Locker Refresh

3 Materials
1 Day

There's something so charming to me about lockers! It brings me back to the excitement as a kid going back to school after a long Summer break. Getting organized with my fresh pencils, notebooks and backpack. Nostalgia at it's finest!! I've long had the idea of putting lockers in our playroom as a fun twist on organization and hiding all the toys and things that clutter the room. Out of sight out of mind, right??

The original lockers in all their glory!

So began my search for storage lockers! I wanted something used mostly for cost reasons, but also not rusted out and dented up. The search took longer than expected, but I finally stumbled across these gems! The 2 x 3 sizing was also exactly what I was looking for to best utilize our storage needs. Since I have fun accents of teal and blue in my home, I originally was thinking I could stick with this color, but in person it was a little--OK more like a lot--more vibrant than it appeared in the ad photos. It was fine by me, as I knew repainting them would be fairly simple.

Minus some Simple Green cleaner and the lockers itself, these were the materials used.

If you haven't repainted metal, the process is pretty much the same as with wood; clean, sand, prime and paint. I did a deep cleaning on the inside and removed all of the handle mechanisms to make painting easier.

After cleaning, I used my sander and lightly sanded over the metal to break up the shiny finish and help the new paint stick. To avoid scratching the metal I used a very light 220 grit. I was nervous it was going to be very messy but it was actually much cleaner than sanding wood! As you can see, you don't need to remove all the original paint, just give a good buffing over it.

A very light sanding with 220 grit paper is all you need!

Starting the primer process

Next comes the primer. Since I was working with metal I went with the Rust-oleum Clean Metal Primer. Using a spray paint was very easy and what I would recommend vs using a brush or roller on the vents. Since the handles were taken off, it was very quick. I did cover the metal tags on the doors with painters tape vs removing them with a rivet gun (since I don't have one). Per instructions on the primer it is recommended to wait up to 48 hrs before painting, which I actually did not do. Spray the primer on very lightly, in a back and forth motion. We did 2 coats of primer with drying an hour in between each coat.

For the pain itself, I wanted a chalk paint finish which I was excited to see is now available in spray paint! Rust-oleum's Chalked line was very easy to work with. I originally bought the Country Gray, but after a test area on the back it was too light for what I wanted to achieve against the light walls in our room, so I went back to Home Depot and bought the Charcoal shade. This was applied to the same way as the primer, very light coats horizontally to avoid paint runs. This paint was pretty fast drying and we only waited an hour before applying a 2nd coat. We did let it dry fully overnight and then touched up a couple spots as needed the next morning. If you are looking for a chalk finish I highly recommend this one! We will see how it holds up, but I love the matte look personally in this space. After re-installing the lock mechanisms we were good to go and move into the playroom! My 3 year old is so excited to have big kid lockers in her house and I am a happy momma to have things organized and hid away!

Extremely happy with the results!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Lannie
    on Dec 7, 2019

    I think they turned out great. Nice job! Just wondered if you secured then to keep them from tipping over.

    • Lannie
      on Dec 8, 2019

      Nice! Glad it could be done out of sight. Wouldn't want to distract from how great your project turned out. They are so cool, and I bet your kids love them. Also glad they are secured. Kids are kids. If it's there, they will have no fear and conquer it:) I found my boys climbing on the outside of the second floor railing at our house. Who'd have thought? Best wishes to you and your family.

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