A few months ago my boyfriend Sam and I decided to build him a desk so he could work from home. We made a beautiful distressed wood top and then decided instead of building a base we would use two filing cabinets to support the desktop. After many months of searching through thrift stores I finally found a matching set of filing cabinets in decent shape. Who knew this would be such a difficult thing to find but buying them new was outrageously expensive and when I would find them at thrift store they were often bent and dented so badly the no longer closed all the way. While my parents were out and about adventuring in Stillwater, MN one day they stopped by the local Goodwill and found two matching filing cabinets on sale for 16$ total!!!! I literally jumped up and screamed when I recieved the text from them telling me about their latest find. Painting and refinishing the cabinets are fairly easy and straightforward, the difficult part is finding them.


  1. Make sure you remove any stickers or labels that may be on the cabinets.
  2. Use a Goo Gone type product to remove any remaining adhesive.
  3. Make sure to wash both inside and outside of cabinets with soap and water to remove any dust or grit.
  4. Remove hardware and set aside.
  5. In very thin coats using a side to side zigzag motion apply spray paint to cabinets. I chose a hammered black spray paint and ended up using about 6 cans by the end of the project. Because we aren’t using a primer and didn’t rough up the cabinets its important that you do not rush this step or you will get runs in the paint. Use very thin layers waiting about 20-30 min between each layer. I ended up doing about 15-20 layers on each side before it was coated completely.

  1. Pull out drawers and apply paint in thin coats as well
  2. Using thin layers paint hardware.
  3. Let everything dry over night then reassemble.