Drab to Fab – Filing Cabinet Makeover

Last month I landed a dream (although very temporary!) job. A friend connected me with Marketplace Events, the company that produces the Jacksonville Home &…

Last month I landed a dream (although very temporary!) job. A friend connected me with Marketplace Events, the company that produces the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show, and they hired me for a furniture rehab project for their spring show. The feature is called “Drab to Fab,” and the concept is simple: take some drab pieces of furniture from local thrift stores, and make them FAB! You all know thrift stores are my happy place, so I was all over this! They asked me to keep the projects simple, so people at the show would see them and feel inspired; not overwhelmed. So I decided to focus on changing all six pieces with paint, because seriously, almost anyone can paint!

I wanted to post one of the pieces today and give you a little taste of what will be at the show this weekend. If you’re local, come see me! I’m photographing the event too, so I’ll be around most of the weekend. And next week, I’ll post more of the before-and-after project pics!

drab to fab

file cabinet-before

Spray Paint (Krylon ColorMaster – Sea Glass and Watermelon)
Contact Paper (Similar here)
Valspar Paint + Primer – Spring Moss (Matte)
Old bed sheet

When I saw this plastic file cabinet in Goodwill, I knew it had to come home with me. It was hideous; and exactly what I was looking for! It’s was also extremely heavy. I couldn’t even get it out of my car – Anderson to the rescue! Once it was out of the car, I was able to maneuver it by just rolling it around the house. Here’s the simple process for making this piece fab!

1. First I cleaned the cabinet. It was pretty dirty and had lots of sticky goo on it – looked like it was covered in stickers at some point.

2. I took the 3 black pulls off with a screwdriver and cleaned a little more.

3. I rolled it outside onto an old sheet and started spray painting the whole thing. The paint stuck to the plastic really well, and it only took 2 coats.

4. While the paint on the cabinet was drying, I started spraying the black pulls (handles). These took more like 4 coats. The black was harder to cover that the cream cabinet. I really wanted to spray the wheels too, but the cabinet was just too heavy for me to get it into a position to cover them.

5. Once the cabinet was dry, I measured the front of each drawer and cut the drawer paper to fit. I left an inch or so all the way around. Then after I attached the paper to the drawers I went along the edges with a piece of sandpaper. This left a perfect edge!

6. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I should add the pulls back or not. The decorative paper covered the holes, so I thought about leaving them off. But I asked Anderson what he thought, and he said it definitely needed the pop of pink. 🙂 So I re-attached the handles, and wouldn’t you know. He was right!

7. I opened a drawer to admire my work and realized that the tops of the drawers were still the original ugly cream color. I had painted it with the drawers closed, so the tops weren’t covered. This wasn’t a huge deal and would’ve been fine if I had just left it like this. But I just couldn’t! So I got out a can of mustardy-yellow paint and a small paintbrush and painted the top of each drawer. It adds that extra pop to the cabinet! You can barely see it when the drawers are closed, but it’s a fun (BRIGHT!) surprise when you open them.

file cabinet-after1file cabinet-after2blogfile cabinet-after3blog

***While doing all of the furniture makeovers for the “Drab to Fab” feature, I tried to keep in mind the demographic for the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show. It’s not exactly the Kinfolk-inspired hipster crowd. 🙂 If you have no idea what that means, you probably ARE the target audience. HA! So I hope you enjoy these projects! Come back next week for more!