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I was lucky enough to be gifted a hand-me-down filing cabinet. Recently my craft supplies have just outgrown my craft armoire. I was excited to have a new storage solution but I never imagined myself to have filing cabinet. I knew there had to be a way to spruce this up and give it new life. 

With a lot of googling I managed to come across a slew of cabinets that had been painted and linen wrapped with fabric. This was exactly what I needed to do and it would actually turn into the accent color and piece I needed for my craft room I am putting together. 

So lets get started. I could not wait to get the stickers off this bad larry and clean him up.

This was harder than I thought to clean up. For all of you that keep up on my posts you may have realized I am slightly obsessed with windex. After cleaning just one side I was quite disturbed when I saw what came off of this cabinet. I even consulted my brother who works in furniture restoration. He told me the cabinet was old enough to be in an office when they were allowed to smoke while working. Gross…. But it was free, in really good shape and I was obsessed with the idea of this project! Do you have any idea how expensive filing cabinets are new?! I was kinda surprised!

So lets remove all the hardware. With the filing cabinet being so old pliers and some superman strength were necessary. 

I picked up about a yard and a quarter of fabric from Joann’s for $12. Using the front of the filing cabinet I cut out an oversize piece. To make sure I did not have any permanent wrinkles iron each piece of fabric before adhering to the cabinet. 

I used a polyacrylic top coat on the front of the cabinet to adhere the fabric to. I had seen Mod Podge used but for the longevity of the cabinet I decided spending slightly more on the polyacrylic would be worth it in the long run. When painting make sure to cover the whole front surface. Don’t worry about the sides or excess fabric yet. 

Use your hand to smooth out any air bubbles to the edges. 

Letting the top set and dry for about an hour or the time to adhere the other drawer fronts. Then paint the top inside of the cabinet and folding the fabric back to stick to the polyacrylic. 

To ensure the fabric will stay in place I used the polyacrylic like Mod Podge over the fabric on the inside and outer edges. 

Do the same to the sides and bottom cutting clean lines. The side and top will be visible when the filing cabinet is open. 

Letting the fabric dry and set than take an exacto knife and puncture holes into the fabric where the hardware needs to be placed.

Once all four drawer fronts were complete I started to paint the cabinet with a gallon of $7 oops paint that I had leftover from another project. Luckily it matches almost perfectly to the fabric that I had picked out!

I decided to use a roller on the cabinet so less brush strokes would be visible. Since the cabinet was darker it took two coats of paint to be completely covered. 

To this day I think this is one of the most beautiful and successful projects I have ever completed. I am so proud of the finished project. Now hopefully this keeps me organized or at least some of my supply overflow hidden.

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About Michelle Beaton

Welcome to Weekend Craft. Life is busy so I am all about getting projects done on the weekend, whether it be crafts, DIY, home decor, or crafting with your Cricut.

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  1. I have a four-drawer gray metal filing cabinet just like your ‘Before’ version. Hmmm. I was gonna get rid of it, but now you’ve got me thinking! Thanks!

  2. OH wow! That turned out great! I’ve been wanting to do something with my filing cabinet and love your idea. As a side note, please only link up food related posts to the Foodie Friday linky. Thanks!

  3. I found this post via Pinterest and want to do the same thing to my ugly old filing cabinet. I’m just curious as to how well this has held up over time and also if wrapping the fabric around the drawers caused any problems getting them open/closed?

  4. Did you use a paint specifically for metal or will any house paint work? I have some semi gloss left over from a previous project but am unsure if I should use it on such a project. Thanks!