Replace a Worn, Scratched and Decades-old Bathroom Sink, Updating the Counter, Light Fixture, and Mirror to Complete the Makeover

Replace the sink, countertop, and light fixture to bring your bathroom decor into the 21st Century after four decades of service. Removing the mirror lets us install a molded acrylic countertop, porcelain enamel sink and elegant faucets. After reinstalling the mirror and dressing its damaged edges with molding, wiring the new light fixture brightens the bathroom with more light.

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removing wire nuts on the light fixture wiring
Step 1

Disconnect the Old Light Fixture and Remove the Mirror

Remove the old light fixture and mirror from the wall. First disable the electrical circuit that powers the light, then slip the light's face plate off its bracket and loosen the wire nuts that connect the electrical wires.

loosening the drainpipe nuts to remove the P-trap
Step 2

Detach the Sink, Plumbing, and Water Supply

Remove the sink and plumbing. Unscrew the drainpipe nut and remove the P-trap. Place a container beneath it to catch any residual water. Disconnect the water supply. Emptying and removing the cabinet drawers makes this step easier.

detaching the old countertop with a pry bar and putty knife
Step 3

Remove the Countertop with a Putty Knife and Pry Bar

Detach the old countertop. Cut through paint and caulking along the backsplash with a utility knife. Use a putty knife and pry bar to loosen and remove the unit. Discard the countertop or recycle it.

taping the patch prior to coating with joint compound
Step 4

Repair Damage Caused by Countertop Removal

Repair damage to the wall. Fill holes with drywall patches, using the demonstrated trick of a glued backer-board and balloon to hold the patch in place while you cover the seams with joint compound and tape.

installing sink fixtures
Step 5

Install the Sink and Faucets before Mounting the Countertop

Install the sink in the countertop before mounting it in the bathroom. Installation is easier when you aren't lying on your back in a cramped area. Have the sink cutout and the holes for the faucets made at the factory.

positioning dowels to support the countertop
Step 6

Apply Silicon around the Upper Edge of the Base Cabinet

Run a bead of silicon along the top edge of the cabinet base. Lay two dowel rods across the open cabinet and slide the countertop over them to avoid disturbing the sealant. Remove the dowels once the countertop is positioned.

lowering the sink onto the white sealant
Step 7

Run a Bead of White Silicon around the Sink Opening

Apply a bead of while silicon around the sink opening to seal the gap between the porcelain sink and the countertop. Carefully lower the sink into position without disturbing the sealant. Remove the excess.

tapping the mirror clips into place
Step 8

Reattach the Plumbing and Remount the Mirror

Reconnect the plumbing under the sink, reinstalling the P-trap and tightening the nuts on the drainpipe. Remount the mirror by positioning it and taping the clips to hold it in place.

wiring the new light fixture
Step 9

Reconnect the Electrical Wiring and Attach the New Light Fixture

Install the new light fixture, reconnecting the wiring with wire nuts and attaching the face plate to the mounting bracket. Reactivate the electrical circuit. Paint as necessary to cover any wall repairs.

applying glue to the back of the decorative molding
Step 10

Cover Damage on the Mirror's Edge with Decorative Molding

Cut mitered wooden molding strips to cover the age damage on the mirror's edge. Apply hot melted glue to adhere the molding to the entire perimeter of the mirror and make something old look like new.


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