Monday, July 16, 2012

File Cabinet Makeover

Time for another link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics and boy is it a biggie! If you've never linked up with her, you need to right away. Well...not right this very second. Finish your reading here and then go link up {smiles}.


This week's Monday Made It was inspired by this awesome project I pinned a few months ago. You can check out her steps here.

After reading her post, I thought, no problem. I can do this. I don't have the time right now to do bargain hunting, so I thought I'd ask Mrs. T (our Vice Principal) if she would mind me making over the filing cabinet in my class. She said YES! 

So, last week I went to the school and took out all the drawers and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

 And this weekend the drawers got papered. I'm proud to present my newly made over filing cabinet!

Easy right? 

WRONG!! This was a nightmare of a project. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying so here are some things I learned to make your project go much more smoothly.

#1. Choose a filing cabinet that you are 100% sure that all of the hardware on the front will easily come off and go back on. 
Let's just say I didn't do this and that the husband had to get involved with drills and that now one cabinet has a "no longer working" knob hot glued on. 

#2. Spray paint in light coats. 
Do one light coat, let it dry a bit, go back and do another and repeat until you have it covered. I tried covering the thing in one coat which resulted in drips, which resulted in me attempting to fix said drips, which resulted in the necessity of that side having to be placed up against a wall to avoid any embarrassment.

#3. Be an expert Mod Podger before attempting. 
I used a coat of spray adhesive to get the paper to stick. The first drawer bubbled like crazy so I ran to get my Pampered Chef scraper and that only helped minimally. 

I thought maybe I didn't let the spray adhesive dry enough so I waited. I noticed ripples coming up on all the other drawers that hadn't been Mod Podged yet.  Uggh! Frustration level climbing. I reapplied spray adhesive, used the scraper to make sure the paper was really flat and let it dry. The Mod Podge despite my extra efforts. Boo on Mod Podge!

Since I had cut my paper slightly smaller than the face of the cabinet (I didn't wrap it like the one I pinned) I really only needed a seal along the edges. So that's all I did on the other drawers and they came out much better.

Whew! I'm glad that's over. 

After all that work I'm only okay with how it came out. I wish I hadn't done green. I had originally thought about doing blue or pink, but wanted something to pop more. The green sure does, but not so much in the way I had hoped. 

I think I'd be happier with the result if I had skipped the Mod Podge. I always hear about people using Mod Podge, but after this project I just think it stinks! A lot of people mention the bubbling. Why are we still using this stuff?!

Here's what I'd love to know:

What projects have you done with Mod Podge?
Were they successful or did you find yourself frustrated 
(or is that just me)?
What types of projects are best suited for Mod Podge?
What are your top tips for a successful Mod Podge project?

and last but not least, the question on everyone's mind:

How do we avoid the bubbles?!


  1. That turned out AMAZING! I love it :) And it looks super easy to do too. You are so crafty!


  2. Looks 100 x better. I did mine this summer too.

    ✣ Miss Nelson✣
    Miss Nelson’s Blog

  3. Oh my. It is SOOOO cute! Makes me want to find a file cabinet and try it. However, I just bought a desk and am painting it. I'd love to try modge podge on the drawers but think my hubby would flip if I did. hmmmm. Let me think about it more!

  4. It looks adorable!!!! Now I want to do mine, but I would also need some advice from a mod podge expert. I had trouble with the bubbles when I did my stool! ;( Hope we get some good advice on it!

    Teaching Maddeness

  5. Your filing cabinet is a-maz-ing! Now I want to give mine a makeover.

    Hooty's Homeroom

  6. Your filing cabinet looks great! Now...what can I use mod podge on??

    P.S. I'm a new follower...I found you through Tara's linky party!


    Third Grade's A Charm

  7. I love the green. But, I am a big fan if green. My friend did this same project and she felt the same way you did about the Mod Podge. :(

  8. Sorry you had frustration with the mod podge ordeal...I've not mod podged for a bazillion years...sorry I can't offer any advice. Hope it's consolation that your file cabinet is GORGEOUS!!

    Primary Inspired

  9. Your filing cabinet came out great!! I'm not really experienced with Mod Podge yet so I'm looking forward to seeing tips on how to deal with that. :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  10. Thanks everyone! Can't wait to hear what some of you Mod Podge experts have to say. ;0)

  11. It looks absolutely beautiful!! I was going to re-do mine, but I don't think I'm up for the challenge!! :) I appreciate your honest remarks!! Knowing me, something would fall off right when the superintedent stops by. (That has happened to me before!)

    Grade Three is the Place for Me

  12. Hi Janis! If you follow my tips the process should go much more smoothly. I think the main goal is being picky about which type of filing cabinet you use. It's so crucial that all of the pieces come off the front easily. I also thought maybe Mod Podging fabric to the front would come out better. Not sure though.

  13. Oh my word! That filing cabinet is just adorable!! Now you need to come make mine cute:) Thanks for linking up:)

    4th Grade Frolics

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  16. It shouldn't be too bad Rory if you learn from my (many) mistakes :)

  17. Your file cabinet is beautiful! Love it!! :)

    Miss R's Room

  18. Great article about File Cabinet. I really like your blog very much and also share this article with my friends and keep it up

  19. Absolutely love all the wonderful creativity here and am thoroughly enjoying browsing through your posts! :D
    You did a great piece of art.

  20. Really not an expert, but I use lots of Mod Podge. On the file cabinet I bet priming the fronts of the drawers first would help. The metal front are too slick for the glue to have anything to adhere to, and so it runs and puddles and makes bubbles. I agree with a previous poster...fabric would work well too and has the added benefit of not drying with a wrinkled look to it.

  21. Love this idea! I am curious to know what kind of paint you used to cover up the filing cabinet...

  22. Mrs. Zimmerman, I actually just used spray paint. I primed it first and then sprayed on the color. It has help up ok, but could use some touch up already.

  23. Turned out great! What brand of spray paint & what's the name of the color? Love it!