Cool Enough for a Dorm Room

Route 11 Yard Crawl 2016-

You may remember my fantastic finds from a flea market last August.  It was over a 100 degrees that day but I got some great bargains, probably because everybody wanted to go home.  Today I’m working on the red metal cabinet in the back.

Last week we hauled the youngest off to college. He and his roommate  have just about everything they could ever possibly need shoved into their tiny dorm room.  You know…the fridge, the coffeepot, desks, books, clothes, big TV, lounge chair…but what he didn’t have was a shelf or even drawer space to hold the coffee and his munchies.  Right now they are in a plastic bin on the top shelf of his closet.  Not very handy for late night hunger pangs.

A solution wasn’t urgent but I was going to keep his munchie problem in mind if I came across something in my travels.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

But look what I see when I venture into my workshop later that day, my metal cabinet from last August.  Well, that could be just about perfect if I got rid of the rust…I’m pretty sure my college freshman does not like rust with his food.  Just a guess.

It’s been over a year since that flea market and my cabinet has slowly gotten buried under sawdust and a crate of bamboo. It was time to dig him out.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

There was some rust on the front and sides.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

And a bunch more on top of the cabinet.


Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

Nothing a good sanding couldn’t take care of.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

Doesn’t the cabinet look brand new after a coat of spray paint?

 This was the Rustoleum Hammered Metal Finish.  According to the can, it works on metal, no primer needed and  you can apply directly over rust.  That works for me!

I was originally going to leave the exterior of the door red but once I started sanding out the rust spots, I realized I would have to paint that too. It’s that old thing about the rust and food not going together.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

After I destroyed my old kitchen table, I had a few pieces of butcher block leftover.  A perfect piece to create a shelf for the inside of the cabinet.

Metal Industrial Cabinet MakeoverA removable tray for the top of the cabinet is made from 5 pieces of pallet wood nailed together.  Four are the full pallet width and one is cut in half lengthwise.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

The vent slats in the cabinet were easily bent down flat to hold the new shelf.


Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

Besides the shelf, the interior of the cabinet was in great shape and only needed a good cleaning.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

A couple of handles finish off the pallet tray.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

I considered adding more embellishments for the front of the cabinet like my file cabinet but I held back.  I have to keep reminding myself, be cool, it’s for a boy’s dorm….maybe after he graduates.  🙂

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

With the addition of peanut butter, it’s all ready for college.

Metal Industrial Cabinet Makeover

As for what happened to all my other junk from that flea market, you can find them here.   Metal File Box Bar Cart,  Hand Truck Coffee Table,   Apple Picking Bucket   Feed Sack Ottoman, Barrel Hoop Mirror,   Thingamajigs and Pendant Light  . 

I think I can dig a few more projects out of this pile but I am running out of room on my picture.

Stay inspired and have a wonderful relaxing Labor day.

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday,

Wow us Wednesday, Talk of the Town,

DIY Salvaged Junk Projects,



  • Barb says:

    That is one cool cabinet. I love the tray on top, and the storage space will surely come in handy in a dorm and anywhere one needs to use it. Great job!

  • Kimberly says:

    Wow, what a great idea! I have been out of college for *ahem* a while, but I know I would love to have this cool cabinet and tray in my room. 🙂

  • Cecilia says:

    Oh yeah, that’s cool enough for a dorm room! That turned out great! The shelf and tray are perfect additions as well! He should love it!

  • Oh wow! That is such a great gift for a college kid! I would have loved that in a dorm room! How creative and a fantastic transformation. Stopped by from the Talk of the Town party. pinned:)

  • Kathy A says:

    I think your son will love it and it will come home for the summer with school stickers and magnets all over it! And crumbs in the corners! A gift card for a local grocery store would go awful well with it too!

    • Joan says:

      I already stocked him with a care package for this semester so I think he is good for food for the moment. He did finally see it and loved the idea of stickers and magnets to make it his own.

  • Joan, I just ADORE this fix! This would be so perfect for MY room, nevermind my son’s! haha

    I’m featuring this on DIY Salvaged Junk Projects this weekend. Thanks for linking up!

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