Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Functional Meets...well, Functional

I first saw this idea on the fabulous blog (linked here for your stalking pleasure) How About Orange. I knew I needed a file cabinet - the one little Rubbermaid tote I had been using for all of our personal files/papers since we were a family of two was just not cutting it anymore.

First, I found a DEAL on Craigslist (how much do you love Craigslist? A post devoted to Craigslist/random thrifty finds is forthcoming) for a 4-drawer metal filing cabinet. **THRIFTY TIP ALERT**: A local University was getting rid of surplus office supply-type furniture and had a BUNCH of these cabinets for 10 BUCKS each. Score....

(Full disclosure: I didn't take a before shot of MY actual cabinet, but this is a pretty close idea of what it looked like.)

But it was too....metal. Office-y. So...I got to work.

First, I detached the hardware and sanded that sucker with my trusty hand sander.

Second, it got a nice coat of primer.

Because this filing cabinet would share space with the kids' playroom in the basement, I decided to go a little crazy. I painted the sides of the cabinet with, you guessed it, chalkboard paint.

And since the sides got chalkboard paint, why not do chalkboard labels on the drawers??? (LOVE it...it works perfectly!)

The top, front drawers and back of the cabinet got two nice coats of Rustoleum American Accents Heirloom White.
I also wanted to get rid of that shiny metal look that is standard with most office filing cabinets. I couldn't find the Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint that many of my blogging idols swear by, but I did like what I ended up using. It is Krylon Brushed Metallic spray paint and it worked like a charm.

(I was a little antsy to take the tape off around the hardware that couldn't be removed, so it's not perfect - but neither am I and a little touch of imperfection helps it fit right in at my house!)

I am so excited about how this turned out - it's totally functional for our family as a place to keep track of all of our important stuff and it's totally functional as a play piece for my kids as it resides in the basement with the rest of the toys.

Linked up to Kimba's DIY party at A Soft Place to Land. If you've never visited her, you must! And take a look at other great DIY projects!


  1. Oh you are so brave! I have been wanting to do something with my ugly file cabinet in my office. Now I might have to try spray painting it. Your's looks great!

  2. What a great idea!! Very cool.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love it! Great idea! It looks awesome!

  4. What a cute idea! I'll bet the kids love them

  5. So I will never look at cheap old file cabinets the same way again!

  6. Happy squeals~well done!

    Come by and see my Pottery Barn inspired typography basket.

  7. I've been wanting to do something to my old file cabinet...what inspiration. Thank you!

  8. What a great project--I have a file cabinet I bought off craigslist and it is black but some chalk board paint would make it fun.
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    Its So Very Cheri

  9. How did you make the chalk tabs for the front of the cabinet! Great job it looks fantastic!!