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

Spray Painted Lamps

spray-painted-lamp.jpg

As part of our family room make-over, I’ve been on the hunt for new lamps.  I was particularly searching for these lamps from Target: blue & green Target lamps

They are not sold online however, and after calling several stores in the area with no luck finding either color, I was feeling discouraged.

I decided I needed backup and sent an email to my mom and sister requesting a quick check for me any time they happened to be driving by a Target.

My mom’s response was just as good as if she had found them:  “If you spray painted the brass lamps I have in the living room, they would be almost identical.  You may have them if you like.”

Yes, please!

brass lamps - beforeivory lamp shade

Andrew and I picked them up this weekend, and went in search of the perfect color of spray paint.  We eventually found exactly what we were looking for at Wal-Mart: Rust-Oleum’s ‘Nite Tide’.

rustoleum nite tide

To start the project, I removed the lamp shades, covered the sockets for the light bulbs, and covered part of the cord.  My plan was to: 1. Prime   2. Spray paint   3. Cover with a Lacquer for an extra-glossy finish.

brass lamps prepped for painting

After two coats of primer, the lamps were already looking more modern.

brass lamps primed

Once the primer was dry, I was ready to start adding the ‘Nite Tide’.  The key to spray painting is to use several light and even coats.

First coat:

brass lamps with 1 coat of paint

Second coat:

brass lamps with 2 coats of paint

Third coat:

brass lamps with 3 coats of paint

After three coats, the lamps were looking fantastic!  I gave them a few hours to dry and then attempted to add the lacquer.  I say ‘attempted’ because we did not have much luck with this step of the process.  Once I had added two coats of the lacquer finish, the lamps were not glossy at all; in fact they were rough and looked dusty.  I’m not sure if the Richmond humidity did not agree with the product, or if I had applied it incorrectly, either way, it was not a pretty appearance.

We were lucky that with a wet washcloth, the rough and dusty finish wiped away – without taking away any of the color.

Even without the extra-glossy finish, they are still beautiful, so we were ready to bring them inside.

Just to refresh your memories of these brass beauties from the 80’s:

brass lamps - before

And the after:

spray painted lamp

It really is amazing how different they look with a new paint color and an updated shade!

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll share where we’ve put the lamps and other updates to the family room!

º What pieces have found a new life in your home recently?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Spray Painted Owls

With two dogs and two cats, I don’t like to leave anything lying around on the floor – who knows what may happen to an unattended item!  In my office, I needed a way to hang my bags so that they would not get eaten, scratched, or chewed.  My sister took my birthday request for ‘cute hooks’, and found these owls at Garden Ridge. owl hooks

While she liked the owl figure, we both agreed they needed a change of color with a coat of spray paint.

In our basement / my office, we have tan walls and white trim.  I decided to spray them white to let them pop off the tan walls.

I was running low on white spray paint, but was able to use a combination of white primer and two cans of left over white spray paint to complete the job.  The only other supplies I used were painter’s tape and a cardboard box.

owl hooks spray painting supplies

My first step was to tape the clear handles so that they would not get sprayed.

owl hooks prepped for spray painting

Next, I applied one thin and even coat of primer.  I used primer because: a) the owls had a glossy finish and I wanted to make sure the paint bonded to the finish,  and b) I was not sure I had enough regular spray paint to provide complete coverage.

owl hooks primed

I ended up doing three coats of paint on the owls (1 primer, 2 regular).  The key to spray painting is thin and even coats, and letting each coat dry in between.  While waiting for one of the coats to dry, I was able to snap this picture of our dog Violet ‘helping’ me with the project!

owl hooks drying & Violet

After three coats the dark finish was completely covered, and it created a pretty cool silhouette of the owl!  I wish I had thought ahead and done this on a canvas to create some unique artwork.

owl hook spray painted silhoutte

I removed the painter’s tape and allowed the owls to dry for about 24 hours.  They were then ready to hang!

Just a reminder of the before:

owl hooks

And after:

spray painted owl hooks in my office

Yay for having a special place to hang my bags!

º What have you spray painted lately?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram