My kids use the bath tub and water spills over almost everyday. I noticed that the bottom part of the side of the vanity is damaged with water. The water at times, goes beneath and I find the nearby wood affected mildly.

My question is .. how do I fix this ? And protect this from further damage ? Do I scrape and then paint ? Or cover with wood ?

Replacing the vanity is fine with me. But looks like it comes with a layer on top which extends all the way. I did not find similar stuff on sale. Overall the vanity is in decent condition and I would like to keep it, instead of buying a new one.

I really appreciate you reading this. Thank you once again.

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  • 1
    Once the cheap plywood gets wet like that, don't think you'll ever get it looking like new again where it won't bubble. If you could get it dry you could paint it, caulk along the bottom, etc. However, I would be putting in sliding doors on the tub to keep the water where it is supposed to be before fixing something that will continue to be a problem. A curtain won't be enough with small boys. ;)
    – topshot
    Sep 27, 2016 at 11:11
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    Your issue goes beyond the vanity. Water is doing similar damage to your subfloor as well. Seems like a shift in expectations among your children is in order.
    – isherwood
    Sep 27, 2016 at 14:55

4 Answers 4


This looks like birch faced plywood not cheap. You may be able to lightly sand the surface to remove much of the discoloration. I would paint it after cleaning it up and use a latex calking at the floor to seal it so water will not wick up the wood. don't get two aggressive with the sanding because this is a very thin veneer.


personally, you look like you need a new bathroom. the tiles and wall are showing their age and the vanity is dated. i am not talking about its fashionability, but its ability to resist water and fungal infiltration. once the grout lets stuff in, and the paint lets stuff through, and the mold starts, its just an uphill battle - like keeping an old clunker car on the road.

as to the vanity, its going to cost you more to repair it (in labour) than to just replace it. just make sure you get one with legs to lift it up off of the floor and make sure you do something at the tub like glass doors or a partition glass panel to stop the water getting out. you should also paint your baseboards with 10 coats of good quality paint and caulk the tile to baseboard transition. i would suspect that water is damaging much more than you can see all around the wall/floor junction.

you also have mold starting, but its pretty mild so far. you need to liberally apply bleach to all surfaces asap to kill it and stop it from spreading and doing more damage.

  • I would use hydrogen peroxide it doesn't stink like bleach and kills mold the same if not better without the damage that bleach can cause.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 27, 2016 at 22:44
  • @edbeal - i disagree. and so does science. hydrogen peroxide is nowhere near the same level of biocide and/or fungicide compared to sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient in bleach). granted bleach is more smelly and damaging, but if the goal is to kill the mold (you know, the dangerous thing), bleach does a better job. however, hydrogen peroxide is great at one thing that bleach wont touch - removing uric acid discoloration from urine staining on granite and marble. Sep 28, 2016 at 3:27
  • Hospitals use hydrogen peroxide because it is a better fungicide with less damaging effects. as far as stains 5% hydrogen peroxide will strip the color of most organics. the advantage of hydrogen peroxide to bleach is that if there are other cleaning agents you don't end up with chlorine gas that can be lethal. I worked at a hospital in the late 90's for 2 years and used to think as you do but after being trained and educated by doctors and nurses learned this.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:20
  • @edbeal - you are conflating different issues. my comments were specifically to the issue of how to kill the mold and prevent damage. you are outright wrong as to which one is the better fungicide. i have a degree in chemical engineering that says so. as to the accidental synthesis of unexpected compounds by the home cleaner/chemist, not my problem. i only suggested bleach - not a cocktail of other compounds. as to stripping the colours of organics ( i can only assume you mean organic materials as opposed to organic compounds), who cares? the whole thing would need refinishing. Sep 29, 2016 at 3:24

Install vanity, caulk bottom all away around, wrap vinyl baseboard all away around bottom of vanity, and install inexpensive ceramic tile w/grout on both sides of vanity. Investing in a small (mini) dehumidifier is a great idea for any room in your house, especially a bathroom, this should take care of any mold formation!

  • Oh, clear Flex seal may also do the job of keeping moisture off your bathroom vanity. Also, good practice to have a routine of wiping down your bathroom walls and floors after each use. 😉
    – Fani
    Jun 12, 2017 at 21:55

As regards mold, it depends on your constraints. If you need the job done quickly there are mold sprays; which are usually something with a lot of sodium hypochlorite. If you have bleach you can use that, but will probably need to go over it a few times.

If you're leery of using bleach where your kids spend time, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide will do.

For my own bath, I created a high lip from plastic trim sealed down with caulk to stop better part of the water from sloshing over the edge.

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