A New Life for an Old Filing Cabinet

1 Day

I was almost ready to throw this outdated old filing cabinet out when I had an idea. I remembered an expensive campaign dresser I had seen in an expensive home decor store, and thought I could give my filing cabinet a glamourous makeover!
With some paint and new hardware, this icky old filing cabinet looks like a whole new piece of furniture. I adore it now!
Here's what it looked like before - it's laminated MDF in an outdated honey oak finish.
I cleaned it, painted it with a chalk style paint...
... and then installed some inexpensive, chunky brass hardware.
Doesn't it look so much better?!
For more photos, material sources and a video tutorial of this project, please visit my blog post.

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Christina Dennis

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Toni Lee
    on Mar 28, 2016

    Hi there. I see your paint is from Canada. Do you know a comparable type in the US? I love this - color and all and would love to make one soon! Thanks!

  • Sherri
    on Mar 28, 2016

    I love the drawer pulls. Where did you buy them?

    • Sherri
      on Apr 6, 2016

      Thanks Christina. I couldn't find them there but I found some on-line. I can't wait to copy your idea. I have two old file cabinets I was thinking of getting rid of but now I can give them new life instead!

  • Claudine Dionne
    on Mar 31, 2017

    I absolutely love the makeover! Did you seal the piece, or just leave the chalk paint?

Join the conversation

2 of 67 comments
  • Geezer Wench
    on Dec 15, 2017

    Wow. This filing cabinet looks great. I have a couple of similar lateral file cabinets, and after being moved a few times, having a water pipe burst above them (luckily they didn't get too wet), and moved again, they are really beat and kind of nasty looking. You've done a great job and have inspired me. We just can't afford to replace them, even with brand new (crappy) laminated MDF!
  • MsPhit
    on Mar 13, 2020

    Thanks! Beautiful idea. I’m going to try this

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