Article Submitted By: @MILITARYWIFE_FARMHOUSE_LIFE
I am currently in the process of creating a travel themed room for my 9 yr old son. As a military family, we move and travel a lot. I found this $15 wood filing cabinet, at Goodwill, and decided to create a subway-style word art project, representing our travels.
I wanted the words to represent the places my son has visited or lived.
How I gave this cabinet a make-over using paint and stencils:
This is what the file cabinet looked like when I saw it in the thrift store. I took the top pull off before taking the picture.
Before painting the cabinet, I removed the hardware with a screwdriver.
I decided to go with a light grey color for the cabinet. I used House and Canvas chalk paint, in Sterling.
I love how neutral and light this pretty grey is.
I always recommend using a round bristle brush, when applying chalk finish paint. It leaves little brush strokes and creates a smooth finish. I like to use round brushes from House and Canvas paint. They have various sizes to choose from too!
The focus of my stencils was travel since this piece will be going into my son’s travel themed room. I created stencils of different places we have lived or visited. I figure it will serve as a memory too. 🙂
These days, you can easily find stencils in any craft store! I personally like to create my own, using my Silhouette Cameo 3 machine. This is very similar to a Cricut cutting machine. I just used scrap vinyl to create my stencils. If you do not have a cutting machine, you can always purchase lettering stencils from the store. 🙂
I wanted to create something similar to subway word art. I decided to keep all the wording on the front two drawers. You can always decide to go another route and place your stencil in any location you please.
When I first started stenciling a few years ago, I always seemed to have issues with my paint bleeding under my stencil. It was so frustrating!
I read somewhere you should always first apply a layer of your base color before you apply the stencil paint. By doing so, it seems to eliminate that bleeding issue. I always apply one layer, let it dry, then apply my stencil paint color.
For the stenciled lettering, I wanted to go with a darker color than the cabinet. I loved the idea of keeping the color in the grey family; so I decided to use House and Canvas Chalk Paint in River Rock. This grey is more of a medium-dark grey and really compliments the lighter grey.
After my layer of base paint was dry, I very carefully applied the darker grey on my stencil.
I know they make small brushes for stenciling, but I used what I had on hand. Personally, if you are new to working with stencils, I would suggest using a smaller brush. It gives you more control.
I find it easiest to apply a very small amount of paint on your brush and use a light dabbing motion when applying to the stencil. Make sure to stay focused, as it can be very easy to accidentally get paint outside the perimeter of your stencil.
I decided to go ahead and paint a few of my stencils before adding all the wording. This allowed me the opportunity to get a visual of what the wording would look like. I also needed the space the stencil vinyl was taking up, to apply more words. Lol.
Once all the stenciled words were applied, I used House and Canvas Furniture Wax, in Walnut, to seal the chalk finish paint. I wanted the piece to have a vintage feel, which is why I chose a dark wax.
After I waxed the cabinet, I reapplied my hardware.
I decided I wanted to add a bit of an industrial feel to the wood cabinet. I had these wheels lying around, and thought they would be a great addition. I found these wheels at a dollar store while living in Japan.
E6000 glue is my go-to for all craft projects! I absolutely love the strong bond it provides.
I used E6000 glue to attach the wheels to the wood pieces. This was my preference, but you can choose to use screws instead.
After gluing the wheels on the wood, I let it sit overnight.
I used the E6000 glue to attach the wood pieces to the bottom of the cabinet. Wheels are definitely not necessary; and adding them can be done in other ways as well. I just chose to do it this way.
I’m really happy with the outcome. This will be the perfect addition to my son’s travel themed room!
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