February 21, 2015

Filing Cabinet Makeover

Spray paint your file cabinet

I'm so proud of this :) And I'm always amazed at how a little bit 'o paint can transform anything. 

I needed a new filing cabinet for my office because the old metal one I had was making me angry! The drawers would not glide out smoothly nor properly, and I had to use both of my hands to open each drawer without tipping over the entire unit. Frustrating!

I was on the hunt for a new filing cabinet, I was trying to stay away from the metal ones and find a nice wood one for longevity's sake. So I turned to Kijij! Man I love Kijiji, you can find some really good items on there for such a reasonable price. I was looking to spend no more than $50 on a 'new' cabinet. I was dead set on a wood one and in-stores, brand new ones cost at LEAST $100. Boo.

So I managed to score this great REAL wood cabinet for $25. HECK YA. Only problem was the color, I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate hate hate hate the light oak finishes, or whatever light wood this unit looks like. I already had in my mind that I wanted to paint on this awesome geometric design that I'd seen for some baby bedding back in my pregnant days...only problem was I needed to find a stencil of that cool design!

So in the office it sat...for a good month I would say...drove hubby bonkers! I was also up in the air about what colors to paint this...tick tock, tick tock, what to do? I finally arrived at what colors I wanted to paint it, but there was still that pesky issue of finding the geometric stencil. No luck. ANYWHERE. So...I decided to attempt to make my own stencil :)

You can check how I made my own stencil here

I got hubby to lug this cabinet into the garage so I could start sanding everything down. I followed the same steps that I used to paint my kitchen cabinets for my craft room, and really, the same steps you would use for painting pretty much anything. Sand, prime, sand, paint.

Primed and ready to paint!
For this project I ended up using spray paint AGAIN, though I really should have gone out and purchased some actual interior paint from Home Depot, like the Behr paint and primer in one (used that on the walls in the nursery, love). The reason why I didn't get that paint? Sheer laziness. Really. I had already purchased my grey spray paint and it was already in my home...getting the other paint would mean hauling my lazy ass over to Home Depot. The whole 30 minutes it would have taken in total was daunting at the time. Don't judge me.

Anyways, I had leftover primer spray and white spray paint from my kitchen cabinet project, so I 
  • primed my entire file cabinet twice
  • sprayed the white paint on just the drawer fronts
  • I used spray adhesive on my DIY stencils
  • sprayed Krylon's Pewter Gray over the stencil and over the entire remainder of the cabinet
I used one whole can of the Pewter Gray for the entire cabinet (can't go wrong for $4!) and I think 3 coats total for everything.

Let me say this. DO NOT use spray paint when you are stenciling something! I mean my whole project turned out really nice (I think), but if you need to touch up the areas where you had the stencil (which I did), spray paint is a bit awkward. I ended up spraying the paint into the cap, then using a spare paint brush and touching up details like that. It's definitely do-able, but less fun, trust me on this one. I make mistakes so you don't have to!

It took me a few days on and off to paint everything (tending to a 6 month old baby tends to take you away from DIY projects at times) and then let it cure/air out in the garage for 2 days. I'd say I spent around $35 to transform this entire file cabinet. Me = happy camper.

While I love my cabinet now, in retrospect, I wish I had thought about switching out the handle pulls, but the thought flew out of my mind the second I unscrewed the handles. I would have replaced them with these babies, the pull cup ones that you see in pretty much every single blog cabinet transformation :)

Happy painting!