File Away: A Fresh Look at a Boring Chore

Since when does filing have to be a dreaded, boring office chore? I say we can make even the dullest of activities enjoyable if we are surrounded by cute things that make us happy while we do them! For this reason, I sought out some inspiration on Pinterest to see what could be done about having an ugly old filing cabinet. I saw many projects where people stenciled filing cabinets, added frames, etc. – which I would love to eventually try – but I found my own twist. Here is the junky original version of the cabinet; I pulled the drawers out to paint them separately.

I used a light blue Valspar spray paint to paint the whole thing, but in hindsight, that was a terrible idea. I will never paint something this big with spray paint unless I have a sprayer (which cost at least $150 for a nice one – I checked). If I were to do this again, I would just use a paintbrush or sponge to reduce streaks. Then, I used blue painter’s tape to create a little stencil on each drawer, along with some careful measuring to get a symmetrical design. I used acrylic paint to do the gray design, and didn’t use any kind of sealant afterwards. Again, in retrospect I should have sealed it somehow, because a filling cabinet faces a lot of wear and tear if used often.

The hardware was from Lowe’s for between $4-7 a piece. I should have used a darker gray paint so the grays matched a little better but the design took so long to paint perfectly, I was too tired to go over it with a darker gray. What you see is what you get!

Spray paint also makes it difficult to get an even coat on a large, flat surface. If you look closely, you can see little streaks on the side of the cabinet in this picture… But oh well. Lesson learned!

At the time I finished this project, I had to display it in the old basement of the house we were living in, and now it’s in storage… but hopefully I’ll find a good, cute home for it soon!

And that’s it! How stinking cute would this be in a home office?! (And this picture doesn’t even do justice, it’s a prettier blue than this lets on.) I plan to find more filing cabinets (thank you, garage sales and thrift stores) and experiment with new designs – and brighter, bolder colors – in the future. Until then, happy crafting!

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