5 Before & After: Filing-turned-laundry cabinet

>> Monday, December 31, 2012

To this girl, there are very few cons of being sucked into the do-it-yourself/furniture rehab world. Trips to thrift shops suddenly become less dusty & dirty and more like treasure troves overflowing with potential. Not to mention the creative (and budget friendly) outlet it dishes up.  Give me a tiny price tag on a completely original piece of furniture and it’s game on!

However, once you’ve caught the furniture flipping fever, I’ve found there is a fine line between rehabber and hoarder. I’ve plead guilty more than once to hauling home a thrift store find that I absolutely did not need just because it was a steal…or a piece I’d never seen before…or simply because it fit in the back of my car. Over the past few months, the projects were starting to pile up in my carport, and as the DIY-darling of the neighborhood (the self-appointed title I’ve adopted to make myself feel better about constantly walking the one-more-item-and-my-neighbors-are-going-to-submit-my-carport-to-an-episode-of-Hoarders line), it was time to knock out one of these projects.

This lovely little wooden filing cabinet has been hanging around for months. When the boyfriend and I were recently discussing how big of an eyesore it is to have all of our laundry detergent just sitting on top of the dryer (never mind the enormous hole in the laundry room wall…more on that in next month’s post)…it clicked that this filing cabinet was the perfect size to scoot right next to the dryer for extra laundry room storage. Alright, fella. You’re up!

Photo Feb 25, 1 13 22 PM

Since I like to do most of my painting projects inside the house—unless either A. I’m working with oil-based paint or B. it’s the perfect 72 & sunny Arkansas day—the first step was to haul this bad boy to the living room. To protect my floors from paint splotches, I have plenty of old towels on hand and propped the cabinet on scraps of wood so that I could easily reach the very bottom edges.

Photo Feb 25, 1 17 10 PM
To prep the drawers, all of the old hardware was removed, the holes filled with wood filler and sanded smooth once dry.

Photo Feb 25, 1 17 44 PM
Before painting, I gave the cabinet & drawers a good wipe down and once dry, went to town with a paint brush. The master plan for this piece involved an old, distressed look, so I opted for a flat paint.

Photo Feb 25, 1 18 29 PM
After two good coats were dry, it was time to bring a little flare to the boring drawer fronts using a stencil and light gray acrylic craft paint.

Photo Feb 25, 1 19 58 PM
Now for the distressing part of this rehab—the boyfriend didn’t understand why I would take something old, paint it like new and beat it up to look old again, but what does he know? With a few swipes of sandpaper on the corners and edges (the areas that would naturally have the most wear and tear over time), we were well on our way to shabby chic.

Photo Feb 25, 1 21 16 PM
Last up: new hardware. This is a pretty sturdy piece, so I wanted hefty hardware to live up to it. I found oversized aged metal handles in four different styles, so I snagged one of each. A different handle for each drawer to add a bit of character.

Photo Feb 25, 1 24 38 PM
While my laundry room is still a disaster zone, at least this filing-turned-laundry cabinet sits waiting in the living room as the light at the end of the tunnel…and with one less piece of junk in the carport, my neighbors can regain a false sense of hope that I won’t haul home any other finds. 

Photo Feb 25, 1 25 33 PM



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