DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet

DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet

Lately, I’ve been working on turning the third bedroom in my house into a “library”. It’s a very small room (10′ x 10′) and it already has the wall of books that helps with the library theme.

Recently, I converted an old TV armoire into a desk that I could use for storing pencils and electronic equipment. If you want to check out the armoire-to-desk project, you can see the post here.

Then I decided to add a “writing desk”. Basically something with a large surface area that I could spread out my books, and yes, notebooks for writing on. I love the “glam industrial” look when it comes to desks (industrial with some sparkly bits!)

Flight desk from zgallerie.com | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Flight desk from zgallerie.com

I fell in love with this one from Z Gallerie…and when it came on sale, I bit the bullet and bought it (a bit of a splurge!)

It’s a beautiful desk, and it fits in my library perfectly…now all I needed was storage for a few files. I am trying to get to the “paperless office” state (you can see my inspiration for that on justagirlandherblog.com), so I didn’t want a big filing cabinet…but there are some papers that you need to keep. And I don’t always get around to scanning things right when they arrive, so this would serve as temporary organization for those papers.

I stumbled across the solution accidentally when I found some really inexpensive file boxes that matched the desk decor exactly! Click next to see what my DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet ended up looking like.

The Sneak Peek of the Finished Product

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The silver snaps on the filing cabinet echo the rivets on the side of the desk | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
The silver snaps on the filing cabinet echo the rivets on the side of the desk

This is the finished product.

I like the fact that the black file boxes with the silver snaps repeats the rivet pattern from the desk. And it has the same black and silver color combination.

Casters make the filing cabinet really easy to move | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Casters make the filing cabinet really easy to move

Then there’s the functional part…those casters mean I can move that filing cabinet anywhere just be pushing it. And the wheel locks mean it can stay in place if I need it to.

Click next to learn how to create this for yourself…it’s really easy (and inexpensive)!

What You Need

  • 12″ wide x 12″ deep x 24″ tall shelving unit…being a bit of a “hoarder” when it comes to construction supplies, I happened to have an old closet organizer shelf that fit the bill. I had cut it down to 24″ tall and removed the back for another project that I wasn’t using any more. You could do something similar with this ClosetMaid 3-Shelf Organizer*




 


 

Step 1: Get the Right Size of Cabinet

The original white shelf | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
The original white shelf

This is the shelf that I started with. It was part of a closet organizer set at one point, but had been re-purposed for another project (that I’m no longer using). At that time I had cut it down to 24″ high and removed the back. Since it is 12″ wide and deep, this just happened to be the perfect size for my filing boxes!

You could do something similar with any inexpensive closet organizer shelf*. Or if you’re an old project supplies “hoarder” like me, you might be able to find something in your stash 🙂

Just make sure your shelving unit has a fixed shelf on the top and the bottom. The middle one can be adjustable (although it’s easier to pull the file box out if it’s also fixed).

Step 2: Spray Paint

Spray Painted Shelves | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Spray Painted Shelves

The first step to creating a glam industrial file cabinet is to spray paint the shelving unit with silver spray paint. I used Mirror Effect Spray Paint*. It is intended to be used on glass, so this isn’t a conventional use for this paint. But I find that it goes on with a much smoother finish and really adheres well to the surface (an important point when you are going to be sliding filing boxes back and forth on it).

1. Take the shelves apart (if you can). This makes them much easier to paint.

Paint Pyramids | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Paint Pyramids

2. Arrange the paint pyramids so that your boards will be able to sit on them. Obviously this is an optional step…but they do keep the boards from sticking to the surface of the table.

The board on the pyramids | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
The board on the pyramids

3. Lay out your boards. I usually try to start with the undersides of the shelves (the parts you won’t see too much). My first few paint sprays always seem to be a little heavy.

4. Apply the spray paint in thin layers. It took about 4 layers for me. Thankfully, this paint dries very quickly so by the time you are finished the last board, you can usually start over with the first one.

5. Wait for a few minutes after the last coat, then flip the boards over and repeat for the other side.

The one thing I have noticed is that the mirror effect paint seems to pick up finger prints really easily (just like stainless steel!). I may end up putting a clear coat on it so that I don’t have to keep wiping them off all the time.

Step 3: Attach Casters

Attach the casters in the corners | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Attach the casters in the corners

If you took your shelves apart to paint them, put them back together before attaching the casters. Make sure that you have the finished edges facing in the right direction when you do this.

1. Turn the shelf unit upside down making sure that you don’t scratch the top (this is easiest if you can put down a towel or do this on a rug).

2. Attach the casters in each of the corners using ¾” screws.

Painted shelf with wheels | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Painted shelf with wheels

3. Turn the shelves right side up…the DIY part is done!

Step 4: Add the File Boxes

Shelves with file boxes | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
Shelves with file boxes

1. Put the black letter-size file boxes* together. This is really easy…fold them out and push the snaps together.

2. Load up your hanging files.

3. Add the file boxes to your shelving unit.

Note: These file boxes come with a lid but it doesn’t really work since it fits on top of the file tabs, and it makes the box wider than my shelf. So I just don’t use the lids.

Step 5: Wheel It Into Position

My new filing cabinet under the desk | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
My new filing cabinet under the desk

This is the easiest step of all! Wheel the file box where you want it!

The silver snaps on the filing cabinet echo the rivets on the side of the desk | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
The silver snaps on the filing cabinet echo the rivets on the side of the desk

In my case, it’s going under my desk so that it’s out of the way…but the wheels make it easy to pull out when needed.

The black and silver filing box also goes with the desk colors | DIY Glam Industrial Filing Cabinet
The black and silver filing box also goes with the desk colors

And the fact that it’s fairly small means that I can’t collect too many papers…so I will be forced to keep up my paperless office habits. And it doesn’t take up much space. A perfect solution for my small library.

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