Oct 6, 2013

DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover

Back in April, my employer sent out an email that they were selling old filing cabinets for $5 each.  Can you believe it??  What a bargain!  I signed up for 3 of them.


They're all the HON brand.  Expensive if bought new.  (Ask me how I know...) There are a couple of small dents and a few stuck on labels.  Aside from that, they're in great condition.  The brown ones are older and need hanging file folder racks.  Racks came in all the drawers as well as all these hanging files:


Of course, I couldn't let them be mismatched like that.  I decided to paint them.  I wanted to do them in the green I did my scissor display rack, 2-drawer cabinet and display/storage shelf.  When I went to the home improvement store, I found that they no longer have that color.  Boo.  After mulling over the many choices, I finally decided on a color.

The first step in my filing cabinet makeover involved removing all the hardware.




Then all sticker labels were removed.  Goo Gone works great to get rid of any sticky residue.  With the help of a palm sander, I sanded the entire thing with a fine grit sandpaper -- 220 or 320 grit.  This can be done by hand, but a sander makes the task go much faster.

 
The sanded cabinet is not a pretty sight:

 
I had the "brilliant" idea to do this in my dining room.  Probably not the best idea I had.  After doing the first cabinet, I decided to move this project to the basement where I continued to sand the drawer fronts.  I didn't plan on painting the sides or insides so I didn't sand those.

 
After sanding, I wiped everything down with water mixed with a bit of TSP. It's a good idea to wipe it down several times to make sure all the dust is wiped off.
 
Next came primering and painting.  I used about a can and a half primer and 2-3 cans of paint.  The spray can trigger is invaluable!  I don't do any painting projects without it.
 
 
Spray Painting Tips:
•  Choose a well-ventilated location and use a respirator!  The basement probably isn't the best place but I did open the windows and used a respirator (most of the time).  Having a fan running helps, too.
•  Protect from overspray. When doing a large project like a filing cabinet, there will be a LOT of paint dust.  Put down newspaper to protect floors/concrete and cover anything you don't want covered in paint dust or overspray.
•  Read the directions on the can for the proper spraying distance and drying times.  Be sure to shake the can well!  If you don't, the can will spit paint instead of spraying.  That said... before painting your project, test the spray paint.  Practice spray on something else.
•  It's better to apply multiple thin coats in a sweeping motion, letting each coat dry before doing the next.  Begin and end each coat off the edges of the project.  Completing one coat over the entire project will give you more consistent color and finish.  Take your time... it's not a race.
 
Here's my primered cabinet:
 
 
Before primering and painting the drawers, I used newspaper and painters tape to cover the parts I wasn't going to paint.  Since I couldn't remove the thumb buttons, I taped those, too.  
 
 
Once the primer dried, I used the paint.  Spray painting a large project takes a bit more finesse, but if you take your time it will turn out great.
 
Being proactive, I wanted to protect my hardwood floors should I ever want to move my filing cabinets around. 

 
Super Sliders to the rescue!  With a bit of adhesive, I permanently attached the Super Sliders to the bottom of each filing cabinet. 

 
After letting the adhesive dry, it was only a matter of putting the hardware back on and putting the drawers in the cabinets. Finally, I ended up with matching cabinets.
 
 
In case you're wondering what color I chose for the cabinets.  It's called "Lagoon" by Rustoleum.
 
 
Don't they look awesome!?! 
 
 
 
Until next time,

 
 
 
 
 Linked to:
 

52 comments:

Carm said...

Wow, nice job. Wish I had some.

Anonymous said...

That's really pretty. Lots of work there! Have fun organizing!

Christine - nannystitch

Schulz Family said...

visiting from sew many ways. This is awesome. YOu must be thrilled

Anonymous said...

What a great job your did on your DIY project!!!

You should be really pleased. They look super.

HUGS, Dee in TN

Mouse said...

oooooooooooooooo love them ... I have a wood filing cabinet for all ? my stash charts that are kitted up or waiting to be :) love mouse xxxx

Faith... said...

The cabinets look awesome!

Denise SA said...

Beautiful and what a bargain

Carol R said...

Great makeover Meari! Now you need more charts/patterns to fill all those drawers ;-)

Steph @ Crafting in the Rain said...

Looks awesome--love the paint and how you put them together!

Anonymous said...

