File Cabinet Makeover Using Chalk Paint

Hey there everyone!  I’m working in my craft room to give it a major overhaul and make it a much more functional and creative space.  It also doubles as an office that I share with my husband.  It’s not always the easiest thing to do, partly because of a lack of organization. One of the biggest projects we’re taking on is completely making over the closet.  I’ve already replaced the closet doors with curtains and I love how much easier it has made it to get to things in the closet.

File Cabinet Makeover Using Chalk Paint


This file cabinet is one of the things that goes in that closet.  When we finish making over the closet, it will be moved to a more prominent location that will be more visible, especially if the curtains are left open.  Because of that, I decided that the boring beige color had to go and I gave it a quick and SUPER cheap makeover!

Here’s what you’ll need to do this project yourself!

File Cabinet Makeover Using Chalk Paint Materials:

File Cabinet Makeover Using Chalk Paint Instructions:

Unless you plan on painting it, you want to remove all of the hardware off of your file cabinet.  I wasn’t quite sure how this would go, but it was extremely easy to remove everything.  Just a couple of bolts and I was pretty much done!


To protect the inside of the cabinet from overspray or paint dripping through, cover all of the holes from the inside using masking or painter’s tape.


Time to mix your chalk paint.  What I love so much about BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder is that there’s virtually no waste.  You mix as you go.  I like using the sample-sized paint containers because they’re cheap and if it’s a project where I’m not sure how much paint I’ll need, at least I know I won’t go way over by buying a quart.  The other amazing thing is that there’s virtually no prep work.

Wipe down the file cabinet with a wet cloth and that is it!


If you choose to paint your cabinet using a roller or paint brush, you can get started from this point.  If you plan to use a paint sprayer, you’ll need to prep the paint.  First and foremost, strain your paint!  Lowe’s sells little cone paint strainers (they look like coffee filters) for $.98 a four pack.  Once your paint is strained, you need to thin it with water.  The HomeRight paint sprayer that I use comes with everything you need to do this, plus great instructions.


If you use a paint sprayer, the entire job takes minutes vs. hours.  Just spray your first coat of paint on and let it dry, then go over with a second coat.  The chalk paint dries quickly with great coverage.


Once the entire cabinet is painted and dry, you need to protect it with wax.  I recommend moving the cabinet into the shade or inside while waxing.


Use your wax brush or wax cloth to apply the wax.  There’s a bit of a learning curve associated with finishing wax, but once you get the hang of it, it’s such a great way to finish your chalk painted furniture.  What was explained to me is to use long even strokes of wax, wipe off any excess and then move on.  Once your piece is finished, buff it with a lint free wax cloth.


The finished file cabinet turned out even better than I’d imagined!  I moved it into our den to take pictures and love how it looks in there.  I got a very quick “no” from my husband when I mentioned that. 🙂  It will definitely look good against the navy and white curtains covering the closet, though.  I’ll have more to share with you all as the entire craft room/office progresses!


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DIY File Cabinet Makeover with Chalk Paint | Pretty Handy Girl

6 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Maybe a silly question but does ‘chalk’ painting something you can write on it with chalk? I have a file cabinet I would like to paint but I want it to also be functional. Just wondering if this is a term in looks only??

  2. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    This looks fun. I have a big old brown cabinet of my own that needs an update. I would love to give this a try. I am long overdue for investing in a paint sprayer. You are inspiring me to make it happen.

  3. Stephanie R
    Stephanie R says:

    This is such a cute idea! I have one of these file cabinets and it is just the ugliest eye sore, if I can talk my husband into moving it for me Im totally going to paint it!


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