File Cabinet Makeover

Hey Everybody, Ashleigh here. 
Today I want to share a file cabinet makeover I completed recently.

In life, I've learned a couple things about file cabinets. They're either ugly, or expensive! And I really can't be happy with either option!

It all started when I decided I needed to be a big girl and start using a filing cabinet. I could never find things I needed when I needed them (i.e. notes, pay stubs, sketches). Having a very small budget, buying a new filing cabinet was not an option. So, of course, Mom to the rescue! I called up my mom and she said she had a spare I could have and that she’d send it down with the next person who came to visit me. She really is the best. (She might be reading this! Love you, Mom).

A few days later I received my beautiful filing cabinet.


These pictures make it a lot nicer than it actually was!

Ok, I guess beautiful isn’t the right word. Functional seems more appropriate. Yes, definitely functional. I lived with it as is for as long as I could stand. But eventually the dated finish, scuffed up hardware and mysterious red stain really started to bother me.
At the next available opportunity I took it home to work on it. I sanded it roughly all over, just enough to get the paint to stick, and gave it one coat of Kilz water based primer.


I picked out a gorgeous warm gray from the Martha Stewart paint collection at Home Depot. It’s called “Potter’s Clay.” Seriously. Swoon.

I gave it two coats and was loving the way it was turning out. But, I had a problem. To distress or not to distress? I couldn’t decide. The pristine paint job was looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself. I was this close to putting the sandpaper down, then I got real. I was going to be moving it back down to my apartment, and then probably to my next apartment, and so on and so forth. It was bound to banged up. So I hit the edges slightly and am so happy I did. It really gave interest to a piece with really simple lines.

All the while this was going on I was transforming the hardware. Originally I had wanted something different. But I was too cheap and too impatient. So instead I sprung for some Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint I had been dying to try out.        


I stuck all the screws into the top of a box so I could paint the heads and then gave the hardware a light sanding. I skipped the primer because the old can I had wouldn’t spray and honestly, it seems to be holding up just fine without it.

I took a little left over stain from a previous project and rubbed it in where I had distressed to make the wood underneath appear a little darker and to add some depth.  After looking at the finished project, I know I made the right decision.


After a coat of polycrylic and waiting patiently for everything to dry, I was finally finished!


I’m so happy with the result! It works perfectly with my space and I finally have a pretty place for all of my files! And, if you look closely I think you can sneak peeks for three other projects! I’ll fill you in on those soon!



PS: Linking this post up to Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Chic Cottage , Restore It Wednesday's over at Restore Interiors, and SNS @ Funky Junk Interiors !


Anonymous said...

Double-swoon. I really like your eye for details and your restraint. It makes for a rich, interesting aesthetic in your furnishings, fashion and clear-headed thinking. (With just enough whimsy!) Gorgeous--thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

The mysterious red stain was Hawaiian Punch. It got spilled on and in the cabinet when my room was in the dining room and I was using it as a side table. Mystery solved. Love, your sister

Anonymous said...

Really great makeover! I love how it looks so fresh yet scuffed a little. Thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

Be still my beating heart. This is beautiful. Well done.

Lisa x

Anonymous said...

That stain was a reminder best covered up and forgotten! Love you too!!

C'est Magnifique said...

I have that EXACT same filing cabinet and I was thinking of redoing it just like you've done! LOL! It's nice to see what mine will look like if I ever get around to it!

It looks great!


Pamma said...

This looks great! Moms are the best! I know, I am one.

Mimi said...

This looks great, I have been looking a my metal file cabinet thinking it needs to go, i will have to find me a wood one and do what you did now. Great job!

Amanda@RelovedRubbish said...

I love your little file cabinet! It looks so much better white!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! I'm doing a Dashboard Crawl today and linked up to this, grab a button if you'd like! :) Heather at 500dollarwedding.blogspot.com

Jackson Gaydosh said...

Giving the cabinet a distressed look gave it a certain vintage appeal, something fitting for an item that passed the test of time serving its purpose.

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