14 Glow-Ups for Classroom Filing Cabinets


Classroom filing cabinets often become cluttered, outdated, and dull over time. To transform your classroom’s filing cabinet into a functional and visually appealing storage solution, consider these 14 glow-up ideas.

1. Paint Makeover

Give your filing cabinet a fresh coat of paint in a vibrant color to brighten up your classroom. You can even get creative with patterns or designs using stencils or painter’s tape.

2. Chalkboard Surface

Cover the surface of your filing cabinet with chalkboard paint, allowing students and teachers to write messages, notes, or quotes.

3. Fabric Covering

Add some personality by covering the exterior with fabric. Choose a pattern that complements your classroom d├ęcor and simply attach it with spray adhesive or hot glue.

4. Wallpaper Upgrade

Use peel-and-stick wallpaper to give your filing cabinet a modern and stylish look. There are countless designs available for an easy, commitment-free update.

5. Magnetic Surface

Make your filing cabinet multifunctional by painting it with magnetic primer before applying your chosen topcoat color. This creates an additional space for displaying student work or important notes using magnets.

6. Label Makeover

Replace the old labels with new ones that match your freshly revamped filing cabinet. Use attractive fonts on colorful label sheets to make it easier to locate files.

7. Decorative Handles

Swap out the standard handles with decorative knobs or pulls. You can find unique and eye-catching options at hardware stores or online retailers.

8. Rolling Cart Conversion

Add casters to the bottom of the filing cabinet to turn it into a mobile storage solution. Customize with paint in colors that coordinate with the rest of the classroom furniture.

9. Organizer Insert

Improve organization by adding dividers or trays inside each drawer to help keep supplies, files, and documents in their proper place.

10. Custom Stencils

Design custom stencils to create unique patterns or inspiring quotes on the surface of your filing cabinet. This adds a touch of personalization and motivation to the classroom.

11. Decoupage Decor

Use decoupage to apply images or patterns from magazines, newspapers, or printed materials onto the exterior of the filing cabinet. Finish with a layer of clear varnish to protect your work.

12. Whiteboard Transformation

Cover one or more sides with adhesive whiteboard sheets, providing a convenient spot for brainstorming sessions, reminders, or lessons.

13. DIY Calendar

Create a dry-erase calendar on the side of your filing cabinet by using washi tape or paint markers. This helps keep track of important dates and events in an accessible location.

14. Photo Gallery Display

Attach photos, artwork, or messages from students on the filing cabinet’s exterior using removable adhesive strips or magnets, creating a dynamic and ever-changing display.


By implementing any of these 14 glow-up ideas for your classroom filing cabinets, you can enhance organization while also breathing new life into an otherwise standard piece of furniture. Your students and colleagues will appreciate the creative effort put into making the space more functional and visually appealing.