Antique Vanity with Tri-Fold Mirrors

Antique vanity painted in custom mix of Antoinette, Scandinavian, and Old White.

Today's project is one of my all-time favorites. It's a lovely antique vanity that my Aunt no longer had room for when she moved to a new home.  Before I brought it home I made sure (double-triple checked) she knew I would paint it, and she said that was fine. (Hopefully you like the new look Auntie!) It's a large piece of furniture and wouldn't fit in our SUV, so we rented a U-Haul to bring it home.

I'll include a supply list at the end of the post in case you want to create a similar look for your project.

Before & During

It's a little tricky getting photos due to the large size and the mirrors. Especially the mirrors! When I try to get a straight on shot then my reflection is smack dab in the middle. I was given some advice on better staging for overcoming the reflection issue, but I don't have the right props for it yet. I am looking for some better props, and if/when I find them I will try to retake final photos, so you may see it once again here on the blog.

Antique vanity before
Before

I invested the time to tape off the mirrors with painter's tape so I wouldn't have to spend time afterwards scraping paint off and risk damaging the mirrors.

Painter's tape used to tape off mirrors.
Painter's tape used to tape off mirrors.

The color palette I selected for this project was French Linen, Antoinette, Scandinavian Pink, and Old White.

Color palette: French Linen, Antoinette, Scandinavian Pink, and Old White.
Color palette: French Linen, Antoinette, Scandinavian Pink, and Old White.

I applied a base coat of French Linen to the base and the mirror frames. I planned to distress the final paint color and although the base coat will not be obvious, it will add some subtle undertones to the final finish.

Base coat of French Linen.
Base coat of French Linen.

For the main color, I custom mixed Antoinette, Old White, and added a dash of Scandinavian Pink. I used straight Old White on the vanity tops.

Custom mix of Antoinette, Old White, and Scandinavian Pink.
Custom mix of Antoinette, Old White, and Scandinavian Pink.

After

Once the paint was dry, I wet distressed it using a damp wash cloth and then sealed it with soft clear wax. Next I applied dark wax to further accentuate the age. I didn't like the look of the dark wax on the panels of  either side of the drawers. I felt it looked to splotchy. But I didn't want the pink too bright, so I added a little bit of dark glaze to my paint and stippled the paint-glaze mixture over the panels then re-sealed it with another coat of clear wax. It resulted in a perfectly aged appearance.

Dark wax and glaze applied over paint.
Dark wax and glaze applied over paint.

The dark wax settled nicely into the detailed areas on the trim molding.

Dark wax accentuates the age of the overall look.
Dark wax accentuates the age of the overall look.


Each side of the vanity has 3-drawers. I love the Queen Anne style legs along with the scalloped trim.

Queen Anne style legs.
Queen Anne style legs.

I considered painting the drawer pulls, but decided they worked nicely with the paint color, so I left them as-is.

Original pulls and knobs.
Original pulls and knobs.

The center mirror of the vanity is full length. The two side mirrors are on hinges and fold inwards. Perfect for checking your outfit before heading out the door!

Hinged side mirrors fold inwards.
Hinged side mirrors fold inwards.

The mirrors are original and some aging is apparent close up. However, they still retain a good reflective quality and, in my opinion, the aging only adds to the overall charm of the piece. It's difficult to capture a photo of the mirror itself, but I've given it a shot below. The aging is mostly along the top and the sides.

The mirrors have some natural aging which adds to the overall charm.
The mirrors have some natural aging which adds to the overall charm.

And here's a full-length view of the finished vanity. This vanity will make a stunning focal point and will add just the right amount of vintage charm to a bedroom.

Painted vanity with tri-fold mirrors by The Black Sheep Shoppe
Painted vanity with tri-fold mirrors by The Black Sheep Shoppe

Supply List


Below are the supplies I used for this project. Some links are affiliate links which  means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. It doesn't cost you extra, but it helps support the time and effort of maintaining the blog. Thank you for your support and understanding!

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