Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Tale of One Filing Cabinet

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...Grab some popcorn people, this could be epic. Or probably just long... The saga begins in February, 2010...

Behold, the before of the office:





When Mr. Wonderful and I married, I inherited this filing cabinet. It's not a bad filing cabinet, but it didn't really go with the antique table we're using as a desk. It's more contemporary, shall we say. But it's made of wood, so of course I wanted to paint it. Mr. Wonderful gave me permission to do whatever I wanted with it. Yay! But, needing to make things complicated, and having seen this post on Centsational Girl, I decided to experiment with paintable wallpaper. You know, I had a 9 month old child, what else did I have to do? I found it on sale at Menards for about $10. We don't have a bathtub, so I used storage tubs to soak the wallpaper.
Fold it, glue-y sides together.



Originally I had planned to wrap the paper around to the back, but it failed epically, as the drawers are too close together to allow for the raised surface of the wallpaper. So I decided to just leave it on the fronts.

After painting the whole cabinet Cottage White by Behr, this is what I had. (These pictures are from back in March)





Looks pretty good. I knew I was going to add hardware eventually. I ordered some label holders for my birthday (some women want clothes, some women want hardware!), and thought I could use some of my "found" hardware to go with them.



But the reality was that it wasn't working. I ignored it for many months, but the wallpaper wasn't totally adhered to the filing cabinet, I had a curious toddler on my hands and I knew it was just a matter of time until things got ugly, but I felt stuck with it.





Enter screen molding. I think that's what it's called. I looked for the cheapest molding I could find at Menards, basically.











I used a miter box (yes, it was even me! It wasn't even Mr. Wonderful!) to make some 45 degree cuts using the measurements of the drawer fronts.


They looked kind of rough
So I found something that looked like an emory board and filed away.
Looking better!





Using tiny headless brad nails I hammered the moulding to the fronts, used a tiny nail punch to get them all the way in the grooves, painted them with some off white freebie paint I had (antique white from Glidden), and used caulking to fill in the corners as well as the sides where the edges of the wallpaper showed through. Then I added hardware--the label holders I got for my birthday, and chunky pulls that match our kitchen hardware.







Here's a close up.




And the full effect of our office, which is located in the butler's pantry.


Now if I were a good blogger, I'd have written something clever on the chalkboard. MAN! But, I'm pretty excited about how it turned out, even though it took...mmmm 6 months. Thanks for hanging in there to the end!
I'm linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick
also linking up to Miss Mustard Seed
also linking up to Funky Junk Interiors
Whoops! I linked to Thrifty Decor Chick again! Sorry everyone!








69 comments:

  1. I am so impressed, how handy are you?! Can I call you if my toilet backs up, too?

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  2. Wow, that looks fantastic! :]

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  3. This is gorgeous! I've never seen a file cab that beautiful. Amazing outcome and such a neat idea!

    Donna
    http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/

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  4. Thank you for some great inspiration. I have two smaller oak file cabinets that I need to use but have not wanted to because they just don't fit into my decor ~ this is fantastic

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  5. Holy smokes... this is so pretty now! I have an old oak filing cabinet that I've been thinking of painting white! I really like that wallpaper, I may have to try that on mine!

    Tania

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  6. Amazing! That is a wonderful project.

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  7. Best looking file cabinet I've seen, hands down. Great job!

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  8. I just facebooked this project. :)

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Funky-Junk-Interiors/175378011140

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  9. What an awesome project!

    Found you thru a facebook link from Funky Junk.

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  10. Looks lovely! That's a lot of work so don't beat yourself up that it took six months.
    We bought a banged up, very used metal filing cabinet many years ago and about six years ago I got around to painting it. Nothing fancy like yours, just plain paint all over. But what a difference a little paint can make! We've moved a few times since then (the latest overseas) and so it's looking a little shabby chic from the "bumps and bruises" it has sustained, but I'm waiting until we build a house and move it one last time before doing anything else.
    Might just steal your wallpaper idea :)

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  11. I used modge podge and scrapbook paper and it turned out great. I love your look, may have to try it on the sides....umm. sounds like another project on the horizon.

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  12. This looks really snazzy! I love it and I am inspired. Thanks for sharing. Wow, and Mommy to a 9 month old?...you're amazing.

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  13. This looks so pretty, what a clever idea.

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  14. wow!! That looks amazing, I just love what you did!!

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  15. Oh my! Your file cabinet is fabulous! I have an ugly metal cabinet in our office that is due a makeover. Obviously, I can't hammer into it, but you are inspiring me to start thinking about how I might improve it.

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  16. Adding the trim not only made it more functional, but it looks so finished and custom! Great job.

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  17. I love it. I really should do this to mine! I featured a link to this post today over on my blog.

    Michelle
    from www.TrashToTreasureDecorating.com

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  18. Wow that is a great transformation. Where did you get the hardware.

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  19. Thanks everyone!!!

    Orange sugar--Ooo I meant to put that in the post. Label holders are hard to find, but I found 'em at thehardwarehut.com. I bought the cheaper brassy ones and spray painted them black. The actual pulls I got from Menards.

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  20. Love it! I blog at Home Stories A to Z but am also the editor for Tip Junkie Decorate. I'll be featuring your cabinet on Tip Junkie soon :).

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  21. I LOVE it!!! That looks fantastic!!!
    Suzanne

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  22. you are my hero!!! I wish I could handle our bedroom furniture that way!!!

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  23. I super love this! What an awesome idea!!

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  24. Thanks for the images and idea. I must get around to this one day!

