Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover

Heya Nesters!  Well I finally had a chance to put the finishing touches on a project I've been working on for a couple months.  I alluded to it in this post but I don't think anyone really picked up on it. It really was only a few days work, but with nice long gaps in between.  I guess it was somewhere between laziness and being busy.  I had about hit my wits end when it came to file organization...

I had this guy packed to the brim, and as you can see, it didn't close anymore...

...even when I tried really really hard. What can I say, I'm also not that strong!   Arm strength aside- I knew I needed a filing cabinet.  But blah, what a boring piece of organization. So I hunted down a wood one with the help of everyone's best friend Craig and his ever-growing list.  I knew that with the wood exterior, it would have the ability to finish it however I wanted to, without the limitations of metal filing cabinets.

Early one Saturday morning Matt and I drove about 30 minutes away, took about 1 minute to load the lovely new-to-me filing cabinet and pay $30 to the kind man and we were on our way home.  Sadly, this is a stock photo, because I was too anxious take before pictures.... Or during photos for that matter. But I have lots and lots of "afters"!  So without further adieu, take a peek at my new and improved filing cabinet.

Ta-daaaaaa! She looks pretty sweet, don't you think?  Here is a little closer look:

I started out by grabbing some paint and primer in one from True Value.  I got both a small can of standard white and a small can of "Gesso."

And then I found this quatrefoil pattern I knew wanted to use.  I found it  right here

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Lets rewind:  I started by using my orbital sander to take the first layer of gloss off the cabinet.  You wont be able to get all those little crevases but you can hand sand those bits, or if you're lazy like me, say "I'm sure the primer in the paint will take care of it."I started painting using thin, even coats of the white paint and primer with a small roller.  {Which was the first time I've used one on furniture and it is a MIRACLE!}  And I was lucky that the primer in the paint did, in fact, take care of 
any unsanded bits. 

Now, it was not all roses and sugarplums.  I had to deal with the dreaded "grain bleed-through."  Ugh. I  could have probably done more, instead I painted a few extra coats of white and dealt with the fact that there may be some bleed-through in the future.  *le sigh*  Lazy DIYer, right here! 

After it was nicely cured and sparkling white, I cut out the black parts with an Exact-o knife and used it as a stencil.  I took each drawer out of the cabinet and traced it on with a pencil, overlapping a row of each pattern to ensure I wasn't going too far off track.  Once all penciled on, I busted out the art school tool box and found my fine acrylic paint brushes and started painting on the Gesso blue.  I went back and forth painting blue, then filling in the white, then blue, then white... until finally I was happy with the color saturation. 

After weeks and weeks of laziness curing, I grabbed some clear spray paint and finished it off with a protective coat.  I also ended up spraying the existing hardware with ORB spray paint.  I had no intentions of using the pulls, however because I had bought these beaut's from Anthropologie:

And they weren't cheap either.  They were $6 a pop!  But after spraying the hardware with the ORB, I thought it looked pretty slick! And it was a bonus that I wouldn't be required to drill any additional holes.  So back on went the hardware and now this is her in all her glory!

A nice little close-up for ya!  It's not perfectly painted but you can tell its hand painted!

Now I just have to conquer the laziness to actually file everything in the new cabinet!

So what do you guys think?  Do you like it? Hate it?  {*Ahem* Remember, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.}  Have you recently done a filing cabinet make-over yourself?  Dish, Nesters! We all wanna hear it!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Tanya! I am pretty proud of it and I'm extra happy that it makes my life more organized! :D

  2. Gina!!! I LOVE YOUR CABINET!!!!!! Never knew you were so talented or had this passion! I wish I had known about it sooner, would have started following you long ago! Better late than never:) I am going to "peruse" your blog, it'll take some time cuz you got a lotta stuff girl! Cant wait to see your party posts once you start your new job. DEFINATELY want to stay in touch, I am a DIY/house/home blog lover and you are officially the 1st blogger I actually know! Where do you find the time???

    1. Marilyn!! YAY! I'm so happy you found my little place on the interwebs! :) I hope to get back on this horse and spend some more time writing and doing projects when I can! :) I'm so happy you're following now! If you have any projects you'd like to share, definitely send them along and maybe I can feature you!! :)

      xoxo G


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3