Saturday, May 30, 2020

File Cabinet Makeover

During my recent (and never ending) quest to complete all projects, I decided to tackle an old, ugly file cabinet as well.  Read on to see how easy it is to refresh a metal cabinet:


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Up Close & Personal

Here you can see some of the damage to the file cabinet - scratches everywhere!  Even if it wasn't damaged, it was just plain boring looking.  Definitely time for an upgrade!


For this project I used an old file cabinet, Dollar Tree 8X10 frames, super glue and Krylon Fusion white spray paint.  I chose the Krylon Fusion because I wanted to make sure that the paint adhered well to the metal surface.  It did, though I also had trouble with the nozzle clogging.

You can click here to browse Dollar Tree's online selection of photo frames.
(I get my super glue there too, my favorite is the gel form 😉)

Picture Frame Prep

After removing the backing and glass, I flipped the frames over and used pliers to pull out the metal tabs.

Prepping the Back

Because the backs of the frames were dark in color, I went ahead and sprayed them in white before attaching them to the drawers.  This way if there is ever any gap between the frames and the cabinet, there won't be any distracting colors showing through and the piece will continue to look seamless.

Glue into Place

I attached the picture frames with super glue and let dry, then sprayed the cabinet and frames in white.

The Krylon Fusion spray paint worked well for a bit, but ended up clogging in the nozzle before I was finished.  I had enough of the spray on the cabinet to create a nice primer though, and ended up finishing with a roller brush and standard paint.


While the cabinet was drying I used my Cricut cutting machine and some cardboard to create a fleur de lis stencil, planning on adding a gold detail to the drawers.  If I were doing this again I would have positioned the stencil more in the center of the cardboard to help avoid overspray of the gold paint onto the white file cabinet.  The cardboard worked ok, but if I had used removable vinlyl the finished look would have been crisper.

Here is an excellent tutorial from Daily Dose of DIY all about making stencils with the Cricut.

Fleur De Lis

If you look closely you can see that the detailing isn't as crisp as it could be and I also had to touch up some of the gold overspray.  Overall I'm happy with how it turned out though!

Finished Result

And here is my updated file cabinet all fresh and pretty.  This project was definitely worth it- only an afternoon of time and less than $10 and it's like having an entirely new piece!


I hope you enjoyed this how-to post, thanks for stopping by!


© Studio 27 by Jennifer Adams 2020


This post was added to the following link parties:

Tuesdays With A Twist
Wonderful Wednesday (Oh My Heartsie Girl)
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  1. Hi Jennifer. What an amazing transformation !! totally from drab to fab. Love it.
    We host the Meraki Link Party from Monday thru till Thursday, every week. Would love for you to share your posts with us too at
    Thank you