Campaign-style Filing Cabinet

So, due to a major de-cluttering and reorganization of this closet, our old metal hidden-away-because-it's-a-hideous-beast of a filing cabinet had to be relocated out into the computer corner of our family room. Our "office space," as it were, was about to be invaded.

Which means...super ugly. In our family room. Hauntingly, nightmarishly present. Nope, can't do it. Something had to change.

And that something involves an old government-issued metal filing cabinet, some frog tape, and some paint to turn the ugly thing into a pretty great campaign-style piece of furniture. 
 
Sure, it's not going to knock the purist-style antique-collecting neighbor's vintage knitted socks off (what, you don't have one of those? strange), but it was a free project and easy to do. And it ended up looking like this:
  
 
 Which may not be that impressive until you take a gander at what she started out as. Here's her original look (back side):
 
 
A lovely puce hue, wouldn't you say? (Bleck.) The drawers:
 
 
And some textured nastiness in the top corner:
 
 
There was tape all over the cabinet, but it was taking way too long to try to peel off, so I busted out my trusty adhesive remover from this wooden trunk makeover project
 
 
First things first: take that high quality government-issued sign off (good to know our trusty government keeps track of classified info via scotch-taped signs. phew. makes me feel safe), because we now actually do have suuuuper secretive information to file away in here.
 
Like blackmail-fodder photos from our awkward years. (Coincidentally, mine spanned ages 5-21...)
 
 
Ahh, much better. That goop (and some original paint) swiped right off the corner here:
 
 
Take all fixtures off the fronts of the drawers. Paint fixtures gold. (Optional: Use a glitter-coated drop cloth. Fancy, no?) 
 
 
Here's where the photo montage takes a turn for the worse...I have literally no photos of the rest of the painting part. Ooops. But I can 'splain it in about three steps. Ready?
 
1. Paint the piece whatever color you want. (I had loads of paint + primer left over from another project, so I rolled that on everywhere.) Let it dry.
 
2. Reattach freshly painted (but dry) drawer fixtures, and put drawers back into the filing cabinet.
 
3a. With drawers intact and pushed in all the way into the cabinet, tape off the campaign-style edges however you want (mine: corners are 3" tall and 3" in, sides are 3" tall and about 1.5" in) then paint them gold (or whatever color you used for your fixtures).
 
3b. Remove tape. Let dry. Commence filing of classified 8th grade photos.

 
My apologies, the color balance is suuuuper funky in these photos. The cabinet is a lovely bluey-grey in real life, but it doesn't read as that under the fluorescents in my basement corner.

 
Done and done. A much better addition to our office space now than the goopy-corner-ness that it was previously, don't you think?
 
 
(Quick back-story: Once upon a time a couple days ago, I wanted to paint a modern perky chevron pattern onto this filing cabinet and even started taping it off and then got lamed out because it would have taken FOR.EV.ER. and so I ripped off the three pieces of tape and instead went with Plan B: Campaign-Style Filing Cabinet, which I ended up liking way more anyway because it's less visually "busy" and thus better for my office space. The end.)
 
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13 comments:

  1. Wow, that looks amazing. I love the colors!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tracie. I wish I could've captured the true colors better, you know?

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  2. Awesome! I have one of those lovely puce colored things.....it's in the garage holding paint. Ironic? :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha! Yep. Perfect irony, right there.

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  3. Wow, you put a lot of work into that. Good job!

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    1. It was pretty easy, actually...especially compared to the chevron job that I opted OUT of because I was too lazy. Heh. :)

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  4. What a transformation! It is amazing that such an eyesore can be such a beauty now. Pinning this.

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    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you! Eyesore was right. For sure.

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  5. It appears the cabinet has (or had) a lock too... Did you have to disable that first, or were you successful in keeping it in tact?

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    1. Funny you mention the lock, Tim. Yes, the cabinet had a working lock. I pushed it in to paint the cabinet, then realized (before I had put all the drawers back in, thank goodness) we had no key because we'd never used the lock before. I was super stressed for a minute, thinking the whole thing would have to be trashed, until my husband helped me disable it.

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  6. It appears the cabinet has (or had) a lock too... Did you have to disable that first, or were you successful in keeping it in tact?

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  7. Great job! I love that you made a pretty basic piece of office furniture look very upscale. I would love it if you link up to my very first link party.

    http://ifitsnotbaroquedesignblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-first-ever-link-party.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invite, Lauren. Will do. :)

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