How to Update /Upcycle a Metal Locker

4 Materials
1 Hour

We found a metal locker at a local flea market. Got it for a great price! It had minor cosmetic issues, but was in good shape. We transformed it into a great storage solution for our daughter's room. Enjoy! Check out my Youtube channel for this and more projects!
Found a Metal Locker
We found an old metal locker at a flea market in our area. Got a great deal @ $20.00!
Locker was in pretty good shape
Locker had some minor cosmetic issues and rust, but nothing too serious.

A great find
The locker's dimensions are approximately: 6'6"h X 15"w X 18"D
My tool or choice
There are several ways to remove rust from metal. I decided on using 60 grit sand paper on an orbital sander. I choose this method simply because this is the tool i had on hand and didn't want to have to deal with chemicals or stripping agents.
The whole sanding process took about 30 minutes. 60 grit works great at removing rust and any other imperfections.
More sanding...
What I couldn't hit with the sander I did myself with a piece of sand paper.
Bring on the Paint!
Took it outside and used 4 cans of "grape" spray paint from the big box store. easy! The spray paint we bought did have Primer added to it.
Adding the Bling
My wife hit it with one can of glitter paint.
The color pops!
Let it dry...
Installed and works perfectly!
Super Easy project that has turned into a great storage solution! Our daughter can add magnetic letters, picture frames, or pretty much anything she wants. It has become an art piece as well as a great storage solution.
Full Video Tutorial!

We want to help you DIY, so some of the materials in this post are linked to sellers. Just so you know, Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

The 15 Coolest Ways to Reuse Pipes in Your Home Decor
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
17 DIY-Inspiring Kitchen Backsplashes
31 American Flag Ideas That Will Fill You With Pride
21 Ways to Have More Polka Dots in Your Life
16 Brilliant Wire Basket Hacks Everyone's Doing Right Now
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
15 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas Using Buttons
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
21 Insanely Cute Reasons to Add Pineapple to Your Decor
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sus10812243
    on Sep 19, 2017

    Locker is great but what I want to know is where (or how) did you get those wall boxes- and how much weight do you think they hold(books etc)
    • Eric Greaves
      on Sep 19, 2017

      Thanks! I built all of those boxes and used a "French Cleat" method to attach them to the wall so they are movable. They are made from 3/4 inch plywood and MDF. They will hold lots of weight!
  • Kelly-n-Tony
    on Sep 19, 2017

    Looks great! Have you found a way to attach it to the wall so it won't fall onto a child?
    • Eric Greaves
      on Sep 19, 2017

      It has holes in the back panel that i could use to attach it to the wall. If my daughter was younger i would attach it, but am confident it's secure enough as is. Thanks for checking it out!
  • Jayde
    on Sep 19, 2017

    Did u put shelves in it and did you paint the inside? I love the look and color, great jo! I am always on the lookout for lockers but haven't found an.
    • Eric Greaves
      on Sep 20, 2017

      Yes there are shelves on the inside! They were already in there when we purchased the locker. The video tutorial has images of them for reference.

Join the conversation

4 of 37 comments
  • Doreen Kennedy
    on Sep 21, 2017

    Your cabinet came out beautiful. I picked up this locker at a thrift store for 10 bucks. I wanted to make my son a cd and video game cabinet. I also had to sand mine and give it a good coat of flat black primer. After the prep work was done the rest was easy. I also painted his locker blue and then added a bunch of shelves made from pieces of scrap wood. In 2007, I sprayed the exterior a new color to match his new bedroom decor. After 17 years, 2 local moves and one cross country move, it still looks and functions great. My son is all grown up now and lives 2000 miles from me, but every time I look at his cabinet, I'm reminded of him and all the fun he had listening to music and playing video games with his friends. I hope your daughter enjoys her cabinet as much as my son did! Thanks for sharing. 😊
    , Exterior, Interior
  • Mizar
    on Sep 21, 2017

    Not a question, but a tip.
    No need for toxic chemicals to remove rust;...just grab a jug of white vinegar or a bottle of CocaCola.
    • Eric Greaves
      on Sep 21, 2017

      That's a great tip! I've seen using vinegar as a soaking agent for small metal parts. Seems to work great.

Your comment...