Trifold Vanity Transformation ~ A Makeover to See

Maybe you don’t know this, but all sorts of furniture enters my shop, and most often gets a makeover of some sort, but I rarely have time to make a blog post for each one. This particular piece is a favorite of mine because of its gorgeous stature. Enter in this trifold vanity (or dressing table) found at a local garage sale for $40 with this chest of drawers and this dresser.

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

It wasn’t in too bad of shape structurally and was only missing a matching bench. I found the one pictured here at another garage sale for $3. I love a good find! (tee hee hee) The top had been worn pretty good with chemical stains, but was no major damage to note that couldn’t be repaired with a little wood putty and sanding.

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

Those fine details are what drew me into this piece (not to mention that gorgeous tri-fold mirror!)

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

The bench I found was a little wobbly and a bit of glue was all it needed to give it new life. But, first I needed to take off all those layers of upholstery.  I always like to ask my kids which one is there favorite…how about you?

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

After a coat of stain blocking primer I used my favorite antique white paint. To accentuate those details that I loved, I added some accents of Modern Masters Warm Silver Metallic Paint and Folk Art Pearlescent White.

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

Once the painting and hand-rubbed wax topcoat was done, I added new upholstery to the bench.

I found this remnant piece in the clearance bin at JoAnn’s and have used it several times…it’s sooo gorgeous!! It reminds me of the summertime Queen Anne’s Lace flower.

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

Are you ready?? Here she is all dolled up and ready to go.

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

I keep telling myself that one day I will keep one of these for myself when I have the space to put it in my bedroom. sigh…

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

Those details make me swoon! Must find one for me…a girl can dream, right?

Do pin and share to inspire others to look past wear and tear too. This trifold vanity was meant to shine.

An Antique Trifold Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces |
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More transformations like this antique trifold vanity:
Restoration of an Antique Side Table by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesA Worn Out Art Deco Dressing Table Gets Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

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  • ARod

    wow what an awesome find and great job on the transformation

    April 20, 2015 at 8:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, a fun find for sure! I was so excited to get to work on another tri-fold mirror vanity. Thank you for your kind words!

      April 20, 2015 at 9:11 am Reply
      • Jackeline

        I have always dreamed of owning a vanity like this. I have yet to find one especially like the after shot. Love love. If you sell your pieces, please let me know pricing. Thanks!!

        January 17, 2016 at 3:18 pm Reply
        • Larissa

          Thank you, Jackeline. I have dreamed of owning one too! Ha! I have no room for one in our 3 bedroom home with 8 people living in it. Maybe one day. I do sell most of my work and do take custom orders. Send me an email and we can chat. 😉 [email protected]

          January 18, 2016 at 5:37 am Reply
      • Olga

        Hi Larissa,

        Did you use stain remover necessary? before the primer…I have a similar piece i want to do like this.

        June 5, 2016 at 4:10 am Reply
        • Larissa

          I had to use a bit of Kilz stain bocker, but other than that, it was good to go.

          June 5, 2016 at 7:27 am Reply

        Do you think you could transform to a bathroom vanity with a sink?

        February 7, 2017 at 9:40 pm Reply
        • Larissa

          Probably. It would depend on your plumbing setup.

          February 8, 2017 at 5:10 am Reply
    • Melissa Mcatee

      How much is that trifold vanity really worth?

      September 13, 2016 at 8:56 am Reply
  • Gilly @ Colour Saturated Life

    Looks stunning! Wish I could find a piece this beautiful to transform!

    April 20, 2015 at 8:20 am Reply
  • Ellen Braunberger

    Love this piece! The layers of fabric on the bench sure tell a story!

    April 20, 2015 at 9:36 am Reply
  • [email protected] Interior Frugalista

    Beautiful makeover Larissa. I like your idea of adding metallic paint to the details instead of dark wax – perfect for a vanity. I would imagine it’ll be hard to let this one go because it would look so good in your new master bedroom.

    April 20, 2015 at 11:01 am Reply
  • kim


    April 20, 2015 at 10:44 pm Reply
  • Cindy

    coukd you please share what brand of hand-rubbed wax you used for this piece??? thank you so much!! Absolutely gorgeous!!!

    June 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Certainly, Cindy. 🙂 For now I’m using my Minwax Paste wax, which works well, but I’ll be making my own when I run out.

      June 14, 2015 at 9:53 pm Reply
  • Christina

    Wow. This turned out gorgeous. I love how it is feminine but in an understated way. I could easily fit it into my bedroom decor without my husband cringing. Great job!

    August 28, 2015 at 9:22 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Christina, that’s exactly what I was going for. 😀

      August 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm Reply
  • Vicki's Vintage (facebook)

    Wow, thanks for the inspiration! I just found a similar one, unfortunately, without the stool.

    September 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Those are hard to come by, and I grab them when I can. You still got a gem!

      September 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm Reply
  • Lynn

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. Seriously did NOT ruin it!!!

    September 3, 2015 at 5:38 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Lynn!

      September 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm Reply
  • Jane Teyler

    I love the color you chose, yellow and grey is a soft accent with this piece. Just beautiful!!!

