August 9, 2012

File Cabinet Makeover

Last week I went on a thrift store/ garage sale hunt for a new file cabinet. And by “new” I mean beat up, ugly, in desperate need of a makeover file cabinet at a killer price. Mission accomplished. Times two, actually. I first found a black file cabinet, slightly wider than standard, for just two bucks at a garage sale. With a few scratches in the paint and several obvious years of use, I’m sold. I didn’t have intentions of buying more than one file cabinet, but later that same day when I ran into yet another steal I figured, what the heck? Number two, a terrible attempt at a mint green file cabinet with totally rocking plastic white handles. Oh yea.

We’re in desperate need of file storage for our personal files, as well the growing collection of papers that are blog related. Since I like to have things at hand while working on my computer I was hoping for a file cabinet that could slide under my desk. Looks like we’re going to have to raise the desk slightly, but the width of the mint green cabinet works perfectly! And so the makeover began:

I started by removing all hardware and interior fittings. It’s important to give the entire piece a solid cleaning to remove any oil residue on the surface. I then sanded using a medium grit sand paper to smooth the surface and rid of chipping paint. This also helps to rough up the surface for better spray paint adhesion.

 Next, a single thin coat of primer. We used Rust-olem’s Clean Metal Primer. There are numerous spray painting tips around the web, but a few that stick to:

– Start and finish spraying to the sides of the object, never in the middle of the piece.

– Thin, thin, thin coats are better than a single thick. Patience.

– Sand in between coats for the ultimate smooth finish.

– FInally, protect all that work with a clear enamel.

Now for the color. You guys know I’ve been crushing hard on some kelly green. And I’ve also been having serious spray paint withdrawals… in the most legal way possible, of course  😉 And… I have a new file cabinet in my possession. You guys know where this is going…

I used Valspar’s Luscious Green High Gloss, which I am in no way attached to. I just found this color to be the closest match to my vision.

1st Coat – Again, thin coats. Have patience.

Third and final coat + one clear coat of enamel gloss:

Now for the real game changer. I picked up a few replacement handles and a pack of Martha’s silver bookplates to add to the facelift.

I’m officially obsessed. And a pretty good deal considering similar versions go for $555!

She’s sitting next to my desk for now, until she finds a more permanent home underneath :)

Kind of ironic that she started and ended in a shade of green. Ohhh Kelly… how I do love this color.

And what would a new file cabinet be with some pretty new coordinating files?

Now I need to do some serious organizing.

How about you guys? Any spray painting projects lately? Anyone else as obsessed with green as much as I am? Maybe some file organizing tips for me? I’d love to hear ’em!

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7 thoughts on “File Cabinet Makeover

  1. Erin @ His & Hers

    Kelly green is such a pretty color! Never knew about that for-metal primer–I’ll have to look into it! Frosted glass spray paint works well as an undercoat on bare metal, too, to give it some texture for making the top coat stick.

    Reply
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  5. Meghan Lopus

    Do you know what size your pulls are? And where did you find them? I redid a filing cabinet and am having the hardest time finding some that fit. Thanks!

    Reply

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