Vintage Card Catalog Repurposed

1 Material
2 Days

This little treasure I found in my parent's garage where my father was storing a bunch of tools, nails, coins, etc.. It's a piece that he actually made many, many years ago. However, it was definitely in need of repurposing.

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Old Card Catalog

I luved the character of it, and my thought was to refinish it, so it would fit on a console table in our living area. I couldn't decide between painting or staining it. Therefore, I began with sanding it all down, which definitely brightened it up.


The handles and nameplates are permanently installed and therefore not easily removed to either sand or paint. That's when I decided I would stain it vs. paint it, and if I didn't like the outcome, I could always tackle painting it and removing the vintage nameplates later. 

Drawers and Name Plates

Here is the vintage card catalog after sanding. 

Back of Card Catalog

The sides were made out of plywood, unfortunately, and I also needed to add a back piece, as it was wide open in the back. I really luved the rustic look and didn't want to lose that charm!

The Back and Legs

I added a simple pine board on the back and decided to leave the plywood on the sides as is. I also added  4 6" Hairpin Legs  that I found on Amazon.  It definitely kept its rustic charm.

Brass Numbers

I used regular 8 X 10 white paper and printed out numbers for each brass slot that was already installed on the piece. The numbers are sized at 25 points and I printed them in bold and cut them to size. So simple!


I decided to stain the vintage card catalog with  Minwax PolyShades Mission Oak Satin 385 and a rag that I already had in my workshop.

Suggested materials:
  • Old Card Catalog   (Garage)
  • Minwax PolyShades Mission Oak Satin 385   (Hardware Store)
  • 4 6" Hairpin Legs   (Amazon)
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Ann | Dabbling & Decorating
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  • Christina Garrison Christina Garrison on Apr 24, 2020

    I looove it ! And that vintage wooden sled on the bookcase adds great height and texture dimension to that space !!!!! Love all of it. Beautiful job !

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