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  25. Just love it. I am a fan of anaglyptic wallpaper so I might have to try it on our filing cabinet.Fiona

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  26. Yay! I hate the utilitarianism of my beat up old file cabinets, even though it matches the desk. I like my things to be pretty! Good to know there's hope yet!

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  27. I found this on pinterest tonight and just love it. I'm getting ready to re-decorate my craftroom.... I hope to find an old file cabinet to try this out on.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Buffie
    http://papercuts4u.blogspot.com/

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  28. I'm so impressed! When we moved into our new home, we wanted a small refrigerator in our bedroom; to keep from running up and down the stairs. My husband gave me his office small 20 year old refrigerator and I just looked at it for 6 months and couldn't stand it, because ugly is too kind. So I sanded it, painted it twice with black paint, then I put stenciled leaves and flowers in silver on all three sides on the corners and stenciled vines on the front running up to the corners. 15 years later, the black color makes it disappear in the corner, still looks great.

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  29. Stumbled in from another person's link on pretty filing cabinets--- yours is the prettiest I've seen so far :)

    ~Suzanne in Illinois

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  30. I love that filing cabinet. Looks like pressed tin, great job indeed

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  31. How nice! The wallpaper really suits that filing cabinet. It's like it's part of the room. And because it looks good, the whole place also looks good. Good job! The hard work was definitely worth it.

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  32. I love this! You are so talented!!

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  33. I love how you shared the sage of this project - so many of my projects end up that way too. But the finished product looks great!

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  34. Great idea! I have an unsightly cabinet and your project is just what it needs! Thanks for sharing..AWESOME!

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  35. Great idea! I have a metal file cabinet that I purchased from the Habitat Restore. Keep meaning to paint it and maybe this year it will happen. Now that I've seen yours, thanks to ThirtyDecorChick, will try to add a little interest to the paint job.

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  36. love this, any ideas for a metal one, ?

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  37. I did this to my cabinet. and it turned out great! Thanks so much for the idea!!!!!

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  38. This is a gorgeous redo on the file cabinet. Love it!

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  39. do you think this could be done to a metal filing cabinet?

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  40. Nice idea.

    Your blogger template seems to be broken. It is difficult to read your blog because of that.

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  42. I've had this on my Pinterest board for ages and just had a chance to come to your blog tonight. I assumed it was somehow modge-podged, I never expected wallpaper and ADDED MOLDING! That's really cool :D Won't work for my metal cabinet though, boo.

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  43. Oh man this looks awesome !!!! Im going to go and redo my desk and turn it into a vanity ! I bought similar paper actually by chance at walmart !! So excited

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  44. Go through your file drawers, one at a time, and put in the new empty files in alphabetical order. Now empty all your old files and put the paperwork in the appropriate places. Do the same for any loose paperwork.

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  45. It feels so good when it is finished and it will sit there reminding you how awesome you are! Congrats!!!!!

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  46. hello there breathtaking blog page http://casinogamesonlinee@blogspot.com

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  47. Wow! Look at that! It's really creative of you. I absolutely adore this idea. It looks very different from the old cabinet. Two thumbs up mate! Thanks for the great organized workspace tips!

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  48. Thank you for sharing. I have the identical cabinet which has been sentenced to storage in the basement guilty of being ugly. Now I finally have a way to reintroduce it into our daily lives. I can't wait to get started!

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  49. I found you on Pinterest. Excellent project, you did a great job on the filing cabinet. Very inspiring, Thanks!

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  50. I am completely smitten! LOVE it! Gonna DO it!

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  51. I love it!! I've been trying to figure out how to make our cabinet~such a useful thing, more beautiful in our office and this is exactly what I will try!! Well done! Oh, and when my kids were babies, I felt that I was having a productive day if I showered and got something for dinner on the table. This project would still be waiting!!

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  52. How cleaver... Love it.

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  53. oh wow, i so need to do this, my cabinet is ugly with a capital U!
    thanks for the inspiration, i'll be back in errrr 6-8 months to show you the end result! lol

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  55. Great job, beautiful end product...linked you from Pinterest

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  56. I winder if this would work in those crappy metal ones if you used krylon metal spray paint on base? Plastic moulding glued on. ..?

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  57. LOVE IT!!!! Great Job!!! I need storage so I guess I will be running to the thrift store for a filing cabinet and I will Do It Myself!! Gives me inspiration! Thanks! :))

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  58. Thanks for the inspiration, my filing cabinet is a total eye sore and needs help bad and with your inspiration I think I have an idea.... Thanks for sharing your fabulous "make over"

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  59. What a great idea! I have an old chest of drawers that needs a facelift. I'm thinking the wallpaper on the front of the drawers would work wonderfully to hide the veneer that is splintering.

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  60. Great idea! What is the name of the wallpaper?

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  61. Looks lovely. Have been thinking of what to do with our cabinet that is stuck in the garage at the moment! Thanks for the inspiration. Just remember, some projects take time.

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  62. I like your idea using that textured wallpaper on the filing cabinet. It came out nice. I have an old clothes hamper that is almost 50 years old that looks pretty bad that I've been thinking of using the textured wallpaper on it on the sides, lid, and front. The back part is wicker so that can get spray painted. Have to wait till Spring/Summer when it's warm I'm going to try to spray paint primer on first.

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  63. This article piqued my interest in the latest products available on the market, and I found a great resource here: http://www.archiexpo.com/architecture-design-manufacturer/filing-cabinet-239.html. Hope this is a useful resource for you other readers.

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