You want the look of the sleek, new, steel garage cabinets to organize your garage or shop, but can’t afford the price tag? Here’s your solution!
You guys, you guys, YOU GUYS!!!
I am SO EXCITED about this idea that I only just finished organizing my garage yesterday and I’m already jumping on the computer to share the transformation!
So, you know my garage is my “She-Shop”. I’d like to park my car in there, but it’s usually full of projects in some stage of completion. 90% of the time it’s a total shit show of sawdust, wood, furniture makeovers and tools.
A LOT of sawdust.
So much sawdust that all of my shelving units, and everything on them, are covered.
I use a leaf blower to clean it up every so often, but that really just gets the dust flying around the air and then it settles back into place a few minutes later.
What I would really like is a way to keep all of my “stuff” dust free and easy to wash down.
Garage cabinets right? Those gorgeous steel cupboards that you see in fancy garages. Tool cabinets, or utility cupboards – whatever you call them – they are lined up in a neat row along the garage wall hiding all of your garden gear and tools and it looks almost as nice as a kitchen.
I wanted that.
I surfed and surfed and surfed trying to find a way to make it a reality – but those suckers are EXPENSIVE! The cheapest unit I found was a two-door cabinet, 4 shelves measuring 36″ x 18″ x 65″ on sale for $325. I was REALLY tempted – but to get the three units I wanted it would be $975 without tax! I looked for used units, but could only find small metal cupboards as a one-off, so that wouldn’t work.
BUT, while I was searching Facebook Marketplace for steel cabinets, a LOT of lateral filing cabinets came up.
Like enough that I could pick and choose any of maybe a couple dozen. Different heights, depths, number of shelves etc.
It got me thinking – when it really comes down to it, what I wanted was a steel box, with shelves and doors to keep the dust off of everything.
Lateral filing cabinets have that – except the doors are horizontal!
So I bought 2 – for a total of $260 (including delivery). There were certainly cheaper options, some are selling for $50, but I didn’t have room in the Jeeper to transport them myself.
There are all kinds of different lateral filing cabinets – some with drawers all the way to the top, some where the drawers slide out when the front covers are opened… what I wanted was shelves, so these guys have covers that flip up and tuck into the cabinet with 11″ shelves inside.
12″ would have been better – but not $715 better.
I did try removing the shelves to get a double-height one, but then the front covers wouldn’t slide into place properly, so I made 11″ work.
I washed both garage cabinets down with TSP and gave them a light sanding before priming.
Two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty in the Advance formula; I used a paint sprayer for the first coat, but found that a small roller gave a finish that was almost as nice without a lot of wasted paint.
With some scrap 2″ x 4″ wood and castors, I built a little dolly to put each steel cabinet on.
Then it was just a matter of rolling them into place and filling them up with all of my gardening, sports, and painting gear!
Maybe just one shelf for my Chai tea. 😉
You can see on the bottom shelf on the left cabinet all of the epoxy coating materials for my new floor (coming soon).
Just look at all of that storage!!
I bought a smaller filing cabinet with drawers and refinished it the same way, and it now houses all of my paints and stains – even gallon cans!
This little cutie was $30 – it has a small dent on one side and had a LOT of stickers on it. Easily removed and then painted to match! Looks brand new and matches the other garage cabinets perfectly.
FULL of paint and stain but not a cluttered eyesore like the mess I’d created before.
Sure, it will get covered in sawdust – like below:
But the gear inside will be dust-free and I can easily wash it down with the garden hose (which you can’t do with wood cabinets).
My fancy new garage cabinets wide open with everything easily accessible:
Closed and so crisp and clean looking!
That’s sleek right? Almost like the expensive steel tool cabinets with the vertical doors?
I think this is fantastic – and since I haven’t seen anyone else do it – I had to share my
Quick – go check out FB marketplace and Craig’s List before everyone learns of our secret!!
Have a great one!