Filing Cabinet Makeover

Today, I’m going to show you how to transform a plain old filing cabinet from this: filing cabinet before

To this!

mod podged filing cabinet

I needed a filing cabinet for my office and found this silver one at Staples.  It was feeling a little too boring for me though, so I decided to spruce it up.

The first step of the project was to spray paint the filing cabinet.  I used Rust-Oleum’s metal primer, and Valspar’s ‘Purple Fury’.

spray painting supplies

Before I began painting though, I wanted to block the four holes for the handles so that spray paint would not clog the holes or get inside of the filing cabinet.  To do this, I rolled up a small piece of aluminum foil and placed one inside each hole.  I also taped over the lock to protect that as well.

filing cabinet before

To paint the filing cabinet, I applied one coat of primer and three thin and even coats of the purple.  (For more spray painting tips, see here or here.)

filing cabinet painting steps

Once I was done painting the filing cabinet, I thought long and hard if I should do a next step, and if so, what would the next step be?  Should I leave it alone, stencil it, or Mod Podge it?

I felt that the plain purple was a little too plain for me, and I was still recovering from our dining room stencil project ;), so I decided that Mod Podging (a glue and sealer in one product) was the way to go.

I already had this fabric that I originally bought a few months ago to make a runner for our dining room, but with the new color scheme it no longer coordinates with the room.  It was, however, perfect for this project.

Braemore Radiance fabric

To start the Mod Podging process, I measured the drawers and found a piece of paper to use as a template that was almost the same size as the drawers.

measuring fabric

I picked the two flowers I liked the best and used the paper as a guide to cut around them.  The drawers on the filing cabinet are 13” x 10 ½”, and I knew I would need at least an inch of extra fabric to wrap around the drawers.  I cut the fabric about 18” x 15” just to be sure I would have enough.

fabric squares

Once the squares were cut, it was time to start Mod Podging.  Since I’ve only done one other Mod Podge project (here), I checked out a few websites for tips and tutorials.  I found these two sites to be the most helpful:  Mod Podge Rocks & Cottage at the Crossroads.

My first step was to paint a thin and even layer of Mod Podge onto the fabric.

mod podging fabric

Once that layer of Mod Podge was completely dry, I was ready to apply it to the filing cabinet.  I propped open the doors of the filing cabinet with pieces of wood and positioned the fabric on the drawers.

fabric placement

Next, I folded back half of the fabric and applied Mod Podge to that side of the drawer.  For this step, I was sure to use plenty of Mod Podge to provide a strong and even seal of the fabric to the drawer.  It is important not to let the Mod Podge dry before you adhere the fabric to it.  In order to ensure that the Mod Podge did not dry, I worked on half of each drawer at a time.  Here you can see how I folded back the fabric and how much Mod Podge I applied to part of this drawer.

mod podging filing cabinet

Once I applied the Mod Podge to half of the drawer, I folded back the fabric and pressed it firmly to the drawer.  In order to avoid having bubbles in a Mod Podge project, it is important to completely and firmly smooth out the fabric during this step.

The next step was to trim the fabric.  I also cut a slit in each corner so that the fabric would easily wrap around the corners

slit fabric corners

The last step of the process was to apply the top coats of Mod Podge.  I applied three thin and even coats to the top of the fabric to provide a strong seal and protective coating.  For the sides, I wrapped the fabric around the drawer and followed the same steps – one coat under to glue it down and three coats over to protect it.

When the last coat was dry, I was excited to see the finished product.  I removed the wood from the drawers, flipped it upright, and wow!

mod podged filing cabinet

With a spruced up finished, I thought the filing cabinet needed prettier drawer pulls than the ones that came with it.  I found these online and am waiting for them to arrive.

polished nickle drawer pull

source

I am so happy with how the filing cabinet turned out.  The layers of Mod Podge make the fabric feel durable and protected.  I actually look forward to filing papers now!

mod podged filing cabinet***Update, the handles have arrived!

Mod Podged filing cabinetMod Podged filing cabinetMod Podged filing cabinet

º How do you make organizing and filing fun?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram