of wood filler on the tops and bottoms where the bigger holes are. Let dry overnight.
Here’s the inside of the cabinet doors with wood filler covering the screws. Once the wood filler is dry, sand well.
Then I used my Sea Glass chalk paint to cover the wood. I ended up doing two coats of chalk paint. Finish by spraying on wax and wiping it on.
Side note, you can see that with the molding, when you put two pieces side to side it creates a pattern. Since we were able to keep it consistent, it doesn’t bother me. But you want to keep in mind that you’ll have some pattern.
After finishing the doors, we put them on and felt really proud of ourselves- lol! It was looking great! But the side needed some love too. Side note, the frame of the cabinet got painted to match the doors. I primed with Slick Stick and then painted them. Whenever I paint laminate furniture, I make sure to prime first or the paint will scratch right off.
step 4 – reface the side of the cabinet
Finally, it was time to work on the side of the cabinet. My husband cut the molding for the side to size.
Then I painted them to match the front. This picture is after only one coat of paint, but I did a few to get full coverage.
My husband screwed the molding on. He made sure to use short enough screws so they wouldn’t go through the front of the molding.
Then I used wood filler to fill the cracks between the molding.
Once the wood filler was dry, I sanded it until it was smooth. Doing all this work right next the toilet was a treat ;). I finished off by giving it a last coat of paint. Then I finished it with spray on wax that I rubbed on.
a peek inside the cabinet
One of the reasons I really wanted to buy a new vanity was that the inside of this one had no organization. So my husband built us a shelf. The left side is open for a large package of toilet paper. With everything in baskets, it feels much more organized now!
I should have taken a picture with everything in the cabinet organized. Anything is better than just throwing a bunch of junk in the bottom. Right?!
The shelf is held up with two pieces of wood drilled into the side and back. That way the shelf can slide in and out when the faucet needs to be worked on.
Ta da! Here’s the cabinet all finished up! It looks so modern in here! I can’t wait to elevate the rest of the space to work with the vanity. It was a lot of work, but it was fun to try and stay on a budget while not creating a lot of waste and making something pretty.
Alright, I had to end this post with some fun before and after images! Doesn’t it look so much better?! Keep checking back for more DIYs in here! A new medicine cabinet and floating shelves are on the agenda.
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Y’all did a great job!
[email protected] says
Thank you Panda, I appreciate it!
I not only love the texture, but that color!!! Looks amazing!
Ashley Wilson says
Thanks Pamela! It feels like a huge upgrade 😍
What a great idea for giving an old vanity a facelift. The fluted molding is such a great look and I love the color too.
Ashley Wilson says
Thanks Marie! Isn’t the blue fun?😍