Before & After: File Box Goes for the Gold

It was a little over a year ago that this little file box came home with me and received its first makeover, going from a dull gray to a vibrant yellow. A lot of things have changed in my apartment over the past year, so it's time for the file box to get another makeover…

When I painted this file box last year, yellow was the perfect color. It suited the room where it lived, and I've always been partial to the color of the sun. Since then, the file box has changed locations and with that change, the color had to go.

Making use of contact paper from an old project, I set out to transform the file box once again. I started by removing the contents of the box (beloved magazines) and thoroughly wiping it down with a soapy cloth to remove all dust and kitty fur. Once it was clean and dry, I started by applying the contact paper to the front edge of the box. My thinking was that it would be easier to apply the paper to the sides of the box without wrapping it around the front edge - an assumption that proved correct.

Once the front edges were covered, I applied the paper to the sides of the box. By measuring the depth of the box, I cut one large piece of contact paper that I was able to apply to the sides of the box in one big piece. I started at the bottom of the left side, slowly going up to the top, using my driver's license to smooth out air bubbles. With one side finished, I flipped the box back onto its base and smoothed the paper onto the top, being careful to keep it straight as I wrapped it around from the side.

After covering the box, I removed the handle and file marker from the drawer face and applied the contact paper. I wrapped the excess paper around the back of the drawer to create a seamless look and to be sure the paper wouldn't loosen up with repeated opening and closing.

All told, the project took less than an hour and I'm quite pleased with the result. The white and gold pattern has completely transformed the look of the file box and I was able to use leftover paper from an old project — now I just need to find a new home for it in my apartment.

(Images: Jason Loper)

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