Thursday, January 31, 2013

52 UHeart Organizing: File This Project Away To Do Someday!

More proof coming your way today, that organizing doesn't have to be expensive to be stylish!  The lovely Chelsea, from Two Twenty One is here today to show us how she took a standard blah filing cabinet and made it a major "Wow" factor that looks like a bajillion bucks!  Here she is now...


Since the monthly organization challenge for the month of January is home office, I thought I'd share my stenciled file cabinet.

I've been working on my home office makeover for, oh, over a year now.  To say it's slowly coming together is an understatement.  {These things don't happen overnight you know.}  Well, a couple months ago I finished one more project on my to-do list, stenciling my file cabinet.

I started with a dull, greenish/tan file cabinet, which I scored for free. It's super boring and kind of an eyesore, no?


I painted it with white latex paint, and it sat for a year, waiting for more to happen to it.  I contemplated painting on some stripes, but when I came across the Rockin' Roses Damask Stencil by Royal Design Studio I knew it was perfect for the file cabinet.

Stenciling the file cabinet was pretty easy.  It probably helped that I was able to roll the file cabinet over so whatever side I was working on was facing upward.  I started by taping the stencil in the middle of the the long sides.  Adhesive spray wasn't necessary with this project, so don't worry about that.  In addition to the stencil, I used a foam roller, a sample of latex paint {Valspar's Gravity}, and a paper plate covered in foil as my paint tray {super classy and professional}, all things I already had on hand.


I positioned the larger stencil in the middle, and I used the smaller stencil to finish the ends of the tall sides.  The stencil registration system made it easy to match up the pattern.  The large stencil was all I needed for the top of the file cabinet.


I wanted the handles to stand out a little, so I covered them with painters tape before stenciling.


The stenciling itself didn't take very long.  I found the key to effective stenciling was using just enough paint.  It's better to go with too little paint and do a second coat than go with too much paint on the first run.

Don't want to invest in a stencil?  You could easily create some fun designs {stripes, zig zags, diamonds, etc.} with painters tape.


Some people have asked me how well the paint has held up, and I'm happy to say that the paint has held up very well.  The key is giving the paint enough time to cure before placing items on it.


I love how the file cabinet turned out.  Now having to file paperwork won't be as boring because I'll be looking at this pretty little thing.  Isn't it crazy what a little paint can do to transform a piece of furniture?


And because everyone loves a good before and after.  Here you go!  Doesn't it look ten times better?


Have you stenciled a piece of furniture before?  Do you have a less-than-pretty piece of furniture you'd like to stencil or paint?


"Hey friends!  I'm Chelsea from Two Twenty One!  I'm a twenty-something living in Indiana with my husband, Brad, and our crazy mutt, Jack.  My loves are photography, travel, DIY projects, baking, wine, sarcasm and my iPhone.  The husband and I are attempting to make our home a little less cookie cutter and a lot more awesome.  My little slice of the internet, Two Twenty One, is where I share my latest home improvement projects, furniture makeovers, crafts, recipes and home & seasonal decor ideas.  I am beyond excited to join Jen and the rest of the IHeart Organizing team!"



52 comments:

  1. I am going to do this! Sent the link to my husband 1/3 into reading it ha I'd already decided.

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  2. Uh, TEN times better? How 'bout 100 times better! I'm gonna steal this idea, as we are keeping our file cabinet after all. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. This is very inspiring Chelsea! I am currently giving my file system an enormous overhaul that it's been in need of since I got married (almost 10 years ago, I admit!) In fact, "overhaul" USED to be the right word. I think now it is more like starting from scratch since so much can be paperless these days, but I digress. While taking breaks from dragging my feet through the quagmire of years of boxes of papers (shredding most of it, for heaven's sake!), I have been hunting online for the right file cabinet to purchase. But they are ALL so ugly!! Your post here is like a light at the end of a tunnel! Pretty paint!! Of course! Now I can just buy an ugly cheap one and pretty it up myself. Thank you for the great idea! ~Anita Y. in southern California

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  4. These images are taking an eternity to load :( 5 minutes and still going, and it isn't my connection. They're hosted on another server that doesn't seem to be able to handle the load. http://www.twotwentyone.net/

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    1. Thanks for letting me know Vicky - I will try and get them hosted on my site to speed things up.

      xo!
      Jen

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  5. It turned out so super cute. At first I wasn't going to participate in home office month because I don't really have a dedicated home office. I just have a corner of table to hold items and some magazine holders, which I thought were just fine plain. Wrong!

    After seeing how you freshened up a boring filing cabinet, I'm going to figure out what I can do to pretty up my own corner. :)

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  6. I need you to come organize my stuff. I found your blog via Pinterest, lol and am finding a ton of ideas, of course finding time to do it is a different story ;)

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  7. The project sounds interesting, but the pictures aren't there at all. The only thing I see is the text.

