Faux Bamboo Vanity Makeover

It’s before and after time on the blog again!  This time I’m sharing the makeover of one of my favorite thrift store finds: a Henry Link Bali Hai faux bamboo vanity.  I blogged about the piece when I first found it when we were living in Columbia, MD (see the post here) but it’s taken me months to get to work on it.

Here is what it looked like before:

The piece was in fantastic condition, it just needed a fresh coat of paint and the hardware needed some polishing.  

I sanded the entire piece with 60 grit sandpaper to rough up the smooth top layer of paint.  I used my Dewalt orbital sander on the top and sides of the vanity, and sanded the legs and faux bamboo details by hand.  I then switched to 120 grit sandpaper to make everything nice and smooth.  I paid close attention to the faux bamboo details and the places where paint had chipped.  A piece like this is made to look smooth and chic, and nothing detracts from that look like a rough sanding job.

After I finished sanding I wiped the piece down with a wet microfiber cloth.  Microfiber is great when you’re painting because it doesn’t leave little pieces of fuzz on the furniture.  I followed up with a dry microfiber cloth.

I spray painted the piece using Rust-Oleum Universal Paint and Primer in One in White Gloss.  I applied 3 coats of paint and waited about 10 minutes between coats.  This and the satin version are my go-to spray paints and I’ve used them on multiple pieces in our home (see my campaign chest and Chinese Chippendale dining chairs makeovers).  The gloss version is shinier than the satin version so it was perfect for this piece.  I then used 2 coats of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Gloss Clear as a protective top coat.  I use a comfort grip when I apply the top coat because it makes it much more comfortable.  I really recommend getting one if your spray paint has the traditional push-button nozzle.

After I finished painting the vanity I got to work on the hardware.  There was paint on it so I heated up a pot of water on the stove (on low) and soaked the hardware in the pot on the stove for a few hours.  Then I took out each piece one by one and plunged them in a bowl of ice water.  Then I quickly pulled them out and scrubbed them with an old tooth brush.  This removed almost all of the paint and it was really easy.  Next, I polished each piece with Bar Keeper’s Friend and a soft sponge.  I like this product better than Brasso and use it whenever I need to polish brass.

Here is a photo of the hardware before I worked on it:

The top 4 pieces in this next photo have had the paint removed, and the bottom 4 pieces have had the paint removed and they have also been polished:

And here is what the vanity looks like now!

As you can see, I’m using it as our entry table rather than as a vanity…and I LOVE it!  The white paint is so crisp looking and it goes really well with the formal nature of our historic home.  It truly is amazing what a little spray paint can do!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. October 12, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    You make this look so easy- SO impressed!! Especially with Jack running around. This is perfect in your entryway 🙂

  2. October 12, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    It's so pretty! Love the hardware you chose and it looks great as an entry table!

    Southern Style

  3. October 12, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Wow! So beautiful!!

  4. October 12, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    I love how it turned out!! Gorgeous 🙂 I have a 6 drawer dresser from the same line in a the same tone but I haven't gotten around to painting it yet. It is in our guest room and it sort of suits the age of our house. The crisp white looks fantastic!
    XO, Amanda @ life on linton

  5. October 13, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    Thank you Monica! Jack certainly didn't help me any 🙂 So glad I finally got around to it though because it just ties the whole entryway all together!

  6. October 13, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Thank you Zelle! Believe it or not, this is the original hardware! I'm so glad I was able to polish them up. They look so much better all bright and shiny 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  7. October 13, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    Thank you! It's amazing what a little paint can do!

  8. October 13, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    Thanks Amanda! I bet your 6 drawer dresser is gorgeous! I've seen that piece online but never in person. I was ok with the original finish but now that it's crisp white I realize I should have painted it sooner because it just "pops" so much more now. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  9. December 28, 2016 / 1:06 am

    Wow I love what you did with the vanity! I also really love how you decorated it, with the blue and white (glass?) pieces. So cool! I feel like the way you decorated it is what really made the transformation!


  10. Helen Murphy
    September 25, 2023 / 11:42 am

    Did you just clean and polish the hardware or did you spray it gold as well?

    • September 25, 2023 / 12:17 pm

      I just polished it with Bar Keeper’s Friend (or brasso- it’s been a while so I can’t remember!)

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