Make a Rolling Kitchen Cart From an Old Filing Cabinet

By: Chrisjob Sep 07, 2011

Rolling Kitchen cart from a filing cabinet

We’ve never met anyone who couldn’t use more kitchen storage and counter space. This rolling kitchen cart offers both - drawers for storage of tools, spices, or root vegetables, racks to hang towels and utensils, and a butcher-block top for food preparation or appliance storage. 

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Read on to find out, in step-by-step detail, how to make one yourself...

We're bringing you this Curbly original project as part of a series of posts sponsored by Caesarstone - makers of quality natural quartz surfaces.

The main structure is a used filing cabinet, which are plentiful in secondhand shops, garage sales, and online classified listings. We found ours for less than three dollars at a charity shop. Look for a filing cabinet whose drawers and hardware are in working order, and for a case that has no major dents or damage. The color and finish are of no consequence, as it’ll be painted.

Materials:

  • Secondhand filing cabinet
  • Spray metal primer
  • 2 cans spray paint
  • Two rolling casters and two locking casters
  • A cutting board or piece of butcher block that’s at least the size of the top of your filing cabinet
  • Two inexpensive horizontal towel racks

Tools:

  • Mineral spirits or sticker remover
  • Electric drill
  • 1⁄8” and 1⁄16” drill bits
  • 24 1⁄8” bolts, 1/2 - 1” long
  • 24 1⁄8” nuts
  • 4 #8 short screws
  • Washers (if necessary)

Step 1

Remove the drawers, and use mineral spirits or sticker remover to get rid of any tape residue, labels, or grime, and wipe clean. Remove any hardware will come off easily, and cover remaining hardware with painter’s tape.
Then, spray the cabinet case and drawers with a coat of metal primer, followed by two coats of spray paint.

Spray the cabinet case and drawers with a coat of metal primer, followed by two coats of spray paint.

Step 2

Mark the location of the holes of your casters on the bottom of your filing cabinet, and drill 1⁄8” holes for the screws. If the cabinet bottom is not solid, use a piece of scrap wood under the ledges to prevent them from bending under the drill. If the metal is thick, you can use a blow torch to soften the metal, but most drills should be able to get through. Then, screw in the casters using the included screws or 1⁄8” bolts and nuts.

Screw in the casters using the included screws or 1⁄8” bolts and nuts.

Step 3

Attach the towel/utensil racks to the sides by marking and drilling holes as in step two, and securing them with short bolts and nuts.

Attach the towel/utensil racks to the sides by marking and drilling holes as in step two, and securing them with short bolts and nuts.

Step 4

Place your cutting board on top of the cabinet, and mark where the screws will need to go to secure it. Drill 1⁄16” pilot holes, then attach the 1” screws from the underside of the cabinet. You can use the washers to prevent the screw from going all the way through the cutting board.

Place your cutting board on top of the cabinet, and mark where the screws will need to go to secure it.

Step 5

Now, insert the drawers back in the case. Then fill the cabinets, hang your utensils using S-hooks, and make something delicious for dinner!

C'est fini!

Mmm... artichoke!

 

 

This post was sponsored by Caesarstone (thanks!), makers of quality natural quartz surfaces for your home. Although we were compensated for writing this post, the opinions expressed here are ours alone.
   Caesarstone - natural quartz surfaces for kitchen and countertop

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48149 views | Comments (17)

Comments

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can someone who has made this give me an idea of how much weight the drawer bottoms can hold?
I've been eyeing one of these at Target. Looking forward to doing this in the upcoming weeks. Great idea!

Have you ever though about using a cup drawer pull to cover up the upper portion of the filing cabinents pull insert? I think that would dress it up a lot and make the front appear to not be a filing cabinent at all except for the key lock. Do you think that a standard size cup pull handle would be wide enough to work on the filing cabinents? If it isn't long enough the upper edge would still show. 

I am having the most difficult time finding a cutting board that doesn't cost a fortune. Does any one have any suggestions as to where to get an extra large board that would fit? The top of my cabinet is 16"x27"....

love this! I think the big deep drawers may be useful for storing small appliances and their accompanying accessories- ie. food processor and multiple blades & bowls. I must make one for that purpose. Also, bulky, non-stacking items like ice cube trays, popsicle moulds and my burger patty stacker (I know, goofy, but it makes perfect burgers). I stash these all in a basket under my island but the filing cabinet would be perfect.

Made mine today.

The drawers would be great for storing cookbooks if you don't already have a shelf!

I love this idea but I'm going to put it in our bathroom in our cabin, minus the butcher block top.  I'm gonna us the towel rack for toilet paper and store extra in the drawers.

This is great - I just made one... even copied your color choice (and sprayed my friends patio blue in the process).  My question is:  Will hanging metal implements from the rails chip the spray paint off?  I could stick to wooden and towels, but I thought you might know - thx.

Very cute & simple! However, i'd be interested in how to organize the inside of the drawers.  While I'm very tempted to make this, I just see the drawers as being a frustrating mess without organization. Any suggestions?

Love this!! If you don't mind I am going to put this on my blog as a great idea. Thank you

Hey lemon in half really sells this... not sure why but it does

I saw the link to this on LifeHacker.com and the timing could'nt have been better.  This is fantastic!  I will be doing thr project some time during the winter months.  I've already got two metal filing cabinents, the casters, and the tools.  All I need is the paint and towel rack!  (I knew those items were in the garage for a reason.) 

This is such an amazing tutorial. I reposted it on my blog. I love it.

Wow, awesome! Totally gonna do this soon :)

wow! I love this idea!

This is Fantastic! We are in the process of redoing our office and I hated to get rid of our filing cabinet. Now I know what to do with it!

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