Upcycled Furniture - Metal Locker/Cabinet

How to Upcycle a Metal Locker or Cabinet

Let's start by me telling you one of my favorite things to do. JUNK! I love to look for cool stuff at thrift stores or garage sales. This upcycled cabinet that I am sharing with you today I bought for only a $1. Yes, only a dollar. It was at an estate sale where the woman was literally almost giving everything away.

The vintage metal cabinet barely fit in my car with all of the other goodies I bought from here but I made it work!

The metal cabinet was pretty rusty and was white. I liked that it was white but instantly knew I wanted to put it in my living room for more storage so I knew it had to be cleaned up a lot. I needed a place to store toys and my kid's arts and crafts supplies. 

The cabinet was very dirty and looked liked it had been stored outside or maybe in an open barn. The previous owner used it to store cans of things like oil or lubricants. It needed a deep clean for sure.

Luckily my husband has a pressure washer and helped me get it started. I was really excited to get the project going and tried to start the pressure washer. No luck. Ended up even though it had gas it wasn't enough to start it. And of course, we were out of gas.

Poor me had to wait another day for more gas (we live too far from a gas station). So finally the next day once my hubby got off work, I got it going and cleaned it up. As you can see it wasn't a miracle worker but got most of the crime off.

Next up I took sandpaper and sanded down all of the rust spots. Once I sanded down the rust I took the electric sander and did the whole cabinet. This is where I should probably state that I am not an expert with hand tools or repurposing stuff. Literally, just a do it your self-gal figuring it out as I go.

After sanding down the whole thing I wiped everything off my just a soapy rag. It cleaned it all up pretty good. 

Up next was the primer. I used a primer to prevent rust and it went on red. I had bought a spray paint and would recommend buying a can of paint for the primer. I had no clue what I was thinking. Below is the primer (but in brown) and used and after is one that I would recommend trying instead.




The primer was not easy to put on because it was windy. I totally forgot to take a picture of the primer too. Sorry! It covered well and since it was 105 degrees outside it dried really fast. California weather is not all beaches and cool weather!

Next up was the white paint. I ended up using my favorite paint because I had it on hand. it took an entire pint and 2 solid coats but it came out great. The paint is Linen White and an ultra-flat chalk paint. If you want to see another project I used this exact paint for click here

As I stated before the cabinet was for my kid's toys and stuff and in hind sight, I probably should not have used a chalk paint because I now have to wipe off a ton of handprints on really flat paint. Not easy! I really didn't want a shiny metal cabinet though. So I am glad I stuck with what I like.

Once it was all said and done and full, I could not be happier. I had just got these new books from my sister too and know they would work great for above the cabinet.

So much storage and a great way to hide all the toys! Now I have somewhere to hide some of the junk and it was another thing I could decorate. Win, win!

I would love to know what you think below. Have you done any DIY projects lately?