8:10 PM

With the weather warming up, yard sales have been popping up.  I bought this metal file cabinet for $10.00.

My husband said I paid too much and it looked like junk.  I asked my dad if he could show me how to use his power washer to clean it up and he also asked how much I paid for it.  "Total rip-off".  Even my mom said it wasn't worth the money.

Well I thought I could make something great out of this junk.

2. WASH with soap & water (I also power washed it to begin with)
3. SAND THE EXTERIOR: I just had a little handheld sander.  I read it's important to sand the metal to rough up the surface for the paint to stick
4. PAINT WITH PRIMER You can read on the back to make sure your primer works for metal surfaces.  I used paint and applied with rollers.  I just wasn't in the mood to spray paint all that area

5. SPRAY PAINT INTERIOR: The cabinet was an ugly green/gray color--I guess your typical metal file cabinet from the 60s.  So I used cheap $1/ can white spray paint to get a cleaner look.  You can see I didn't do multiple coats.  I just did a basic coat since most of the time these drawers should be shut and you'd rarely see it anyway...so why paint the insides at all?  It was only $2.00 worth of paint.

HARDWARE: I cleaned and used sandpaper on the hardware.  Then I just spray painted it white.  I did take time to spray multiple coats so the hardware is nice and smooth and totally white.

CABINET: I used paint again with a roller to apply the paint to the cabinet.  I chose Glidden Spanish Olive for the color.  I've always wanted an olive green piece of furniture, and a file cabinet seemed small enough I could give it a try and if I didn't like the color afterall, it's only the file cabinet.
I painted 2 coats.

The thumb trigger hardware to unlatch each drawer didn't come off easily, so I just hand painted them at the end.

Here's the finished project!

My editing is pretty crappy around the edges, so here's the actual shot in the garage.

I think this looks like it was worth $10 + a little paint. 

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  1. it still looks like a "total rip off"!!! LOL
    i wonder what your hubby and mom are saying now. :D
    Great job!!!!!

  2. I love how brutally honest your family is! I think it looks awesome!

  3. I used Glidden's oil base Porch and Floor paint in gloss on my vintage metal kitchen cabinets, and also painted my refrigerator and dishwasher with it to match. It really sticks to metal and holds up really well - or at least it has for its first year with my 3 sons. Foam rollers are the only way to go!

  4. I love this! I have a file cabinet just like this that i inherited. Thanks for the inspiration. =)

  5. ottimo recupero sei stata da vero fortunata trovarlo a un prezzo cosi basso complimenti per il tuo lavoro ,una bella soddisfazione complimenti lili

  6. Hi Jessica!

    It was definitely worth $10 and some paint. Great job.

    I got 3 cabinets from work for $5 each and am getting ready to paint mine. Could you tell me how you got the brackets off the drawers... the square things that hold the drawer labels?

    1. Meari: It could differ from cabinet to cabinet, my label holders just popped out. I couldn't however remove the thumb buttons and just taped around them with painters tape then once the green was done used a small artist paint brush to carefully paint them by hand. Maybe if yours aren't meant to come off you could try something like that.
      GOod luck and great find!

  7. very nice........I know how you feel about no one seeing these the way you do..........great job. i'm gonna do mine in turquoise

  8. And now....it's probably worth $50. Well done, my friend. ;)


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