Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pottery Barn Inspired Filing Cabinet for less than $20

I love Pottery Barn.  I would decorate the majority of my house with it if I could.  But it is not in my budget.  Not even close.  And truth be told...even if it was in my budget I don't know if I could bring myself to spend that kind of money.  I'm a thrifty girl at heart.

A while ago I showed you my Pottery Barn inspired desk makeover.  You can find the post here.  I decided that we needed a little more storage in our computer area.  I started thinking about what I could use and decided I wanted a filing cabinet.  But I was hesitant.  I feel that filing cabinets are ugly and clunky.  Then I remembered the Whitney Desk and filing cabinet from Pottery Barn.

Sigh...they are so dreamy.  And so out of my price range. The Pottery Barn version of the filing cabinet is $549.00

So on to Plan B.  I picked up an old battered metal filing cabinet from a thrift store for 5 dollars.  It was rough.  It needed work.  I felt that I was up to the challenge.

I had some old mdf shelves that we did not put back up in the laundry room.  I had the hubs rip them down into 2 inch planks.  I painted the planks before I applied them for ease.

 (I love my hardworking hubby.  Thought that I would share a pic of him helping me out.)

Then I glued the planks on 3 sides of the cabinet using liquid nails.  Those suckers aren't going to ever fall off!

I added trim pieces to the sides of the cabinet to give it a finished edge.  It's called Outside corner.  I got it at the Depot.

I decided to use balsa wood on the cabinet drawers.  I felt that the mdf would be too heavy and impede the ability to open and close them.  I picked the balsa up at Michaels for $15.00  It was so easy to work with.  I was able to cut it with scissors.  I used the same process.  I just glued them on and painted them.

I spray painted the hardware with my trusty Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  It made them look brand new!  I love the power of spray paint.

The Pottery Barn version has a solid wood top.  I raided my pile of extra wood in the garage. (Does everyone have a spare wood pile in their garage or is it just me?  I hate throwing wood away.  I swear I will find a use for all my extra)  I cut the wood down to the correct size and then stained the planks. I used stain wipes that my husband got last year at one of his many conferences.  (He is a store manager for ACE Hardware)

They worked great.  And were so easy to clean up.

I glued the planks down to the top of the cabinet.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  

Ready for the after pictures?

Awesome right?  Here it is in its new home next to my high-low desk...

I love it!  It completes the space perfectly.  

Hard to believe the before and after:

This cabinet was a lot of work. came out amazing.  A little paint.  A little imagination.  And  a whole lot of elbow grease.  And I saved $529 dollars.  Not too shabby.

I'm liking up at:


  1. Looks awesome! I would love to do that with some of the old filing cabinets we have. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It looks great! I think I could totally furnish my home just from Pottery Barn but then I wouldn't be able to afford my home! So I love to see a good knock-off. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is a great project and the result is beautiful! I always love to see people taking high end inspiration and creating their own for less! Thanks for linking up with us at The Creative Circle! I hope you'll come and party with us again this week.