    September 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      The fabric reminded me of Queen Anne’s lace…so sweet. Thank you!

      September 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm Reply
  • Sand Toler

    Beyond beautiful! You did a great job.

    September 3, 2015 at 6:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I have addiction to trifold vanities…so fun!

      September 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm Reply
  • Linda

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love what you do!

    September 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Linda! It was a beauty in the making.

      September 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm Reply
  • Mindy Mark

    The vanity is a beautiful piece. If I found it myself, I would have taken it to a refinisher and had him refinish it to it’s a original state. I think the vanity is nice in white too but just love wood better.

    September 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, if it didn’t have the chemical stains burned into the veneer. I would have done the same, but done it myself. 😉

      September 3, 2015 at 10:22 pm Reply
  • Chrissy

    This is beautiful! Great choice in colors!

    September 3, 2015 at 8:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Chrissy!

      September 3, 2015 at 10:21 pm Reply
  • Donna Marine

    Larissa, please don’t give those negative comments any thought. All you can say is, “bless their heart!” Keep on doing what you are doing.

    September 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      No worries…already deleted on Pinterest and in my brain. Just bugs me people are thoughtless at times. Thank you!

      September 3, 2015 at 10:20 pm Reply
  • Jana

    As much as I love wood, painting this piece has brought out it’s charm. I haven’t seen anything you have done that I didn’t like. Keep your heart filled with the good messages and just pass on the bad.

    September 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm Reply
  • Leslie P

    Well I just love it. It’s a beautiful piece before and after you just gave it some character by softening the edges. Great job.!

    September 3, 2015 at 11:27 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Leslie. It had staining from some sort of spill to the top surface and they were killer to hide, but I’m pleased with how it came out and so is the new owner.

      September 4, 2015 at 5:31 am Reply
  • Millie

    Great job!!!!

    September 4, 2015 at 9:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Millie!

      September 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm Reply
  • Mary Lea

    Now that is absolutely spot-on!! A new family heirloom for some lucky gal!!

    September 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Mary Lea. Yes, the new owner bought it for her daughter and they are all delighted.

      September 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    Beautiful! I am just getting into refinishing and repurposing furniture as a business. I’ve done several pieces for myself and some for family over the years, but I have never done any to sell. I have searched the Web for days on end looking for this kind of deal and so far, everything is way too expensive. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen where a blogger or another individual who has posted their work on gorgeous pieces that they had found at a steal, such as you have here. I’m really starting to wonder, do you (and others) spend hours and hours searching for that super deal, like I do?

    I realize that once you’ve been doing it for a good amount of time, you establish a network and you have found the best local people and places to find pieces. But, what was it like for you when you first started? Can you possibly give me a few tips and advice for getting started?

    If you prefer to email me, or if any of your readers would like to share your experience with me, I would love that! I have the drive, and the passion to pursue this, but I feel like I have so much to learn from others who have been at it longer. I’m sorry this has turned into a novel, and I certainly don’t want to take away from the focus of your post. Please feel free to remove it if this is not the place. But, I would love to hear about your journey. My email is [email protected].

    Thank you 🙂

    September 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I’d love to chat with you, Lisa. Sometimes, it’s a hunt, but often they find me. 😀 I tend to make “rounds” and sometimes there’s a piece to be found and sometimes not. Lately, I only look when I need to. After having a stash for so long, I am finding less happiness in the clutter and feel pressure to go, go, go. Now, I only bring home what I’m going to work on and accept free or super-stupid-to-pass-up deals. 😀 Craigslist is a wealth of possibilites if you have the time to check every day. Hope this helps!

      September 5, 2015 at 4:37 pm Reply
  • Mary

    Looks a 1000 times better!
    Great make over

    January 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for the love! 🙂

      January 18, 2016 at 5:53 am Reply
  • Zona

    Beautiful!!! Let the haters hate.

    January 16, 2016 at 2:44 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Amen. Thanks for the love, Zona!

      January 18, 2016 at 5:44 am Reply
  • Samantha

    Gorgeous! Love it!! Paint was a great choice!

    January 17, 2016 at 1:43 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for saying so. I am happy with it and so is the new owner – that’s what counts. 😉

      January 18, 2016 at 5:41 am Reply
  • Lory


    January 17, 2016 at 1:44 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s awesome to hear. Thank you, Lory!

      January 18, 2016 at 5:40 am Reply
  • Jeanine Crane


    January 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm Reply
  • Terri

    So lovely. I am sorry someone was thoughtless and unkind…clearly a wood purist. Sometimes, I too, prefer wood but that is not always the possible path. You made this old girl pretty again. Good job!

    January 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Terri. 🙂 Funny thing is most of my own personal furniture is in a time-worn state and I rarely paint unless need to. This vanity needed a refreshing in order to sell, which it did. The new owner loves it and that’s what counts. I just let that one person get under my skin that day. Ah well…on to the next piece!

      January 18, 2016 at 5:40 am Reply
  • Kyla Wootton

    I love the after. You gave a new life into a tired looking piece. It can go on now and bring joy to whom ever purchases it.

