• Kristin Johnston

Card Catalog Makeover Update

This card catalog was something I immediately fell in love with when it was in its original state and just HAD to have it. My father-in-law, Bruce, is a retired teacher and got this from one of his schools when they were doing some updates at the school and no longer needed it. It was used for filing small things in his home office for years but when I laid eyes on it, he wanted me to have it. I didn't realize that he had it sitting on a small table so when it came to my house, it was just the short catalog and I was a little at a loss for what to do. I hadn't done an update like this before and wasn't sure where to even start to look for table legs; I had just imagined that maybe Home Depot would have something in stock that would work.

After we moved into the new house and had some more room I figured it would be a fun little garage for the boys' toy cars and so it sat in the playroom like this for a little while.

That is, until a quick Pinterest search completely turned that plan around! I found where Katie at Little House of Four had tackled a similar project and I absolutely loved her finished result! Sorry boys, your garage is being transformed into something wayyy better - a stocked bar for in the kitchen!

I started with removing the drawer pulls and any random bits of tape/stickers that had been lovingly placed by children onto the drawers and holder over 30+ years of time at the school. Then I got to sanding each of the 15 drawers and the unit itself. ALWAYS wear your protective eyewear y'all! There were little shards of wood flying everywhere!

The top piece was laminate on top so I needed to make sure whatever paint and stain I chose would go nicely with that piece. I initially wanted to cover it with a faux marble contact paper type decal, but I decided against that once I saw how it looked painted and stained! I chose the dark walnut stain by Varathane for the drawers and a fun blue for the unit itself. After sanding, use the tack cloth to clean the wood and go in the direction of the wood grain when staining. I used a brush for staining and a small roller brush for painting the unit. I needed 1 coat for the drawers and2 coats to really cover the unit and I let each coat dry for a day before continuing on to the next step!

I didn't get a pic of us adding the legs, but WOW they sure make a statement! I LOVE these that I bought for under $70 here - I got the 34" size for reference, but they come in many heights and colors too!

Fun fact: each drawer is the perfect size to store wine bottles! We have wine bottles and all the fun bar necessities like openers, shot glasses, and even a few koozies are stored in there too! This was such a fun project and I wish I had done it sooner - it is such a beautiful finished product in our kitchen and I love the history behind it as well. The English teacher and lit lover in me also loves having this classic catalog in my home as well!

If you plan on taking on a similar project please let me know if you have any questions! I am by no means an expert but happy to help with what worked for me!



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