Artsy Fartsy Friday {Linky Party} Filing Cabinet Makeover


I have been so excited about launching this linky party with my friend Jena Hudson from Sew Much Music, and it is finally here! Still unsure what this linky party is all about? Check out my previous post with all the details and info right here

Want to link up? Here's what to do:
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 of this post. 

Now onto my Artsy Fartsy Friday project: Filing Cabinet Makeover.

I am completely transforming my classroom this summer, and one of the first things I had to check off of my to-do list was my filing cabinets. They were the extremely dull tan color, and they were real eye sores in my room. With the help of Jena, we quickly decided on ways to beautify our drab filing cabinets, and we are both extremely happy with our results. 



To begin your own filing cabinet makeover, you will need the following items:
-Spray paint (for a small, 2-drawer cabinet you will need 2 cans--for a large, 4-drawer cabinet you will need 4 cans.)
-Gloves (We used latex gloves from the nurse's station)
-Painter's tape 
-Tarp
-Contact paper
-Ruler
-Scissors
-Exacto Knife
-Squeegee
-Wrench or screw driver

Step 1: Prepare to paint your filing cabinet.
Take the drawers out of the filing cabinet. Lay a tarp out and place your filing cabinet on it. If you are doing this outside, I would advise either taping the ends of the tarp down so they don't fly up on your newly painted cabinet, or place items to hold the ends down. Use painter's tape to protect any areas on your filing cabinet you don't want painted such as a school inventory label or lock.



Step 2: Get your paint on.
I am doing a colorful room this year, and I wanted my filing cabinets to go right along with that. For my smaller, 2-drawer cabinet, I chose Krylon spray paint in the color Watermelon. It was the perfect shade of pink to go with the chevron contact paper I purchased to go on my drawers. For my taller, 4-drawer cabinet, I chose Krylon spray paint in the color Bright Idea. Yellow is my favorite color, and this paint was the perfect shade. For the 2-drawer cabinet I used 2 cans of paint, and 4 cans for my 4-drawer cabinet. Be sure to shake your can of spray paint for 1-2 minutes prior to painting, and make sure you put on your gloves. (I learned the hard way of not wearing gloves. If you want to spare your hand from getting paint all over it, I would certainly advise wearing a glove on the hand you are using to paint.)






Now, begin painting. This is where your patience needs to show up (and your muscles). You'll need to use long, slow swipes from side to side from top to bottom when painting. Your first time through, you will not see the coverage you are going to be hoping for... and that's okay. Trust me, you don't want to spray too much paint in one spot. Spray a coat on each side of your cabinet, and let the sides dry before applying another coat. It took three coats to get the look that I wanted on my cabinet. 
Don't forget to spray the front panels in between where your drawers will go. These are tricky little parts that are easily looked over until drawers are inserted. 

Step 3: Drawers
While waiting on your layers of paint to dry on your cabinets, begin removing the hardware on your drawers. This can be a bit tricky because between Jena and I, we had FOUR different types of filing cabinets, and each had different hardware on the drawers. There are screws on the inside of your drawer that you will need to be removed in order to get the handles off and to pop off the latch and other hardware. (Be sure to check out Jena's post to see what the inside of your filing cabinet looked like and what all she had to do to remove the hardware. Mine was much simpler on the inside than hers.) Any hardware that cannot be removed will just need to be cut around with an Exacto knife when applying your contact paper. 


Next, you'll need to measure out your contact paper to fit your drawers. I added about a quarter of an inch to all sides of my contact paper so that I was certain to have enough to cover the entire front surface after having to cut around hardware. Then cut out your contact paper to the size you measured.



Now comes the fun part. Applying the contact paper. I began by peeling about an inch all the way across the top of the backing of the contact paper off and then stuck it to the top of my drawer. I made sure that the inch was completely smooth and no bubbles before peeling more of the back off and applying more of it to the drawer. As I removed the backing to apply the paper, I used a ruler to help get out the bubbles and make it smooth. (A squeegee would probably work best, but a ruler was all I had.)


I couldn't remove some hardware from my drawer, so I simply just cut around it with an Exacto knife. (It wasn't as hard as it may sound.) 




I continued to smooth out the contact paper with the ruler until I made it to the bottom of the drawer. I then folded the remaining contact paper on the sides of the drawer down so they weren't sticking out. 


Then, I needed to reapply my handles that I had removed. 



Any excess bubbles in the contact paper can be solved by using a safety pin (or tack) to poke a tiny hole in the bubble. It smooths it right out, really! 


Step 4: Put everything together.
Now, add your new (and cuter!) drawers into your lovely new cabinet, and voila! 

Here are my two different filing cabinets. 

Here is my 4-drawer cabinet with Jena's 2-drawer filing cabinet. (I love her colors, too!)


Be sure to check out Jena's post here to see how she made her bright pink and gray chevron filing cabinet. 

I'm so excited to share all of the projects that I will be working on for my classroom throughout the summer, so don't forget to check back every Friday. Don't forget to link up your own 'artsy fartsy' projects at the bottom of my post. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is out there creating!

 
    

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