Paint An Old File Cabinet To Make A Large, Colorful Planter

Here is the blue planter completed and planted up and in situ with the red one I previously posted here. This blue one has Aloe Vera plants that were previously overcrowded in a terracotta pot (still have another dozen 'pups' or so to do something with) and the red has Cordyline - Sundance in it. Got this finished last night and nearly froze my tail off in the garden planting it up in the fading light. Had to enlist my husbands help with the final barrow load of compost/sand mix as my back was giving out with all the shovelling and shifting of soil/sand. It took more than I thought it would despite layering the first half of the file cabinet/planter with bark, branches and other garden debris to pad it out. I may lift the plants and add more soil yet. I top dressed with large river washed stones in black that I got from a local nursery. Both planters have these stones now. The blue file cabinet had no bottom so we cut a piece of scrap corrugated iron sheet to fit and I think it looks quite good! Keeps the soil in at that end. BTW if you did not see the red planter post then you may not realise this cabinet was painted as was the red one. Both cabinets were either ugly grey or beige and a little bit of rust here and there to start with. Products used to paint were Killrust Heavy Duty Primer and then Killrust Epoxy Gloss Enamel paint for the topcoat. Each had two coats of topcoat for good coverage. The red is Delicious Red and the blue is Ultra Blue. Both were painted by hand rather than spray as it was cheaper and the finish still came out good.
Beige File Cabinet to Blue Planter with Aloes
With Its Red Sister Planter
Ugly Beige Drawer No Longer Needed

Frequently asked questions

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  • Barbi Bratton Gerke Barbi Bratton Gerke on Sep 12, 2016
    After you fill part way with plastic bottles as you suggested, what do you put on top of the bottles to keep the soil from going to the bottom? Cut a piece of cardboard to fit? Or ?? Thanks!

  • Brittany Bacon Brittany Bacon on Jul 23, 2017
    How do you keep it from rusting?

  • Wandamurline Wandamurline on Jul 23, 2017
    I use large rocks in the bottom of my planters for drainage after I have drilled holes. Wouldn't large rocks in the bottom keep the soil in tact and allow the cabinets to drain?

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