CHEAP & Easy DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover

Oh hey! It’s me! I only completed this cheap and easy DIY project like 4 months ago so it’s totally appropriate to be sharing now, right?  Sorry!!! I know, I’m sooooo bad at this!  I finally got these hideous filing cabinets painted and styled right in time for baby showers, birthdays, and the holiday season and then just TOTALLY bailed on sharing them with y’all.  Well, hopefully y’all don’t hate me and are still interested in seeing how I did it!

Easy DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover to Refresh Office

First, let me show you what these beasts looked like before I took a paint brush to them…

Pretty gross right?! I know it’s hard to tell from the photo but they had sticker residue all over them and really gross drip stains from what I truly hope was coffee! 🤢

I bought these at the Goodwill ReStore, which, if you’re not familiar, has mostly home related items.  Anyway, I think they were $9.99.  Such a steal!  However, they DEFINITELY needed a facelift.

The Makeover


So obviously before I could even think about paint I had to clean these bad boys up.  I just took a damp rag and wiped them down.  Any “stains” that were harder to get out I either scraped or used a household cleaner.


From there I took all the drawers out and removed the hardware.  There should be a small hole on the inside of the drawer that your screwdriver will reach into to unscrew the handles.  (You can skip this step if you want BUT if you’re using spray paint like I did, it will made for a much smoother and better looking application if you remove the handles).

Cheap DIY cabinet refresh
I did NOT remove the hardware for the first one and completely regretted it
Cheap and Easy Office Refresh
Notice where I missed with the paint right around the handle…thus my recommendation to remove prior to paint lol


Grab whatever color spray paint you want.  I use Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Semi-Gloss Black Spray Paint and Primer in 1.  I love it because it sprays very evenly and I only have to do 2-3 coats with NO PRIMING!!  Make sure you let the paint dry between each coat so that it doesn’t drip on you!

Easy DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover
It took me 4-5 cans of paint to do all 3 cabinets
Easy DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover
Try to avoid getting paint on the brackets and gears


Now that everything is dry and you’ve put the drawers back together.  It’s time to add hardware!  It’s completely up to you here so get creative! Just make sure that the screw holes are equal distance on the new handles as they were on the old.  For example, my handles were 5 inches (meaning the center of the screw holes were 5 inches apart).  So I made sure to purchase new handles with the same measurement.  These are the ones I used.

Easy DIY Cabinet Refresh with New Pulls
Not a hand model 😉 



Now this next step is optional, but once the cabinets were completely done, I found some scrap wood that I had at the house (fortunately the piece I had was already super smooth and thick) and used it as a countertop!  I tried to match the paint of my bookcases for continuity and cohesiveness in the room.  Gave it two coats of paint and voila!  Now I have another little countertop in my office for storage and/or office decor!  You could also use it to put a printer on (which was my original thought). My make-shift countertop isn’t attached (it’s heavy enough it’s not going anywhere) but if yours will get some tough usage you may want to secure it to the filing cabinets.

Easy and Cheap DIY Office Refresh

And that’s it!  I actually think it took me longer to write this post than it did to complete the project! 😂😂😂 It really was THAT easy! Let me know if you guys try this out and how it works for you!  Happy DIY’ing friends!

Filing Cabinet-7

Shop the Post

**Here is the link to the rug in the office (FYI this is NOT a commissioned link but I wanted to make sure I added it for those who wanted it):×11-rugs/products/well-woven-windsor-astrid-vintage-persian-panel-grey-high-low-rug-wn-37

As always, I just wanna say real quick, THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for any and all affiliate links that you may use throughout this post.  I appreciate MORE THAN YOU know when you support the brands that help to support this little blog & our little fam!!

Talk soon Buddies!

My Rustic Retreat Signing Off

3 responses to “CHEAP & Easy DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover”

    • Hi there! I actually did not sand. I just cleaned them and removed any dirt and grime. Then went in with a combo paint and primer spray paint. Hope that helps!

  1. Hi! Very nice work. I like the added countertop. How did you attach it to the cabinets?

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