Sunday, April 21, 2013

Filing Cabinet Makeover

With me not working, I have found plenty of time to work on some awesome projects. Derrick and I have been using a plastic bin that slides under our bed for all our files. I have been dealing with insurance drama for a few weeks now, and it's awful to look for important paperwork. I know it's in the bin, but WHERE in it? So, I started looking on craigslist for a cheap filing cabinet. All of the cabinets on there ranged from $50-$100. I am not spending that on a ugly filing cabinet. I kept checking back everyday until I found what I was looking for. I finally found the perfect funky filing cabinet for $5!!!

I found an idea on pinterest to make this look like a piece of furniture. If you know me, you know I love shabby chic antique furniture. We needed a filing cabinet AND an endtable so why not create both?

I ventured off to Lowe's and picked up the paint, feet, and trim.

Then I went to Hobby Lobby, to find the awesome knobs (which were 50% off), Mod Podge (I used my 40% off coupon), the $2.99 sponge brush set, and the prettiest scrapbook paper. I found paintable wallaper at Lowe's but they wanted $20 for a roll. I didn't need but 2 feet of the paper so I either had to find something else to put that paper on or find another option.
I scrubbed the cabinet with Mean Grean, sprayed WD-40 on all the sliding parts, got Dustin to beat the lock out with a screwdriver, and removed the knobs. I painted the cabinet with spray paint at first--bad idea. It left swirly marks and just wouldn't cover the cabinet like I wanted without using 10 cans. Then I used a regular paintbrush--another bad idea. It left bristle marks all over the cabinet. Louie and I used spray adhesive to put the scrapbook paper on--bad idea. It left ugly bubbles (see below) and started peeling up on the ends. I decided to use the Mod Podge which was amazingggg. I pulled back what I could and restuck it while smoothing all of the bubbles out with a glove on. Since the paper was textured, I painted it lightly to match.
Once everything dried, we had to drill holes in the bottom to attach the feet with nuts, then had to drill new holes for the knobs because they weren't exactly as big as the original knob holes. I then painted the trim and had Derrick's dad cut it for me. The trim was probably the quickest part of this whole process.

So now I have a fully functionable filing cabinet/endtable that is super fabulous for less than $50 bucks!


  1. Super cute! How did you attach the trim? I'm working on a desk using 2 metal file cabinets and want to trim the doors and the outer sides of the cabinets. Thank you!

  2. WOW, this really looks great! I need a few file cabinets in the office, but uhg! who wants them in there. I will definitely be using this idea!

  3. I love this and what a great idea for my craft / sewing room! Right now I have our ugly cabinet stashed in the closet, not to be seen! The only different thing I would do would be to keep the lock on so that I could keep it locked. Thanks for a great idea!

  4. Awesome! Super big thanks for sharing what didn't work and what did. I just picked up an junky cabinet off an exchange. Your work has inspired me!

  5. How did you attach the trim? I am in the process of fixing up a pair of filing cabinets, one of which is currently Pepto Bismol pink, and the other is black.

    I want to repaint them a silvery gray and add vintage drawer pulls, but that frame is stumping me.

    Any suggestions for the epoxy?