A Stylish Filing Cabinet Makeover


CT often makes fun at me for how I hoard paper. I like to save everything and need somewhere to put it that's nice and organized. Since your standard filing cabinet can be quite the eye sore in your decor scheme, this is one of my favorite DIYs. Super simple but makes such a big difference.

What's Needed:

  • Filing Cabinet
  • Screwdriver
  • High Gloss Latex Paint
  • Brush (I used a rolling and foam brush)
  • Patterned paper or wallpaper
  • Mod Podge (I used Modge Podge Gloss All-in-One Decoupage Sealer / Glue / Finish)
  • Exacto Knife
  • Spray Paint or new hardware
  • Paint Tray
  • Painter's Cloth or Plastic

Step #1 -  Paint

Here's where you start - with your standard gray filing cabinet.  Use a rolling brush to apply the paint to the cabinet allowing it to dry completely between coats. Since my cabinet was so dark and I painted it white, it took me about 6 or 7 coats. Also, make sure to paint the front of the drawers if your cabinet is dark, and your paper is light so the color does not show through. During this step I would also spray paint your hardware if you are using the original hardware (I did).

Step #2 - Apply Mod Podge + Lay Paper

The Mod Podge will be the glue to apply your paper. Another easy way to do this would be to use contact paper and then you can skip the mod podge. Since I wanted specialty paper, I used mod podge. Using a foam brush, evenly spread the Mod Podge to the front of the drawers, and carefully lay your paper on top. Use a plastic edge to smooth out the air bubbles and allow to dry.

Step #3 - Remove Excess Paper With Exacto Knife

Then apply a layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper and allow to dry. Air bubbles will reappear during this step, but you do not need to try and smooth them out. Once it dries they will disappear.

Step #4 - Spray a layer of polycrylic

This will seal and protect the cabinet  If using new handles, use your screwdriver to apply them.

And you're done! Super easy, but a big difference.