Make It Monday: Upcycle a filing cabinet

Posted: 13th Mar 2017

Transform a filing cabinet into an on-trend thing of beauty

You will need 

Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint in Carbon, 750ml

Rust-Oleum Surface Primer in Grey, 400ml

Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Bright Gold, 400ml

Marble sticky-backed plastic


1. Remove the drawers of the filing cabinet, if possible. Then carefully detach the handles, which should simply unscrew or pop out.

2. Make sure the filing cabinet surface is clean and free from dust and grease by giving it a wipe over with a damp cloth, leaving it to dry fully before starting.

3. Pour a small amount of Carbon Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint into a tray, load up a foam roller and begin to paint the outside frame of the filing cabinet. Once the first coat is dry, apply an additional one to achieve an even finish.

4. Roll out marble sticky-backed plastic onto a hard flat surface and place the first drawer face down onto it, positioning it in between the grid guidelines. Using a pencil, mark 2.5cm all round the drawer – this will form the cutting guideline. 

5. If your drawers can’t be removed, simply take the sticky-backed plastic and measure up against the drawer, again allowing 2.5cm extra on all four sides. Follow your pencil marks to cut out the drawer fronts using scissors.

6. Peel the backing paper away slightly at one side of the sticky-backed plastic and apply to the corresponding edge of the drawer front. Once this is securely applied, start to pull the backing paper away slowly, smoothing as you go.

7.Once the drawer front is covered, carefully fold over the edges, making neat folds at the corners and trim the excess. Repeat this process for the two remaining drawers.

8. In preparation for reattaching the handles, use your scissors to create a cross where the handle area is. Then carefully fold the sticky-backed plastic over so your handles can be fitted.

9. Place the handles onto a dust sheet or newspaper and apply a coat of Rust-Oleum Surface Primer to prepare the surface. Once this has dried, apply two coats of Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Bright Gold and leave to dry in between coats.

10. To complete, reattach the handles to each drawer, and place the drawers back into the frame. 

Tutorial courtesy of