Liza Greis

Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor

Metal Card Catalog Makeover

If you have been following along on my Instagram Stories then you know that we have been slowly converting the garage attic into a fort for my boys. A place to hang out with each other and their friends. The main thing my youngest 2 boys requested was a place to store their treasures. Rocks, feathers, and random things that others (including me) might consider trash. I was trying to see if any of my old pieces of furniture would fit up there when I got a call from my mom asking if I wanted the metal drawers that have been in her garage for years. I instantly knew they would be perfect! I’m sharing this metal card catalog makeover today as well as hosting a fun giveaway you won’t want to miss!

This post is sponsored by HomeRight but all ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

Metal Card Catalog Makeover

They started out gray and black. They were scratched, dented, and had some rust.

old metal card catalog drawers

Step 1:

Sand them with a fine grit sandpaper. It will rough up the smooth surface so the paint will adhere better and will remove any dirt and grime.

Step 2:

Wash them off really well. Allow them to completely dry before moving to the next step.

Step 3:

Tape off the handles. Cut off the excess with a box cutter to get a nice clean edge.

Step 4:

Place the catalog pieces on a tarp to protect your work area.


Step 5:

Paint them with a paint sprayer. Test out the spray on a piece of cardboard to get the spray to the way you want it. You can adjust it with the dial by the handle. Multiple thin coats are better than one or two thick coats.


I was able to test out a NEW sprayer from HomeRight called the Quick Finish! It is perfect for smaller projects. It has a really cool feature that I’m obsessed about. All the parts that need to be washed, detach from the motor so you never risk getting the motor wet. How fantastic is that?



There is a 70’s gold colored love seat that will be in the garage attic fort for the boys. That is why I went with this mustard yellow paint for the card catalog. I really love it! Plus I recently wrote a post about crushing on mustard yellow and have been looking for a place to use this color.


It is perfect to hold all of the boys’ treasures.


I can’t wait to see it in the kids’ space!


HomeRight is offering to giveaway one of their new sprayers! Enter below using the rafflecopter widget to win a Quick Finish sprayer.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must be a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from May 8, 2020 until May 15, 2020. A winner will be chosen by and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case, HomeRight.


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  1. Barbara says

    I have some of these same card catalogs. I’ve been wanting to do something with them and now I know what I can do. Thanks for the idea, Liza. They will be a great addition to my office/craft room.

  2. Kara says

    Would love to find some of these drawers – what a fun project! I love sunset colors, so it would be fun to paint each level of the stack in a different color – pink,yellow, orange, peach, etc.

    • Jessica Staley says

      You did a beautiful job. I love the mustard yellow you chose. I typically choose different shades of maroon and burgundy. I would love to paint our deck. It really needs it.

  3. beverly e says

    I really love the Global Green that you used on the cabinet in your office. This yellow is really pretty, too. Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Stephanie says

    Great job on recycling!! It is so much fun. My favorite color is heathered greys. . Thank you for sharing your awsome ideas & tips!!

  5. Tina says

    PINK! I’ve always loved pink and I don’t know why. If you look in my closet, most of my clothes are pink. Although, I don’t have much pink furniture. ;)

    I have so many projects that I would actually be able to finish with the HomeRight Quick Finish sprayer. What a wonderful thought…

    I love following your posts and appreciate you giving us the opportunity to win such wonderful tools. I’ve always wanted an old card catalog set to help my organize my craft supplies. Yours came out beautifully!!! :)

  6. Sara S says

    I’m with you. The mustard color is delicious. Really cool idea to use it for the boys whatnots.

  7. Tracy says

    Great giveaway! I’m painting all sorts of things for my daughters wedding. I’m painting things dark blue and lavender

  8. Lisa says

    I love all colors, depending on my mood. When I was young and single,I painted all of my furniture different colors. It would have been easier with a paint sprayer!

  9. Abigail says

    I have been finding as many excuses as possible to paint things turquoise!
    PS – I have ALWAYS wanted a card catalog and school lockers for my house!

  10. Sue Gnacinski says

    Right now I’m crushing on a gray/green…but, those yellow mustard file boxes rock!
    And, I have some of the ugly gray ones too!

  11. PEGGY SCHMIDT says

    I would love to have this sprayer. I have so many projects I could tackle with this. I’d like to give new life to my outside light fixtures and this would be perfect!

  12. brenda says

    as usual, you have osted lovely photos of your project as well as a great informative tutorial. thank you

  13. Lane says

    That’s a lovely color. It reminds me of the design you painted on a small side table. I personally like pink but I don’t think it would be something I’d like on a piece of furniture. Just an accent piece.

  14. Linda C Johnston says

    Darned if I don’t think y new favorite paint color is the color on the cabinet!! I LOVE it! Great job.

  15. Danita Courtney says

    Awesome makeover! I like bright colors around me. A brighter yellow would make me smile! :-)

  16. KaThy says

    I have something similar on a much smaller scale I’ve been wanting to paint. That sprayer would be heaven sent. My paint would be blue.

  17. Blue says

    This was really interesting! Tho I don’t think I’d have left it with an alphabetized sequence. Seems way more office than kids stash-away. Loved the color too! You made it look very easy !!

  18. Theresa M Grace says

    My favorite color is Sea Salt! It’s so calming and I love how the color changes during the day.

  19. Melanie Donahoo says

    What a great project! This would be so fun to win! I’ve got some stuff I would love to paint navy or grey.

  20. Randi S. says

    I’m a light neutral grey or a blue-grey kind of paint girl! I add pops of color that can easily be changed out throughout the rooms!

  21. janet olson says

    We’re disabled here and painting is really a challenge, one that does’t get met. A sprayer, especially one as easy to clean as this one, would make it possible again.

  22. Linda Warner says

    I like pale colors for large areas, to brighten our space (Not enough windows, not enough sunlight!) with pops of similar or complementary color on smaller pieces.

  23. Victoria S says

    I love aqua shades and tints. Doesn’t work for every space but I’ve got it in my bathroom and kitchen. It is my favorite throughout time.
    Your card catalog makeover looks amazing in mustard. I’m planning to get a rolling metal book cart to put in my reading loft and want to paint it aqua. I’d love a paint sprayer for many upcoming projects. I hate using spray paint from a can on anything larger than 2 feet.

  24. kesha says

    I love the color you chose. It is so cheery. My favorite color to paint is pink. I love to accent with cheerful color.

  25. Amy says

    I really love autumnal colors especially for accent colors – mustard, olive, cranberry, rust orange, and navy.

    Great job on the card catalog! What a great idea!!

  26. Camille says

    Those look great! I’m already jealous, as I can think of many uses for something like them in my house 😁
    Yellow is a cheerful color but not one I automatically choose. I prefer greens, blues, beige or neutral tones.

  27. Kadie says

    Wow, this is absolutely beautiful and so creative! My mom has a few of these and was wondering what to do with them, I’ll has to share this with her :)

  28. Celeste Herrin says

    My favorite color is mint green. You did an amazing job and should be very proud!! You have inspired me to start a few projects

  29. kelly woods says

    I love mustard yellows. I love how they look own items. I also like ivory as well. Thank you.