DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover


It is a very gray and rainy day here in Cave Creek, Arizona. Usually on a day like this my only achievements are to settle onto the sofa with a cozy throw and then watch a few movies with Mr.

Today, I will be doing those things but only after finishing up a really cute DIY Filing Cabinet project that I started last weekend.

I have a set of 20-year-old gray metal filing cabinets. They are tucked into my office closet so they don’t usually experience stink-eye looks from visitors. Yet, every time I open the cluttered, ugly closet I cringe. Closing the closet door fast helps a little—but not much.

For about a half a second I thought about tossing out my ugly filing cabinets but realizing how great they are to, well, “file” stuff I thought better of it. I decided to take matters into my own hands and do something about the “monsters in my closet.”

I knew that what my filing cabinets really needed was a makeover. A little bit of red, a touch of Paris and a good coat of shellac and I knew I could turn these cabinets into head-turning beauties.



Plus, Odie, our 130 pound America Bulldog was really excited about this DIY project!

I won’t go into the step-by-step details, as I followed Cathy Green Interiors wonderful instructions (thank you, Cathy!) I strongly suggest you do the same! Here’s my finished product:



A few lessons learned… these cabinets are going back into my office closet so they don’t have to be perfect. But for those planning to put these in high-profile places, I suggest the following:

  • Two coats of primer.
  • If inexperienced with spray paint then think about using paint and brush instead.
  • If you decide to go with spray paint and there’s dripping or splochiness—do NOT try making it better with a cloth. Just take it like any good DIYer: let it dry and do another coat.
  • I went with a thick muslin fabric but suggest a thinner fabric so you can cut easier to get sharp edges.
  • If you are at a garage sale or thrift shop and spot a sad looking filing cabinet in need to a makeover, take a look to see if you need to address rust stains. And, how easy it will be to remove and then reattach (or purchase new) hardware.
  • Enlist the help of a 130 pound American Bulldog to supervise your work for quality control!



2 thoughts on “DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: