Learn How to Transform an Ordinary File Cabinet Into Extraordinary

22 Materials
$85.00
Medium

Detailed tutorial on how to turn a file cabinet into extraordinary using paint, wood and corrugated metal.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
Start with any metal file cabinet. This is the before photo of our file cabinet. Make sure to clean the cabinet using TSP before painting or gluing.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
I painted the drawers and handles with dark brown chalk paint. After it dried, I dry brushed some grey chalk paint lightly over the brown, and then lightly stenciled the numbers.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
We bought 1x4 pine boards, cut them to the correct width and length for both sides. I stained all the wood with 2 coats of Minwax Special Walnut. After it was thoroughly dried, I applied one coat of Minwax Classic Grey and then wiped it off, leaving only as much grey as I desired to keep. I finished this off with 2 coats of Minwax Wipe-on Poly. Make sure everything dries between coats. We used heavy duty construction Gorilla Glue on the back of the boards and clamped them until they dried.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
Obviously, you need to buy a piece of corrugated metal. There wasn't anything left after we used the above, other than tiny scraps.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
There's different ways to cut the corrugated metal. We used a reciprocating saw with blades for cutting metal. Afterwards, I used the tin snip above and leather work gloves to trim the metal to fit in perfectly. Make sure to use leather work gloves and goggles when working with metal.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
Three holes were drilled top and bottom on each side and self-tapping screws were used to secure the corrugated metal to the cabinet.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
I had a pine board cut to fit the top and after it was securely glued on, we applied the moulding.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
Just make sure you use moulding with a flat back to it.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
After the moulding was on, I filled any gaps with stainable wood filler and used the same stains as I used on the wood. This is looking down onto the top of the cabinet.
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
After it was finished!
learn how to transform an ordinary file cabinet into extraordinary
Here it is in our newly decorated guest bedroom. I have much more detailed information on my blog that you'll want to read, along with ALL the materials and tools that were used, including links to the exact products that were used.
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Theredpaintedcottage

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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 33 questions
  • Cha
    on Jun 20, 2019

    what's it called and what's it for?


    • Theredpaintedcottage
      on Jun 21, 2019

      It’s just a transformed file cabinet. I wanted something that looked a tad better in the room. We use it as a file cabinet, but it could be used as extra drawers for storage.

  • Cathrine Harkins
    on Jun 27, 2019

    What about the drawers ?did you make them unuseable? They could be used for storage. I would like to see this with usable drawers.

    • Jenni Nash Dorsey
      on Jun 27, 2019

      If you look back through the pictures, the drawer fronts have the numbers on them. So yes, they are usable.

  • P Gropp
    on Jun 27, 2019

    What is the file used for? Supposed to invite a guest to stuff clothes in there? You store pillows?

    • Theredpaintedcottage
      on Jun 28, 2019

      We use it as a file cabinet. I just wanted it to look nicer. We have an antique dresser in the room for our guests to use.

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