Friday, January 3, 2014

DIY File Cabinet

Happy New Year! Yes, that's right...there is nothing wrong with your computer! I'm back! If you have been nice (or should I say patient?) enough to keep up, I've been active over at Facebook and Instagram. Come on by and follow me if you are new! With a much longer break than I intended, I found the new year was a great time to start up on the blog again!

So I'm starting off with a bang with my first DIY project of the year! This is an easy DIY project with a big impact. Don't you love those kind?!

I have a small craft the size of a walk in closet. So I need to make the most of my space! My craft room also doubles as an office space so I need room for papers, my boys' art and files. I found this file cabinet on craigslist for $30! I never have good luck on craigslist, most items are overpriced or already sold. So in the middle of all the $100-$200 file cabinet listings, I found this bargain! The guy who sold it to me was very helpful loading it in my van and probably rolling his eyes after I left, knowing I was going to make it "pretty" for my room.

My hubby was sick so I had my 10 year old help me lug it out of our van. I was not going to wait for a few days and wait on hubby. I was a girl on a DIY mission!

I finally got it on a drop cloth in the garage and gave it a good cleaning with soap and water. It wasn't too dirty, but just gave it a nice scrub to make the surface ready for paint. I removed the drawers before I painted. I chose Rustoleum in Lagoon with a Satin finish. I did not sand the piece before I painted, but if you have areas that are rusty or pealing paint, you need to sand to make sure the new paint sticks. My cabinet was in pretty good shape. I sprayed several coats of paint allowing to dry in between each time. I only ended up using 1 can, I cheated and didn't spray the back. No one is going to see it. But I would recommend buying 2 cans just in case.

I decided to make the drawers pop! So I added contact paper that I bought from Target for $5+. You could also get contact paper at the Dollar Store for much less!

First you need to remove the hardware for the drawers. It makes it much easier to apply the contact paper! So this extra step is worth it!

My file cabinet might be a little different from yours but probably with the same concept of removing hardware.

I did a lot of jiggling around to figure out how to remove everything. I even got impatient and googled "how to remove hardware from a file cabinet" and couldn't find anything... LOL So I went back and did some investigating and finally figured it out. The little knob I turned counterclock wise and was able to pull it out.

This is the view from the back of the drawer. See only one nut? I was confused at first since there is more than one piece of hardware on the front.

So with my hubby's socket driver I removed the screw.

I was able to remove the back side of the drawer to reveal access to the rest of the hardware.

I removed the other screw from the handle. And then I able to bend the tabs off the label holder with the tip of a wire cutters.

 I then pryed the label holder off gently with a screwdriver.

I washed up the hardware in the sink with soap and water. There was a lot of grime and dust on them. After they dried it was time for paint. I could of left them as is but I love dark hardware. For the paint, I used what I had on hand: Rustoleum Textured in black. I love this paint for anything hardware. I have used it for knobs and door handles in our old house and it holds up very well! I recommend using a metal spray primer beforehand.

I sprayed several thin coats to give maximum coverage.

Now it's time to add the contact paper. I cut the paper the size of the front of the drawer with a little over hang on all 4 sides. Follow the directions on the back side of the paper on how to apply. The drawers are not a big space so it was easy to directly apply it on the drawer and then work out the air bubbles with a flat piece of plastic. I used a dish scraper. :) I then wrapped the overhang on the sides. Kind of like wrapping a present. I did this because I didn't want to see the paper edge and wanted a nice clean look.

I then put on the hardware after they dried. All done! Super easy!

The hardest part out of the whole thing is moving it. :) Thankfully hubby was feeling a little better in the evening and he helped me move it to the basement. Moving it without the drawers is much easier.

Fits and looks great in the space. BTW, I'll be sharing more of my craft room as I finish it up!

Now let's see the before and after again! Not too shabby with a little paint and contact paper. :)

Now I'm ready to organize this space a little bit better!  Who wants to come over and do that for me?! Overwhelmed with papers....Aaaahhh

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  1. Love it! Contact paper - so much easier than mod podge and looks great!

    1. Contact paper was so easy! Modge podge would take longer but you have more options with different scrapbook papers and/or fabrics. With contact paper, you can easily change it out when you are tired of the current pattern!

  2. I love it! I redid my file cabinet last year and it is amazing what a difference such a small thing makes!

    1. Really I feel like I'm cheating most of the time with such easy and cheap projects. LOL

  3. That is the best looking file cabinet I have ever seen! Great work!!

  4. Great job...that file cabinet looks fabulous!!

    1. The new caninet is much prettier than my plastic bins holding papers, that's for sure!

  5. Easy but awesome project! I find these file cabinets all the time and overlook them. Now I'm imagining desks and toy bins and..... Ugh, need a bigger house!

    1. I know I always spot them at garage sales! A desk would be awesome with 2 smallers ones! So many projects not enough room in my house...I agree!


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