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Antique Filing Cabinet Drawer Repurposed

When it comes to adoption (yes, I do see myself as adopting misfits), I have gotten kinda picky over the years. Can you blame me? I’ve had hot messes like the Dumpster Diva, and even frustrating projects like this chest. I now have a grand picture of what I want to deal with on a regular basis with an occasional headache. Take this antique filing cabinet drawer, for instance, it is unique, made of oak, and totally cool.

Antique Oak Filing Cabinet Drawer Before | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

However, it isn’t free of damage which is typical to something of this age from the 1930’s. The fact that it has such potential is what rings my DIY bell. Here’s a look from the bottom… It’s appears to be missing the bottom slat of the actual drawer, but also the bottom panels of the cabinet. That’s not the case, however, as its design is that way so it can stack and function.

Antique Filing Cabinet Drawer Bottom | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Open Antique Filing Cabinet Drawer | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

While I could have sold it as-is as a decent value, I felt it also profitable to take it and make it into something new with a nod to its industrial past.

DIY TIME

First, I take into account what I have to work with. When the drawer is separate from the cabinet, I can see the potential to turn it into a stand with shelves.

Industrial Filing Cabinet Drawer Removed | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

My hammer and I had  a time disassembling the antique filing cabinet drawer. Not only do the pieces show potential, but I see the original manufacturers mark too – by World Wide Brand.

Dissassembled Antique Filing Cabinet Drawer | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

RE-ASSEMBLY

Next, in order to create the stand with shelves, I add a few pieces of scrap for supports around the inside edge. Then, I cut a piece of ply to serve as a shelf.

Custom Build Filing Cabinet Drawer Shelf | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I worked it quick, so I’m happy with it because my level shows this. woot!

Level in Cabinet | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Before calling it complete, I paint the interior with a milk paint called “parchment”. It not only brightens it up, but also showcases that gorgeous oak grain.

Milk Paint for Painting Inside of Drawer Cabinet | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

When the painting is done, I move on to use a reactive charcoal stain to deepen the finish and give it an aged appeal as well.

Staining Filing Cabinet Drawer | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You can see how I like to use the dark colors to create contrast in this vintage sewing box I upcycled.

Upcycled Remote Control Holder from Sewing Box by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

FINISHING UP

While I have fun re-imagining the pieces that come into my foster care, I’m all about inspiring you. Here’s this antique filing cabinet drawer now turned stand.

Industrial Filing Cabinet Side Table Stand Repurposed by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #industrial #diy

Antique Filing Cabinet Stand Reclaimed by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #rustic #furniture

It’s perfect for living room, bedroom, bath, entry, office and so much more. What would you use it for? Not only have I tucked in my vintage locker baskets full of what-nots, but also sharing a couple of my vintage cameras.

Vintage Locker Bin in Reclaimed Antique Filing Cabinet Drawer Stand by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Antique Camera for Industrial Decor | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #camera

I have about a dozen or so from different eras. Boy, do they tell a story of simpler times, eh? Meanwhile, I’m stoked with the outcome of this repurposed project.

DIY Industrial Farmhouse Stand from Antique Filing Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy

Side View Filing Cabinet | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #rustic #industrial

In addition to the darker stain, the top looks like the original drawer face, except now it’s attached to the cabinet as the stand top.

Top View of Industrial Filing Cabinet Drawer Stand by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #homedecor

While the kids and I both agreed would should probably keep it, I just don’t need another stand. So, you can find it available in my online shop.

  • Solid Wood Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom available at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #giftidea
    NEW Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom with Stand ~ $450

SHARE

After leaving me a comment below, please share and pin so others can see what can become of those orphaned pieces that many toss to the curb. DIY is fun!

Antique Filing Cabinet is Repurposed into a Farmhouse Stand by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #antique #farmhouse #diy #upcycled

Up next, this old ice cream churn bucket I found in the trash is next on the makeover list. See what became of it HERE. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
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Vintage Ice Cream Bucket Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Also, more projects like my antique filing cabinet drawer repurposed:

A vintage apothecary cabinet gets a new makeover with typography by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #vintage #diy #home #homedecor #industrial #apothecaryUpcycle that old wool sweater! A super fun and easy video tutorial on how to make DIY Wool Dryer Balls from an old wool sweater. Full details at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #laundry #handmade #upcycle #crafts #farmhouse

Comments

  1. Mandy says

    Thats so cool!!! I absolutely love it!!! I thought “shelf” when I saw it too. It looks awesome. You did a great job.

  2. Rebecca - NC says

    Yes it was neat before, but totally useless in today’s world. You’ve given it new purpose and retained its antique beauty!! A+++???
    And I truly understand what you mean by choosing joy. It’s something I wake up and consciously decide daily. A good life skill reminder!!
    ????????????

    • Larissa says

      I miss the days where life was simple. I know God has a plan, but the changes going on now are soul-rocking. Joy is the best way to be! Thanks so much for the smile, Rebecca.

  3. Niki says

    Wow, that is way bigger than I thought it would be. I know you said file drawer but my mind was thinking like library file boxes. Of coarse you did a fabulous job reimagining it to be useful.
    I woke up today and didn’t choose joy….. I felt dumb because life is hectic right now, and I forgot to send my youngest to pick up his new glasses yesterday. Face palm. I hope they are open today. God is good so I can still choose joy for the rest of the day. Thanks for the smile and encouragement Larissa.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you for the words of encouragement, Niki. Yes, kinda in a lump today, but had to choose to see the good. I hope you get your glasses for your youngest too. God is good!

  4. Michele M. says

    WOW!! You did a great job giving that a fun new life! Love those baskets and how they look in there.

    That’s just great!

    • Larissa says

      I didn’t like gym class, but loved the baskets! haha! Thank you, Michele.

  5. Marietta R Walker says

    Hi Larissa,

    That middle panel wouldlikely have been where they had a slide to tigheten up o your files so they would stay standing. But no problem here, I love the cabinet and the wirse baskets was a grand slam.

    • Larissa says

      Yes, I knew that as most modern filing drawers are the same and this one had the holes for the hardware shown in pics too. I just love figuring out how things functioned days gone by. Thanks so much, Marietta!

  6. Mary says

    Another winner Larissa! 🙂 And its already sold too – woohoo! This turned out really cool and I, too, love the baskets. I could see using them to hold my many magazines that seem to get away from me 🙂 Love how the stain just made that oak grain look SO beautiful!

    • Larissa says

      Doin’ a happy dance, Mary! 😀 I just love the industrial style and kept trying to decide whether or not to keep it. I don’t need another, so it’s headed to a happy home on the west coast. Thanks so much for the love!

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