You did a great job on bringing those file cabinets to life. I never knew they could look so pretty!

Tobie in So. Cal.

Ruth said...

Great job. They look fantastic. Ruthie

Lonneke said...

O wow! They are so nice! Excellent job.

Anonymous said...

What a great job; they look terrific!

Linda M
Morristown, NJ

Donna Pheneger said...

Beautiful work! You're hired! LOL! Congrats on a job well done! And what a relief to have it done!

Berly said...

They look fabulous!! Congrats!

connie said...

Wow Meari you did an awesome job..

Vickie said...

Cool! Good for you. Hard work really paid off.

Kay said...

Meari, you did a wonderful job! You are so very talented!!

Melody said...

What a nice job you did! They look great. I'm not sure I have the patience for a job like this. But, what wonderful results!

Anonymous said...

The file cabinets turned out beautifully Meari!

Karin in MA

Vicky L said...

WOW! You did a fantastic job! So much work but so worth the effort. I kind want to go buy a file cabinet and do my own colors, lol. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the blue and white! very nice!

Lynn

Patti-Rocky Mtn Stitcher said...

OMG what a great job! You are so clever.

Sue said...

YOU are in the wrong business dear daughter! LOL.....I think you need to have your own 'spot' on the cable show DIY......just my biased opinion!! LOL.....

You did a fabulous job Meari; I am so envious of all your talents! I love the way they turned out; love the blue trim.

Can't wait until the 16th!!!!! It will be Chicken Pot Pie for dinner the first night! Laura is bringing the pot pie! (with biscuits on top) UMMMMM!

Hugs,
Sue your SM

Anonymous said...

You are so cleaver & talented. i would never have the patience for it.

Great job!

Diana-Indiana

Pam in IL said...

Clever and pretty! Well worth the small price tag and your elbow grease.

Carolyn said...

Meari,
You did an awesome job! You always inspire me! Love those cabinets!

:)

Anonymous said...

What an ambitious project, it looks great.

Emily in NC

SueH said...

Wow!
You’ve done an amazing job on those Meari., they don’t look like the same cabinets. Loving the colours you’ve chosen too!
Happy Stitching!
Sue
x

Anonymous said...

Awesome Meari!

Jennifer M

Anonymous said...

Great idea. They turned out gorgeous!

Debi

Karen said...

WoW! These turned out fantastic! I loved reading through all of your tips about painting with spray paint.

Anonymous said...

Meari

You have made wonderful work with them

Tinna

Val @ Home Made Modern said...

These look awesome! Pinning!

Akila said...

What a bargain!! Love the colors you chose. Happy organizing :)

Anonymous said...

I think you did a great job on the filing cabinets.

Marl

Dani - tkdchick said...

Beautiful job!!!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Those look awesome!

Irene said...

Very nice! Brilliant job.

Carol said...

Wow--they look fantatic, Meari! Makes me wish I had saved my dad's old filing cabinets that we sold last year at the estate sale!!

Victoria Gable said...

Great Job! I have a two drawer cabinet I want to fix. Problem is my son leaned on the top and bent it. I was able to bend it back for the most part so I'm going to have to do a little more magic. I've decided to cover it. I want to get a butcher block top and then cover and bat some foamboard to the sides and front and get new handles. Wish me luck ol

Anonymous said...

You would never know that they were refurbished, other than the color combination is just stunning! That is what I would call a deal and ½.

Raymond Skogland

Anonymous said...

Meari
What a great job you did refinishing the cabinets! Looks so clean and updated. Great organizational system!

--Bea--

Fay and Charlette said...

wow, they are very modern and cool. Great job, as always!

shebafudge said...

They look amazing! You would never think they were so boring to start with :)

Anonymous said...

Great make over Meari, they look awesome.

Deb

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Wonderful makeover, they do indeed look awesome and much cooler than any cabinets that you can buy :)

Anonymous said...

Love your DYI project and you are my favorite bargin-ista!

WTG Meari!

-Mare

Alberta said...

Meari, your hard work has paid off in spades. That is a lovely bank of colourful file cabinets.
Well done!

Gail Wilson said...

LOVE the filing cabinets in the two-toned color Meari!

Pinning!

gail

glenda said...

Fabulous!

Angela Conklin said...

Your file cabinets look fantastic. I was looking for ideas to redo my own and came across yours. Thank you so much for sharing how you did them.