Filing Cabinet Makeover

EXCITING NEWS! In 2.5 weeks we will officially be home owners! 

What does that mean? It means redecorating galore! After all the most important thing about buying a new home is figuring out a new decorating plan right? (OK, maybe not…)

So my fiance and I have nailed down the color schemes for all the bedrooms, the office, basement, and upstairs bathroom. The kitchen, dining room, downstairs bathroom, and living room are still in decor limbo. Since we have the rooms somewhat picked out I set to work. First up is the office! Currently my office is maroon and cream with huge wooden desks/tables/crap. Given the opportunity to start fresh (like with a new house) I wanted to go for a more clean lined modern look. Three tone color scheme with clean lines. We decided on a grey/teal/white color set up.

Some Pinspiration that got us there:

So knowing what I had to work with I went out and got the paint swatches we needed to stock up on project supplies. The first thing I really wanted to tackle what this hideous filing cabinet I had kicking around. It is that oh-so-attractive putty color that is so popular for filing cabinet. It was gifted to me by my dad and had been living in his shop for quite some time. I needed the cabinet but could have done without the quart of grease on it.

before filecabinet

Anyway, STEP ONE gather supplies!
Headed over to Joann Fabrics since I had a coupon and stocked up on the colors I would need. Encountered my first problem. There was no attractive flat grey paint. It was all metallic or stone finish. So I just loaded up on the blue that matched the swatch, primer, and white semi-gloss. Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover spray paint in Satin Aqua matched the blue perfectly. Side Note: Halfway through the next project I ran out of this paint and had to get more. I decided to check Home Depot first and they have Rustoleum spray paint for $4 cheaper than Joann’s, I was not a happy camper but at least my first round of paint was with a coupon. 

STEP TWO: Laid the supplies out and covered my work space (driveway) with a drop cloth. Scrubbed down the inside and outside of the cabinets with strong cleaner. Removed the handles from the drawers and scrubbed again.

STEP THREE: Sand the crap out of it! I sanded anything I could reach and double sanded the areas that were rusting slightly (mostly the corners). There were some stickers stuck here and there so I made sure to sand those down. Don’t skip this step – the sanding helps the paint stick better. After all the sanding was complete (don’t over-analyze, it took like 10 minutes tops) then wipe down the entire cabinet again with a wet cloth. Let it dry completely before the next step.

STEP FOUR: Prime it! Even with the double coverage paint I still wanted to prime the metal. After all, the primer will pretty much guarantee that your paint color is going to stick. It also gives you a nice even base to work off of. Just be sure to let the primer dry for at least an hour before painting over it.

primed primed2

STEP FIVE: PAINT! Lay down an even coat of spray paint. Be sure to stay far enough away that the paint won’t pool in awkward puddles on the cabinet. If you get to close you will see it. Paint a nice even coat and then wait 5 minutes. Paint a second even coat, don’t be tempted to only cover the spaces you missed. Just go over the whole thing again. Make sure you look at the edges and cover any cracks completely. There is also a small bar that usually separates each drawer. Don’t be like me and forget to paint that part! You can see it when you put the drawers back in.


STEP SIX: Let it dry. It will be dry enough to handle in about an hour or so (depending on the paint you use and the humidity). For safety sake I left it out overnight. Then you slide the drawers back into place and viola!

Beautiful New Filing Cabinet!

finished finished1



4 thoughts on “Filing Cabinet Makeover

  1. callmeclevervintagegoods August 9, 2013 / 11:31 pm

    Well this turned out very nice indeed! My up cycle was def easier because I WANTED rust to show through 🙂

  2. Angela @ August 11, 2013 / 6:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing my blog on how to decorate with turquoise & aqua! Your file cabinets look great! I love the bright colored makeovers these get.

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