Thursday, June 12, 2014

Artsy Fartsy Friday {Linky Party}: Filing Cabinet Makeover

We are so excited to bring you our first Artsy Fartsy Friday Linky Party.  Miss Law's Kinders and Sew Much Music are collaborating to host a weekly linky all summer long!  Still don't know what this linky party is about? Check out my previous post with all the details right here

Want to link up? 
1. Grab the Artsy Fartsy image and link to one of our blogs. 
2. Blog about a craft or project you have been working on this week. 
3. Link up at the bottom! 

Now on to my Artsy Farsty project for this week: filing cabinet makeover!

My very fun craft project for this week was to revamp my filing cabinets.  Along with my great friend Lindsey at Miss Law's Kinders, we transformed our filing cabinets from boring to extraordinary! Here are the final results: 

To begin, you will need the following:
  • Spray paint (2 cans for 2-drawer cabinet, 4 cans for 4-drawer cabinet)
  • Gloves
  • Painter's tape
  • Tarp
  • Contact paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Squeegee
  • Wrench or screw driver 

Step 1: Prepare to Paint
Take the drawers out of the filing cabinet. Place the filing cabinet on a tarp outside. Make sure to tape down the corners of the tarp so the wind does not blow it. Using painter's tape, tape off any areas that you do not want painted, such as the school inventory label or locking devices. 

Step 2: Paint
For my classroom, I wanted a bright pink filing cabinet! I selected to use the Rustoleum Ultra Cover spray paint that I found at our local Wal-Mart.  The color I selected is called Berry Pink.  For my 2-drawer filing cabinet, I needed 2 cans of spray paint.  The taller, 4-drawer cabinets, require 4 cans of spray paint.  Also, make sure to wear rubber gloves! We learned the hard way :)

Next, begin to paint the filing cabinets with slow, wide sweeps.  Once you get one coat done, wait for it to dry, and then apply another coat.  It required three coats to get the finished look. 

Don't forget to paint the metal pieces between the drawers! I completely forgot about mine the first time!  Keep remembering to be patient even when your fingers are cramping up! 

Step 3: Drawers
While the paint is drying, it is time for the long and detailed process of applying the contact paper to the front of the drawers.  But don't worry, it is SO worth it!  I found a great deal on gray chevron contact paper on Amazon.  You get two rolls for only $10.99, plus free 2-day shipping with Prime! This company creates a variety of chevron colors and other prints.  You can cover eight drawer fronts with one roll of contact paper.  

To prepare for the contact paper, take of ALL the hardware on the drawer front.  Trust me, I learned the hard way.  We tried to cut around the metal parts, but it just resulted in bubbles and wrinkles.  At first, I didn't think I could take off the handle, tag plate, and latch, but oh, was I wrong.  You have to take the whole back cover off! Undo the one screw and then pop the back cover off.  You may need a flat head screwdriver to help pop it off. 

Once the back is taken off, simply unscrew remaining bolts and push out the latch.  Note: some items may not be able to come off the drawer.  As a result, you will have to cut around the item with an Exacto knife. Your drawer should now look like this: 

Next, measure your drawer front and add 1/4 inch to the measurement in order to seal around the edges.  Cut the contact paper to fit the drawer front. This type of contact paper had a very easy grid on the back.  Simply measure your paper and cut!

Follow the directions on the contact paper for application directions.  Start at the top of the drawer. Peel back the top of the paper and evenly place the contact paper on the top of the drawer.  Using a squeegee, or other type of similar tool, like a plastic ruler, smooth out the air bubbles.  While working down the drawer, slowly pull off the back paper, continuing to push out air bubbles.  Do not push on air bubbles too hard because the contact paper can rip.  

Once the front is all on, smooth the edges of the contact paper over the drawer edges for a good seal.  Do the same for all drawer fronts.  If you still have some bubbles in the contact paper, simply poke the bubbl3 with a safety pin and push the air out. 

Reattach hardware. I just poked my screws through the contact paper.  If you feel more comfortable, you can use the Exacto knife to cut the contact paper.  And yes, my arm is a nice shade of pink! And it is not a sunburn :)

 Step 4: Assemble
Place your drawers into the filing cabinets, and viola, a complete transformation! I am so pleased with the results!  Even though a little time consuming, this filing cabinet makeover was simple, and oh, so beautiful!  Don't you think?!

Want to learn all the details about the yellow filing cabinet? Check out Lindsey's blogpost for Artsy Fartsy Friday! 

I look forward to sharing many Artsy Fartsy Friday projects with you throughout the summer! Don't forget to link up at the bottom to share your classroom craft projects!


  1. So cute! I have a cabinet that I'd like to redo myself, but the drawer hardware part is what has kept me from it. I just know I'd take that apart and not be able to get it back togethee. So it just sits in my closet instead. :-)

    1. I was dreading the hardware, but once I got that back cover off, it made the project so much easier! Just make sure to take lots of pictures along the way so you can put it back together :)

    2. My niece did the same thing with wrapping paper and spray adhesive. Here's the link that shows how she did it.

  2. This is awesome! Did you have to ask for your school's permission to paint them or not? i would love to do this..I just don't know what I would do with all of my papers! It looks amazing! Nice work!

    1. Thank you Megan! Everything that was in my filing cabinets is now in my floor :) I got this job two years ago, but since I am at four schools, I have never had the time to actually go through them. So this project has made that finally happen! Our principal knew we were doing it!

  3. I love it! Thank you for being so clear with your tutorial!

  4. I'm seriously jealous of your skills! They look fantastic!

  5. I love the pink one with the chevron print. Though I love the yellow and the blue as well. What you did is such a great way to spruce up a filing cabinet and take away the drab, boring look of a typical filing drawer. Good job! I’m looking forward to more of your projects soon. :D
    Orlando Nunez @ Office & Ergonomic Solutions Office Furniture

  6. I painted my small cabinet today! Well...I repaired my previous attempt! As soon as my contact paper arrives from Amazon I'll add that!
    4th Grade Dynamic Duo

  7. I love what you did to the filing cabinets. The project made them a lot more unique and personal now. Thanks for linking the other blogs that volunteered to the Artsy Fartsy project, by the way. Everyone has been so creative. I love the projects, and I'm really getting into the mood of participating. Hahaha! All the best to you! :)

    Eloise Pittman @ Viper Online

  8. Those are too freaking cute!!!!

  9. How long did this project take from beginning to end?

    1. Overall, this project took about four hours I would say. However, I was also helping a friend redo her cabinet as well. I could probably could complete one on my own in two hours or less. While the paint is drying, I went inside to put the contact paper on the drawers.

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  11. Does the paint tend to chip at all? Or scratch off?

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