From Office to Garden: Filing Cabinet to Garden Planter
Most filing cabinet drawers are removed by fully extending the drawer and then lifting up. The drawer is then detached from the extension mechanism.
Using 180 grit sandpaper, sand areas with loose paint or rust spots. Sand lightly over the entire cabinet with a 220 grit paper. This will help your paint to adhere to the metal. Wipe down the cabinet with a damp rag to remove all the dust.
I used spray paint and primer found at any home improvement or hardware store. Even though the paint I used has a primer in it, I chose to use a self etching primer because I wanted to make sure my paint stuck to the metal and withstood the weather.
I also wanted a planter that looked like copper. In order to achieve this, I painted the cabinet with two coats of Forged Hammered ‘Chestnut’ and one topcoat of Metallic ‘Aged Copper.’ I thought the copper alone was too bright.
Casters are optional, however if you want to be able to move the planter easily, I recommend them. I purchased casters, stainless steel bolts, washers, and locking nuts. Each caster is rated for 90 pounds and the stainless steel hardware won’t rust. You will have to guess what size of caster is best for the size of cabinet you use.
Be sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the planter before turning it upright.
Most plants used in containers do not require more that a few inches of soil. Since 12 inches of soil was really all I needed, I placed old kitty litter containers in the bottom of the planter to take up space without adding excessive weight.
Lynne de Bie on Jan 03, 2021
Ours turned out great! We used matching filing cabinets and secured them end to end--creating doubles. Used the "Hugelkultur" method of layering--logs, fertilizer, compost, soil--to fill the units. Drilled holes in bottom for draining, installed pipes for watering system. Winter veggies are thriving.