Card Catalog Inspired Dresser/Bar

6 Materials
3 Hours

I have always loved the look of a old card catalog cabinet from a library... But holy moly are they expensive! I found the perfect piece to duplicate the look for cheap!

I started with this inexpensive little dresser that had four drawers but looked like it had more. I definitely did not want the 1990s hunter green look. So...the transformation began!

After cleaning the piece really well with a mixture of denatured alcohol and water.. I began painting. I love how the Retique It paint needed no primer or sanding. I used Ivory Tower which is a pretty off-white. It took a couple coats to cover the green. I sealed the whole piece with Retique It polyacrylic.

Even though when I finish painting, it looked beautiful.. I decided I wanted something more unique. I grabbed my Retique It gel stain in Black Walnut.

I grabbed a rag and wiped the stain over the sealed paint. Sealing first kept it from absorbing into the chalk style furniture paint and gave it a unique look. If you wanted a darker look you might want to put it right over the paint without sealing first.

I decided only to stain the fronts of the drawers. I did use a little stain has a glaze in the nooks and crannies on the edges.I wiped it on with my rag and then wiped off the extra with another damp rag.

This look would not have looked like a card catalog if it wasn't for this awesome Hardware! I had purchased these from D. Lawless Hardware for less than $1 each! I forgot to take a picture, but my husband screwed each one of these into the sections of each drawer and then I cut a piece of an index card and stuck inside each one.

It came out exactly how I wanted it! Plus it filled a weird spot I had between my kitchen and living room. I put a tray on top with a couple pretty liquor bottles and call it my bar. So less than $20 for the hardware plus paint supplies ...not bad at all right?

Resources for this project:

See all materials
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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

3 of 18 comments
  • Diana Mann Diana Mann 6 days ago

    I had the same one in boring brown. I painted it white and use it for my sock storage. I like how you changed the look and character of it entirety!

  • Linda Linda 6 days ago

    Not bad, indeed! Job well done and thanks for sharing, Roberta.