    January 17, 2016 at 2:40 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for saying so, Kyla. Yes, it was purchased quickly and the new owner more than loves it. That’s all that really matters, right? 😉

      January 18, 2016 at 5:38 am Reply
  • Kim @ Hunt & Host

    So subtle and tasteful in every way! Love the little touches you do!

    January 17, 2016 at 11:16 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Kim! I have fun doing what I do and am blessed.

      January 18, 2016 at 5:33 am Reply
  • Denise

    I have the trip fold mirror vanity that my great grandmother gave to me when I was a very tiny little girl…. it’s been stored in this shed and that shed over the years, until now…. I pulled it out over the weekend and plan to give it, it’s much needed and deserved transformation. I don’t even care that I don’t have room for it…. I have wanted to do it for years… something else will have to go to make room for it, it has a right to be displayed in the home… ha ha ha ha! I can’t wait and I hope mine looks at least half as good as yours when I am done!!!

    January 26, 2016 at 5:09 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Oh goodness, I soooo know what you mean! It does deserve to shine and I think your work will be a blessing. Share when you’re done! 😀

      January 28, 2016 at 9:39 am Reply
  • Jo

    Larissa, I have the EXACT same dressing table it was my grandmothers and am going to do the same antique white — I want to send you a picture of it and some other of her pieces to see if you have any ideas, could I do that? I am a beginner so wish me luck!

    January 26, 2016 at 4:24 pm Reply
  • Tamia

    Are these pieces for sale? I’m trying to locate at least 6 vintage vanities. They don’t have to be oversized but a decent size would be nice. Please contact me if anyone happens to spot one for $500 or less. I live in Missouri and would need to have the item shipped. I don’t necessarily need the bench but it would be nice to have.

    I personally like the original wood but the restorations look nice also.

    Thank You,

    March 24, 2016 at 11:30 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Tamia! Could you email me at [email protected] and we can “talk”. Thanks!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:48 am Reply
    • Melissa Mcatee

      I have the exact trifold vanity. I am wanting to sale. Needs cleaned up been stored away for several years is similar to the original wood trifold vanity picture . Has less surface damage though. But I live in West virginia. I had sold several other antiques that was put into my storage over the years. May still have other antiques too not sure yet have not looked threw everything.. but I love what u did to the vanity very pretty

      September 13, 2016 at 9:14 am Reply
      • Larissa

        I got your email, Melissa, and will respond when I can. Thanks!

        September 13, 2016 at 10:59 am Reply
  • Erin Ropelato

    Larissa- I just ran across your site because I am looking to paint my daughter’s cherry wood transitional crib white for her full size bed. Did you sand this piece before painting? My crib is in good condition (without many nicks or scratches. I read you painted it with stain block primer and then your paint. Is that all you needed to do? Sorry, I am very new at this! Your vanity turned out beautiful!

    March 29, 2016 at 4:47 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay!! So happy to have you, Erin! The only reason I primed was because the wood had a cherry/mahogany stain which will bleed right through white paint. Otherwise, I would only have lightly sanded to give it tooth and painted away. Making sure your surface is clean and prepped is the most important. May I suggest you use a sprayer? If there are spindles or rails at all it would be soooo much easier. Check it out here: Feel free to email with questions! 😀

      March 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm Reply
  • Carol

    Hi Larissa, I have a piece just like this. It was my grandmothers, so it is a definite antique. It’s a darker cherry wood right now. My question is, does it take away from the authenticity of being an antique by altering the color? I don’t plan on selling it at all, so I guess changing it should not matter. I really love what you did, making it white and I’m thinking I might go that way! Love all your finds and creativity!

    August 19, 2016 at 9:59 am Reply
    • Larissa

      If it is in good condition you can devalue it by painting. You could always check with a local antique dealer to make sure. Otherwise, it’s yours and do what you want that makes your heart happy. 😉 Thank you for the love!

      August 20, 2016 at 7:08 am Reply
  • Kathy

    You do such beautiful work !
    You mention you use your favorite antique white paint.
    Would you tell us what it is ?
    I will paint a bedśide table and chest soon and I have been looking at paint chips.
    Goodness, seems like there’s hundreds to choose from.
    I have bright white ceiling and Revere Pewter on new sheetrocked walls in our bedroom with white trim on doors and windows.
    Thanks for all your inspiration.

    January 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for the sweet words, Kathy. I thought I mentioned it, but it is Antique White by Behr that I mix using a Glidden flat. Hope that makes sense. 🙂

      January 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm Reply
  • Anjel

    Hello. Did you do anything with the mirror? I bought a vintage vanity and the mirror has dark spots and streaks that can’t seem to go away with anything I’ve been using. Any help would be appreciated! And well done on this transformation!

    May 28, 2017 at 12:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I left it as is as many clients love the original mirror even if it has mottling and flecking. It adds to that time-worn wear and value of the piece. Hope that helps! 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 6:43 am Reply
  • L. Johnson

    way cool. I had one of these vanities as a child, the little bench kept my dolls when I didn’t have time
    to put them away properly.

    September 11, 2019 at 10:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      They can be such historic pieces in families. So fun to have.

      September 12, 2019 at 4:28 am Reply

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