Adorable Filing Cabinet Makeover Ideas

No home office is complete without a place to store important household files and business documents. Metal filing cabinets definitely fit the bill, providing a place to keep paperwork organized and secure. Sadly, they often end up relegated to a closet or corner of the basement due to a complete lack of style. Resist the urge to kick your clunky, drab filing cabinet to the curb. You can easily transform it from design eyesore to eye candy in several hours with a few supplies and minimal effort.

If you are satisfied with the surface condition of your filing cabinet, consider giving it a quick update by decorating it with whimsical wall decals. Choose from floral, animal, natural and geometric shapes to create an all-over custom motif. Thoroughly clean and dry the surface and place the decals in a deliberate or random pattern. Easily remove old decals and apply new ones to suit your mood or change in room decor. Most wall decals work on a variety of smooth surfaces including metal.

Renovate your rusty filing cabinet with a light sanding and new coat of paint. Go ultra modern with an all-over high gloss finish. Or you can select several colors, painting the body in one and each drawer front a different hue for a color block effect. Use painter's tape to create crisp stripes or a trendy chevron pattern. A filing cabinet covered in chalkboard paint instantly transforms it into a message center or spot to display inspirational quotes. Choose spray paint formulated for use on metal. It is your best bet to ensure a smooth, professional finish. Apply paint in several light coats to prevent drips.

Show off your sewing skills by whipping up a tailored filing cabinet slipcover. Your metal filing cabinet can serve double-duty as a chic bedside or end table in a multi-functional room. Fabricate a simple one-piece cover that fits over the top of the cabinet. Raise or remove the cover when the file cabinet is in use. For easier access, include a front flap that lifts to expose the drawers. Secure the flap to the side panels with buttons, snaps or decorative ribbon ties. If you are not a sewing whizz, camouflage your metal filing cabinet with a pre-made wood top and drape it with a ready-made tablecloth. Place a glass table topper on your filing table to provide added stability and give the unit a clean, finished look.

If the thought of papering a metal filing cabinet sends chills up your spine, worry not. This project is a breeze--even for wallpapering novices. Keep your stress level in check by papering the drawer fronts instead of covering the entire cabinet. Rise above that boring beige or gruesome gray metal paint. Select a wallpaper pattern with colors that complement your cabinet color. Pick up discontinued samples from a local wallpaper supplier or home improvement center if you are on a budget. Use decoupage glue to adhere the wallpaper to drawer surfaces and as a final sealer to protect the finished product. If possible, remove hardware before papering to reduce the number of cuts.

If you feel tentative about testing your decorating chops on a brand new filing cabinet, head to the local thrift shop and pick up a gently used model for a fraction of the price. You can freely express your creativity without guilt, update your find and save money at the same time.


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