Yard Sale Furniture Repurposed: Filing Cabinet

HGTV Magazine gives the simple how-tos of transforming a dingy filing cabinet into a chic office organizer.

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Enlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-Photography by Philip Friedman/Studio D

Materials Needed:

  • screwdriver
  • medium-grit sandpaper
  • all-purpose spray cleaner
  • paintbrush
  • acrylic primer for metal
  • latex paint
  • adhesive shelf paper
  • metal ruler
  • utility knife
  • straight edge (like an old credit card)

1. Clean and Prep

Remove the cabinet's hardware. Note how it was assembled so you can put it back on later. Rough up the metal with the sandpaper, then wipe down the cabinet with the cleaner.

2. Prime and Paint

Prime the cabinet — except the drawer fronts, which you'll be covering — and let dry. Then paint over the areas you primed. We used Bee's Wax by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams. Let dry.

3. Add Shelf Paper

Measure a drawer front and add 3/8" to each side. Draw measurements on the back of the shelf paper (we used Chic Shelf Paper in Gold Leaf Damask, from $3.50 per sheet, chicshelfpaper.com) and cut with the utility knife. Unpeel the top of the paper and wrap it around the drawer's top edge. Slowly unpeel a little more at a time, smoothing the paper over the front of the drawer, first with your hands, then with the straight edge, to eliminate air bubbles. Make a small cut in each corner of the shelf paper; neatly wrap it over the drawer's edges. Repeat for the other drawers, then reattach the hardware, puncturing through the paper.

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