One Woman’s Trash…

My good friend has been searching for the perfect filing cabinet for her room. She had searched all the major big name retailers for a cabinet that would suit her needs, but didn’t quite find the right one until…

One day she was returning home from work when she saw one of her neighbors throwing a disgusting old filing cabinet from his place.  She could hardly believe her luck!  She ran over to her neighbor and asked if she could have it.  Puzzled, he said “Are you sure? This is a piece of junk!”

“No! Its perfect!” With that, she triumphantly carried the filing cabinet to her car- pieces falling off and all. That is when I got the call.

“Maggie!! I have the perfect project for you!”

So after some hard work and dedication, between the two of us we were able to turn a piece of trash into a beautiful functional piece of furniture- even though you can’t tell by the photo below.1611nobottom
The first thing we did was take Murphy’s Oil soap and clean all the crap of the cabinet.  There were some interesting stains on there to say the least.  After it was cleaned, my friend and I took apart the pieces to the cabinet, including the drawer pull, by removing all the screws.  Then we laid the pieces out over a tarp on my driveway to spray paint.
Because this was not the best quality of furniture, we didn’t put in the effort of sanding it first, and then priming it.  We just used Valspar paint + prime spray paint in one, which you can get at Lowes.
Spray painting the cabinet took us about two days, which in a perfect world it really shouldn’t have.  My friend only purchased 1 can of paint originally and that went really fast.  Also, we started this project around 6:00 when we were finished with work so we didn’t have much daylight to work with after the cleaning, taking apart, and spray painting was all said and done. My friend ended up purchasing two more cans of spray paint, and we finished the rest of the cabinet another day later.

Are you ready for the after photo?

TA DA!!  I have to admit, when she brought it over to my house I was so skeptical about the “after,” but with some elbow grease, a few fresh coats of paint and an updated piece of hardware this cabinet doesn’t look bad at all!
So the moral of the story, for me, is to never judge a cabinet by it’s cover.

If you have any furniture that needs a makeover, let me know!  I would love to help you out either in person or through assisting you via email.  You can leave a comment below if you like.


There are 9 comments for this article
  1. TreasureMan88 at 7:30 am

    Treasure indeed! Great work!

  2. Alison at 11:36 am

    “Never judge a cabinet” : ) Maggie, I had so much fun working on this project with you. It makes me happy to give things new life! and I love how this cabinet turned out. Thank you for being an inspiration and for teaching me the correct way to spray paint – you know I tend to go a little rogue at times : ) Also worth noting – total cost for this project was about $20 – hardware was purchased from for $5, and three cans of spray paint came to $12.

  3. Elizabeth at 1:13 pm

    every story like this needs a moral at the end 🙂 love it!

  4. Ellyne at 8:10 pm

    Nice! Looks great and brand new. You girls are a great team. Thank you

  5. Iloveapplepie at 9:00 pm

    Wow! It looks so good! Great makeover, Mags!

    • Story.Style.Vision Author at 9:18 pm


  6. Jessie at 8:36 am

    WOW! That is an amazing transformation. When I saw the before picture I was reeeeally trying to figure out how the heck you would turn that into something tasteful. Great work!