Do you love the feeling of knowing you took something old, unloved, outdated and unused and gave it a new life and purpose? I sure do and it’s a way to use what you have instead of buying new all the time. That’s the approach I’ve been taking in my new office.
A little over a year ago B and I built out our former small back porch into a small office for me in the shop. The space is pretty tiny but it’s all I need to have a small, quiet place to work that is free of distraction.
I was so excited to move into the space, but when I lost my full time assistant last fall, I moved my work area back into the main shop area to help me better manage everything. When I hired my new assistant, working in the main shop area again also allowed us to work closely together for training and getting her settled in. With no longer using the small back room as my office, it became a storage closet that up until about a month ago was getting out of control. It was a disaster back there. It was so bad, I had to close the door when guests would come into the shop!
About a month ago I started thinking it would be nice to once again have that quiet space to work and concentrate to after a brief discussion with my assistant, we agreed that it was time for me to move back into the office. I spent a weekend cleaning it out, moving furniture around and organizing the shop space so that I could once again call this tiny room my office.
The downside is that my desk is a table and leaves me very little room for storage so in all the cleaning and organizing I stumbled on this vintage metal storage cabinet that I used to use as art supply storage when I was first starting out. It’s old and tired and the paint has yellowed in some areas making it look sad.
Here’s what I did to bring it back to life:
Step 1: Sand it down
This metal cabinet has already been painted once so I wanted to scuff up the surface so the paint would stick better. I want my work to last so this is an important step.
Step 2: Clean the surface
After I was done sanding the cabinet, I used a damp cloth to clean the entire cabinet surface that was to be painted. This removes any dirt or dust left over from sanding giving my new paint a fresh, clean surface to adhere to.
Step 3: Paint
I wanted a nice, smooth finish so I decided this project required spray paint. The chalkboard paint is thicker than normal spray paint but I still had to do 2-3 light coats. I allowed the paint to dry between each coat before applying more.
I bought my Krylon Chalk Spray Paint at Lowe’s and it was the only option our local store carried. Personally, I would NOT purchase this chalk paint again. I guess I was looking for more of an ultra matte finish and this has chunks in it.
Step 4: Season
I wanted the cabinet to have an “aged” look and I didn’t want it to be plain solid black so I seasoned the entire cabinet with chalk just like I would if I were painting a chalkboard. Rub the chalk on using the side of the chalk and once coated, wipe off. Any areas that need more chalk, just go over it again. I actually went back and added extra chalk in the corners so the finish would be lighter there. There is no way to mess it up. Just have fun.
Step 5: Add labels
Next I designed these fun little labels to add a little extra vintage flair. You can download them below for your own project. The text is editable and you can use any font that you have on your computer.
Looking for some fun typewriter fonts? Here are some fun ones. (I used “My Underwood”)
The entire process took just a little over an hour. Most of that time was waiting for the paint to dry but the effort was so worth it. The sad little metal cabinet went from blah to cool, industrial farmhouse and it perfect in my new office. Now if only the walls behind it were done…
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