Introduction: Jazzing Up a Filing Cabinet

Filing cabinets are boring and ugly, right? Here's a way to jazz one up a bit and add character to your space.


Filing Cabinet (Mine is a 2 drawer; 24 1/2 inches high, 14 1/4 inches wide and 18 inches deep.)

Replacement Drawer Handles (Measure the holes in your cabinet to determine which handles to get, I used 3 3/4 inch Cup Pulls)

Chalkboard paint (I used Martha Stewart's brand)

Contact paper (78.7 inch roll, 17.7 inches long, one roll covered the whole cabinet)



Needle or Pin

Screw driver

Step 1: Remove the Handles From the Cabinet Drawers

and place your cabinet on news paper or drop cloth.

Step 2: Paint the Drawer Fronts

Start by cleaning the drawer fronts with rubbing alcohol.

Put two coats of chalkboard paint on the drawers. Ensure that you let the first coat dry before re-application, at least an hour.

Step 3: Install the New Handles

Screw the new handles onto the drawers. I retained the screws from the original handles to reuse.

Step 4: Condition Chalkboard Paint

To condition, rub the side of a piece of chalk over entire surface. Wipe away residue with a barely damp sponge.

Step 5: Cut Contact Paper Strips and Apply

Cut the contract paper in strips for the front edges of your cabinet.

Most contact paper will have guidelines on the back to assist with cutting.

Apply small strips to the front of the cabinet. Insure that the strips wrap around the top and sides of the cabinet a little bit. This will help you get good coverage on the cabinet.

Step 6: Cover the Sides and Top

Cover the sides and top with the contact paper.

I started at the bottom of one side and wrapped the paper up and over to the other side. Use a squeegee to smooth the contact paper onto the cabinet. Peel the paper backing off as you go. DON'T pull the backing paper off in advance. You'll get a ball of contact paper you can't untangle.

I did not cover the back since it will be facing a wall. You can certainly cover the back. Just make sure you buy extra contact paper.

Step 7: Bubbles Are Unavoidable

When smoothing on the contact paper bubbles are unavoidable. Seek out those pesky bubbles and use the needle to prick small holes in them. Then use the squeegee to smooth out the bubble.

Step 8: Write or Draw on the Chalkboard Paint

For the final step write the contents of the cabinet on the drawers or draw pretty pictures on them.