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    1. Just moved the photos to be hosted directly on my site, so all should be better now.

      Thanks!

      xo,
      Jen

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  8. This is beautiful! I think I could actually get excited about filing papers in a cabinet this pretty. :) Thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

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  9. Gorgeous!! Off looking for a discount cabinet on Craigslist!!

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  10. I LOVE this! I just scored a free (but ugly) file cabinet from a company's "going out of business auction" so I'm totally going to try this on that! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  11. I absolutely love this. I will be honest though I don't think I will take the time to do this one. I maybe able to achieve similar results using wall decals.

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  12. I love it!! Have you ever spray painted or painted a metal desk? I have one that we got free from an office that was going out of business. It's okay, but it could be a lot cuter and fun. It is black with a brown/black top. I'd love to paint it white or gray. Any thoughts??

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    1. Hi Crystal! I've never spray painted a metal desk. I used a cheap sponge roller to paint this metal file cabinet. I'd suggest doing a google search on how to spray paint metal. Good luck!

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  13. What a GORGEOUS makeover!!! Love it!

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  14. Love love love the filing cabinet!!!! I have to ask though, where did you get the adorable boxes on the floor next to the cabinet?

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    1. Thanks, Karen! The larger box is a storage container I got from Kohls and spray painted pink (http://www.twotwentyone.net/2012/05/nothing-little-spray-paint-cant-fix.html) and the smaller white box is from Ikea.

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  15. Oh, Chelsea, so darling. What a great upgrade. Really pretty.

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  16. I'm wondering if Chelsea painted the inside white too or if she left it alone. I just bought a used file cabinet which is in excellent shape and is bright orange. And although I think the color is awesome, it doesn't really fit in with my color scheme. I'd like to paint it but am worried that if I do the inside also that the file folders will scratch the paint off.

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    1. I left the inside alone. I didn't see a reason to mess with it since no one really sees the inside.

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    2. Thank-you for responding so quickly!

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  17. I love it! That stencil design is gorgeous!
    Leslie
    House on the Way

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  18. Super cute! Because it's just how I roll - I put one of these out at the trash last week. I had held onto it for long enough and could not come up with a reason (project) to keep. Shoot!

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  19. Very pretty and great idea for those boring metal cabinets. I need one

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  20. Sooo cute, I love it. Thanks for sharing. Lisa co

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  21. I have been eyeing the eyesore of a black file cabinet I have in my new office area, this is such a great idea!!!

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  22. Um, this is amazing and gorgeous and genius.

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  23. Where did you get the stencil? It's perfect! We have a filing cabinet we got from IKEA that is just plain oak-colored laminate. It desperately needs some color & I love this idea!

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    1. Hey Brittany! It's the Rockin' Roses Damask Stencil by Royal Design Studio.

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  24. I have got to do this. Please tell me again the two colors you used on this file cabinet. I read one thing but the colors look different.

    Love exactly what you did!!!

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    1. Hi Lora! I used ultra white latex paint and a latex sample of Valspar's 'Gravity'.

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  25. What a GREAT idea! I would never have thought of that. Fun!!

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  26. Well, this is genius! I wonder if my boss would mind if I perked up my cabinet at work.... She's pretty cool. What do you reckon, ask for forgiveness and not permission???

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  27. Oh, I think this is gorgeous! I'm working on decluttering my office (It could moonlight as a shed at times, that's how wild it is), and I think that making things less utilitarian and more beautiful will be an inspiring way to keep things neat and tidy.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  28. So so so cute, Chelsea!! I love the sweet and feminine look you gave it!

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  29. Wow. It feels a bit wrong to love a filing cabinet as much as I love this!

    Pinning :)

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  30. Absolutely love this! Great inspiration for the eyesore green file cabinets in my basement!

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  31. I love this so much. I wish I had a filing cabinet to do this with. I'm with Katie ^^ I wonder if my boss would let me do this at work?? Hmm... Something to ponder. I love the whole set up with the boxes next to it and the lovely flowers and clock on the top. Amazing!! Thank you for sharing!

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  32. I LOVE THIS! Sooo cute! Filing is one of the tasks I do not like to do. I would probably file more if I had a pretty cabinet like this too! :) Awesome job!

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  33. WOW - that turned out amazing! I really want to do a project like this for my home office! What a pretty filing cabinet!!!

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  34. Thank you Chelsea for clarifying the paint. I bought a rose stencil today in town.

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  35. This is officially the prettiest filing cabinet I've ever seen! OHMYGOSH! Time to start pinning stencils.... Love this idea! =)

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  36. I love this! Thanks for sharing. I am adding this to my to do list and giving it a bump up to the top :)

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  37. This is such a great looking cabinet now...Chelsea you did an ourstanding job. I want you to know that I understand the painting it the one color and letting it sit for a bit. Sometimes you just have to let things simmer for a while...then it happens and it comes to you. Great Job!

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