New DIY Card Catalog Makeover

So we got another Card Catalog. Granted, this one wasn’t a big or as nice as our last one, but it is still fun. This one is from the 1980’s and I picked it up in Tucson from a school government auction.

The exterior of it is laminate- which isn’t that fun to work with. You can’t sand it or distress it really, so you kind of have to work with what you are given! This was chipped and cracked in some areas, and another bummer about this one is that the very bottom right drawer is missing! Man oh man, that bugs me to no end! Even with its flaws though, it is STILL a card catalog- which means we STILL love it to no end!



  • Get lucky and find a card catalog;)
  • Fill in cracks and chips with wood putty
  • Bring one drawer to Home Depot and have them color match the black in Behr Ultra Premium Plus {we don’t use any other type of paint!!}
  • Use paint sprayer to paint CC
  • Lightly sand to smooth it all out
  • Seal it 
  • Smile because its a pretty rad card catalog {yes, yes, we know, we still like our other one way better, but we like this one too!}
I love that this guy has 4 of those pull out shelves

So, what do you think?!We know its not quite as magnificent as the first one we did, but they- that quality of a card catalog original that we got was rare! We like this one a lot and hope you do too!! And, if you don’t- well,oh well:)


PS- I linked this up to all my favorite linky parties:) Check out some of the amazing stuff others have done!


  1. says

    Hi Adri! Ok so I too love what you have done but I seriously can’t handle the missing drawer.. I am sitting here trying to think of what you could do to make it not as noticeable??? I would take out a drawer in all four corners. And then do something with the holes?? IDK? Like I said before, LOVE what you did. It’s simple and not overdone. So are you keeping it?

  2. says

    I love it. I’ve been wanting one of these since I went to San Francisco and saw a distressed card catalog at Anthropologie. Maybe you can make a faux drawer front for the missing drawer. Love it!

  3. says

    Adri…I love card catalog…so many great uses. Houzz has one on their site that was converted to wine storage.
    Please add a link in your post back to Metamorphosis Monday so your wonderful readers will find the other participants for MM. 🙂

  4. says

    You had me at card catalog….AGAIN. Love what you’ve done to upstyle this one! Try to find a basket or container that will fit in the empty hole, but make the empty spot the very first slot at the top left, pull it out a little bit and have something extremely interesting poking out. Your missing drawer then becomes an asset. That’s my take ;0)

  5. says

    Thanks everyone for the compliments and even more for the ideas on what to do with the missing drawer! It is driving me nuts too, so we will have to figure something out!
    Jess- no, were selling this one at Modern Manor.
    Susan- So sorry, I totally forgot to put it at the end!! Its fixed now. My mistake:/


  6. says

    I have somehow stumbled into your little world and all I can say is — AMAZING. You have me drooling over a card catalog cabinet. I am wondering how long I will have to scour over Louisville in search of one. I am most definitely smitten — or addicted.


  7. says

    this is even better than an apothecary chest i was pining for…

    i am on the red hunt now…

    there must be one here in chicago somewhere…

    visiting you from blue cricket

  8. says

    Love it even with the missing drawer. What a fabulous transformation. What do you keep in all the little drawers? I would love to find something with all those drawers to keep my jewelry supplies organized, or….just as eye candy.

  9. says

    Thank you so much everyone!!! You guys are so great!
    Christa- no we live in Phoenix, I just did a drive to Tucson to pick it up:)
    Dana- Thanks so much! I did link it up to your party!
    Betsy- We already have one card catalog in our home and in it we keep: napkins, table runners folded up, serving silverware, coasters, bottles of wine {yep- they fit-at least in that CC they do!} and other dining room essentials, since it is in the dining room.

    Good luck to you ladies in other states searching! Hope you find something great:)


  10. says

    Oh it’s wonderful! Card catalogs are such amazing pieces of furniture- how lucky you’ve come across more than one! You did a great job updating it while still keeping the look original. Very well done! Visiting from Vintage Thingies Thursday at The Colorado Lady. Happy VTT!

  11. says

    The “after” is so sleek and modern! You’ve done an amazing job! I’ll be back to this blog for more inspiring DIY. 🙂 Your blog is so cute.

  12. says

    Wow, a job well done. It looks sleek and updated. I would never think of a card catalog piece as furniture until now. I too am bothered by the missing drawer. How sad, but it is still an awesome piece when finished.
    Hugs, Jeanne

  13. says

    very cool! not that you asked, but I think I would switch out the empty drawer space down in the corner for the top middle one and create a little vignette there in the empty space…

  14. Anonymous says

    I stumbled upon your blog in a Google search for a DIY idea. I LOVE IT!! Had a thought about the missing drawer … perhaps remove several drawers randomly, and put decorative stuff inside, like a candles? LOVE your and J’s handiwork … totally amazing!

  15. says

    Please, where could I find one of these wondrful catalogs for a good price. like dirt cheap, we are college students living on top ramen… haha. did you contact a library or? They are wondrful! congrats.

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