I remember shopping at Blick Art Materials (probably one of the first times I went) and noticing how they stored their oversized paper--in a flat file. Ever since, the thought of having a storage space exclusively for paper excited me. I had made several searches online and on Craigslist for a flat file but they were always out of my price range (I wanted cheap!) or nonexistent. They're not exactly common household objects!
Then this beauty came along:
It was listed for $50. I was so skeptical! Even though it was rough around the edges, it had a solid structure and character--it belonged to a guy who used to make playground equipment in the Portland metro area. He used it to store his plans in the drawers; I found a sticker with his logo on it lying in one of the drawers, which seemed pretty authentic :)
The lady selling it had a few other people interested in the piece of furniture so it wasn't a guaranteed deal. Thankfully they turned out to be no-shows so the treasure was mine! My dad and I went down to Portland and fit the monstrous thing (it measures 37 x 53 x 29 inches) into our family rig--quite the feat for an SUV!
Steps we followed to spruce her up:
Took off the wretched top. (It was in pretty bad shape.)
Removed all the drawers.
Sanded all the painted surfaces.
Re-painted with a gorgeous dark blue/green.
Cut out a piece of plywood to fit the top.
Covered the plywood with 4 coats of polyurethane.
Waxed the drawers.
It was such a fun project! I spent quite a few hours of quality time with my dad in their garage--and learned a few carpentry tricks along the way.
Here is the final product:
I might replace the handles sometime (the bottom drawer is missing them) but at the moment it works fine.
The only downside is its size--we had to take the door off its hinges to fit it in my room! But it was totally worth it. It's so awesome to finally have a place for all my old illustrations.