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Painted File Cabinet Garden Planter in Sungold Yellow

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I posted here on Hometalk a few weeks back two old filing cabinet makeovers that I did. I cleaned, primed and painted and made them into garden planters. One red and one blue. Well the wall alongside the house where I placed these two had space for another one. So this time I opted for Sungold yellow paint from the Wattyl Killrust range. I bought the 3 drawer file cabinet for ten dollars on ebay. My husband picked it up for me on one of his business trips to Sydney. Then it got a good wash, wipe over with methylated spirits and a light sand. Then a good rinse with the hose. Once dry it was primed with two coats of Killrust Heavy Duty Primer. This stuff dries Khaki green. Then it was on with the paint. I used a paintbrush to apply the paint rather than spray paint. It needs a second coat of paint but it has been too cold to paint lately, so in the meantime I planted it up with some white agapanthus that needed re-potting and top-dressed it with large black smooth river stones. When the weather is warmer I will give the side and front another coat of Sungold yellow as at present you can still see the green primer showing through the paint.
Note: I took the runners out of it and discarded the drawers and also drilled holes in the base for drainage. I had a lot of old plastic garden pots in the garage, so I upturned them and lined the bottom of the cabinet with them to take up some space as the soil did not need to be quite that deep. The plants look a bit floppy at the moment after being transplanted but they should perk up when they settle in.
The strappy leaved agapanthus should recover and be more upright once they have settled in. At present they are looking a little floppy! Red planter has Cordylines and the blue planter has Aloe Vera. All three are sitting up on bricks to aid drainage.
Don't need the drawers
I don't know why but I did not take photos of it sitting in the primer. If you see my previous posts though where I did the red one and the blue one you will see the khaki green primer. At present this primer is still visible through the paint, hence it needs another coat before I can truly say it is finished.

Ask the creator about this project

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Sep 8, 2015

    These are just so fun!

    • Carole
      Carole Australia
      on Sep 9, 2015

      @Hannah V Thank you. They make me smile when I look at them. I did the second coat of yellow paint today and so they are now finished. Yay! I did makeover these three in quick succession and I must say I am over painting filing cabinets (for now - never say never!). LOL!

  • Jay
    Jay Tampa, FL
    on Sep 11, 2015

    what a great idea looks nice

  • Jeannie Yow Henrichs
    Jeannie Yow Henrichs Ramona, SD
    on Sep 11, 2015

    Wow! Add round feet and they will be ginormous LEGOS!!!!!!

    • Carole
      Carole Australia
      on Sep 12, 2015

      @Jeannie Yow Henrichs It did occur to me that I could have added the bottoms of garden pots or bun furniture feet to the outsides and they would look just like lego! They do rather make a statement and I love their cheery colours. Until I get used to them being there I have to keep going outside to take a look as the colours draw me to them! LOL! Maybe we should name our house legoland and add some more of them!

  • Joseph Schneider
    Joseph Schneider West Palm Beach, FL
    on Sep 11, 2015

    With them being metal, how long do you expect them to last outside before rusting out the bottom.

    • Carole
      Carole Australia
      on Sep 12, 2015

      @Joseph Schneider I have no idea! It is all an experiment. They do have drainage holes at the bottom. I will keep you posted. If they last a couple of years they will have done well for 10 bucks per planter!

  • Kim P
    Kim P
    on Sep 11, 2015

    I was going to do this but was afraid they would get too hot. Wanted to paint them red and plant tomatoes.

    • Carole
      Carole Australia
      on Sep 12, 2015

      @Kim P Yes for anything such as edibles that need full sun then not a good idea to use metal as it will get hot. These plants don't get full sun all day. They will get morning sun and the sun moves round to the other side of the house and they are in shade by the afternoon. if you want a colour that will repel heat rather than attract it you could paint them white and that might help. Whatever you do don't paint them black as black draws the heat to it. You could use the metal cabinet and stick cheap fence paling timber to the outside. That way the metal won't heat up. It will be a different more rustic look but it is a way of building a timber look planter without needing to use carpentry skills. Just use liquid nails or something to glue the timber palings to the cabinet. You could even get the store to cut the timber to length for you if you measure up and take measurements with you when you purchase the timber. Most large hardware stores offer this service. Fence palings cost a dollar or so each.

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