Well that was quick! I don’t know about you but I got the feeling Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year. You certainly can’t escape the incessant black Friday advertising, but I was hoping we’d have another week of peace before the commercial extravaganza that is Christmas was forced upon us. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the holidays, it is just the cash-grab from ever retailer in the country that rubs me the wrong way. For those of you who know me, I’ll see you out on the trail! So far the wilderness is too far for them to conquer.

If the first wave of holiday revelers is currently making their way through your home you still have some time to tidy up before Christmas. Who knows? Maybe you could even recruit some of your more industrious guests to help out. Today we’re going to tackle the bathroom cabinets or “vanity”. The beauty of this project is the size and scope. Unless you’re one of those crazy folks with more cabinets in your master bath than in the kitchen, this will be a breeze. To keep our costs down we’re just going to paint them. The difference will be profound and the return on investment is second to none.

One of the more fun painting experiences I had was painting the rooms of my house before any of the carpet and flooring went down. Being able to use a paint sprayer was efficient and fun. If you can get a sprayer for this project, I encourage it. You may be able to score a warm weekend and get all your sanding and painting done outside. Your lungs (and your family) will appreciate it. Remember you don’t have to buy one of those either. Renting a high-quality tool for this specific project is exactly what those places are for!

Since we’re on the topic of painting, it should go without saying that using quality product is critical to the success of your project. Whether you’re painting an entire room or just the vanity doors, paint quality will save you head scratching and headaches along the way. Good quality paint will cover better, drip less and just plain look better when finished than the cheap stuff. And we’re only talking a few dollars per gallon here so go ahead and splurge. Personally, I’ve always had great luck with Benjamin Moore, but do a bit of your own research and the higher quality products will start to become obvious.

I think we covered this in the kitchen cabinets article, but sanding is going to be your friend. OK, to be honest, sanding will not be your friend WHILE you’re sanding, but the two of you will make up and be best buddies once you start applying paint. You will also high-five your sanding in a year or two when the paint you applied is still happily sticking to the surface of those vanity doors. Don’t skip this step because you are running out of time or simply don’t want to. Sanding can make or break any painting project inside or out.

Unless you want this to LOOK like a DIY project, remove the doors and hardware before you get started. This accomplishes two things. It is a daily reminder to get into the garage and finish this project if your doors are missing. It is also a sure way to have your end result look much more professional. “Being able to sand the entire door and apply a clean consistent coat of paint without the hardware in place is simply sublime,” notes Badger Realty agent, Brendan Battenfelder. “Just be sure to label your doors and hardware as you take them off. That one little tip will save you loads of frustration and time when it comes time for reassembly,” he continued.

If you are lucky enough to be using a paint sprayer, give each coat a minute or two to settle before walking away to let it dry. Have a couple high-quality brushes on hand to touch up any drips before they become permanent. This also is a good step towards a professional looking finish.

Lastly, don’t stop after a single coat. You want this project to last as long as you’re in the house (or as long as you love this color!). A second coat will provide a more even, consistent finish and can even prevent dings and scratches from showing up so obviously. It’ll be a bit more work but you’re already knee-deep in this project so why not finish strong. See you at the paint store!

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