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Kid’s Bathroom Update With A Gel Stain Vanity

Have I mentioned how much I love General Finishes Gel Stain? Because I love it. I’ve already shown you how I transformed my kitchen cabinets and my staircase with it. But the very first project I did was my upstairs hall bathroom vanity. That is technically the kid’s bathroom so I figured if I screwed it up too badly then it wouldn’t really matter. I wanted to perfect my technique before tackling the kitchen cabinets. Smart, yes? I thought so too.
I don’t have many before pictures of the bathroom vanity because it’s so small that it’s nearly impossible to get a decent picture of it. You can see a small part of it in the picture below. It’s the same builder grade oak that was in my kitchen and still exists (momentarily) in my master bathroom.
Can I just tell you how tired of the green and burgundy I was? Seriously. I had not touched this bathroom in the 8 years we have lived in this house. Well I added new towels but that was it. The shower curtain, the decor, the colors….all the same. It’s okay, you can wince. I am.
I wanted something totally different, much younger to appeal to the kids but still mature because this serves a guest bathroom when we have overnight guests. I know, I don’t ask for much do I? The very first thing I changed after I stained the vanity was the yellow walls. Oh the yellow walls. They look almost cream in the pictures above but trust me, they were very yellow. I went with the same color that I used in the living room and hallways- Cafe Latte by Glidden. I found the perfect shower curtain and the room really came together from there. I’m super pleased with how it turned out and how little I spent to transform the space.


I found this absolutely perfect ticket print- I mean the colors and shapes in the print match the shower curtain like they were made as a set! Those two pieces tied in with the stamp tin I already owned. I spray painted the door hardware, shower curtain rod and curtain hooks to cut down on some of the gold. At some point I’ll spray paint the mirror frame too. I found these awesome free bathroom printables HERE and they matched the colors I needed exactly. I told you, this bathroom decor just seemed to fall right into place for me!




A big problem we have in this small bathroom is storage and clutter. I made the decision to take the kids towels out of the bathroom space. Now each kid has a different color towel that hangs on a hook inside their closet door. Bonus- if someone leaves a towel lying around I know immediately who did it! One other solution I came up with was the addition of these hanging containers to hold each child’s toothpaste and toothbrush. It’s helped so much- I haven’t had to replace anyone’s toothbrush because someone knocked it in the toilet since. That’s a win.





I am so in love with this vanity now. I hated it before, the ugly builder grade oak was just so old fashioned and outdated. The darker color really fits with the vision I have for my home. And let me tell you- this gel stain holds up when done properly. I finished the final topcoat well over 7 weeks ago and the kids have bashed it with the step stool, kicked it climbing on top of the sink, spilled nail polish remover down the front and it has not one chip or scrape in the stain!



That is a thing of beauty, my friends. This bathroom feels at least a decade younger and so much brighter. I love it. The kids feel like it’s really their space now instead of just a guest bathroom.
The Details:
Shower Curtain // Wal*Mart $14.88
Ticket Print // IKEA $10
Black frame // IKEA $4.99
3 small black frames // recycled from old family room
Hanging Rail & 4 black buckets // IKEA $7 total
TDC Before and After

Shared with Craft-o-Maniac Monday, Motivate Me Monday, Monday Funday, Made By You Monday, Make the Scene Monday, Give Me The Goods, Project Inspired, Mix It Up Monday, Show Me What Ya Got, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, From Dream to Reality, One Project At A Time, Tutorials and Tips, Tuesday Treasures, Whatever Goes Wednesday, The Inspiration Exchange, Thursdays Are Your Days, Transformation Thursday, The 36th Party, Pity Party, Link Party Palooza, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, That DIY Party, Inspire Me Please, Terrific Tuesdays, Work It Wednesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Take a Look Tuesday, Live Laugh Linky, The Weekly Creative, Wow Us Wednesday

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  • Rachael@LovelyCraftyHome

    Great makeover! Gel stain is awesome!

  • Erika Mattila

    I need to get to Ikea! LOL

    • IKEA is my happy place. It is not, however, my husband’s happy place. Haha!

  • I like this pag. To see more visite, Stain master Adrian’s Carpets – Flooring Carpet, Wood and Tile in all of Orange County California.

  • Thanks 🙂

  • rorybore

    ah, I am so envious. I hate my upstairs bathroom, which is used by the 3 kids and myself the most. DH’s downstairs bathroom was just redone; but it only have a shower, no tub.
    But upstairs – oye – the yellow of walls!!! ugh. and I am stuck with grey. GREY!!! tub, toilet, sink — whatintheactualfeck do you do with that?

    but seeing your redo – I have to give it a try. I hate it so much I want to pee in my backyard. and the neighbours already side eye when the boy does that, so….

  • Congrats! How exciting! I really love this cafe latte color. And it seems to pick up the different colors in the room and blend well. It’s my new favorite khaki color for sure!

  • I think leaving the white painted posts white will be so much easier than staining them! Those posts were the worst part of the whole stair project for sure! I definitely do recommend starting with the bathroom first, it’s easier to perfect your technique! If you have any questions or need any advice, let me know! Good luck!

  • Laura Sanders

    You have totally inspired me. I just got my gel stain and am anxious to try it out. I want to do all the oak on my stair banister/railing and leave the white painted posts white. But first I’m trying it on my guest bath – small vanity and over cabinet toilet – because those will be easier than the stair rail (I think). Great minds really do think alike!

  • That looks great! We are in the midst of remodeling at the moment since we have a new baby coming around December 13th and I so think I’m liking the cafe latte color, I just may have to steal it lol. Great job with the gel staining, I like that idea.