I want to make my bathroom look more updated. It is very small & the vanity is golden oak. I can't afford to replace it right now, so I was thinking I might paint it or possibly stain it a dark cherry color or maybe black. Is that a bad idea or do you have any suggestions??? My woodwork is painted white so do you think that will clash or look ok? Will I have to sand the vanity before I stain it or can I just stain over top of it? Thank you!
If the vanity is indeed oak, why paint it? How bout a light sanding & a fresh coat of polyurethane or a clear coat that was used originally. If it's really looking dingy, you're gonna have to sand, remove dust, prime with an oil-based bonding primer, sand again, and apply two coats of finish. That's a lot of work.....you may be well ahead to just buy the new vanity in my opinion.
if you want to stain it, the easiest thing to do might be a light sanding and coat it with a darker minwax polyshade color - you can't go lighter without a LOT more sanding... Polyshades is basically a colored poly.
If you want to paint, prime with a bonding primer - water based fresh start, aqua lock, 1-2-3 are all good - then top coat with a quality paint made for cabinets - cabinet coat, ben moore satin impervo, advance, all good.