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Paint a Magazine File for a Custom Look

They just don’t make ’em like they used to. 

Years ago, wood magazine files from Ikea were solid, varnished and not sliver-giving at all.  Not true today.  But, because my city’s Ikea is moving locations, the sliver-giving, unfinished, kind of woobly magazine files produced today were on sale ($9.99, as opposed to $12.99, for a pair) and that made them look a lot better.  What made them even more attractive was a lick of paint.

After lightly sanding and rounding the corners a bit (so they aren’t so sharp – jeez, Ikea) I gave them a coat of primer and two coats of leftover pale turquoise paint from my paper storage hoozit.  Because the paper storage hoozit was left light wood inside, I left these light wood inside too, because it was easier for a little subtle coordination.


Ikea Magazine Files (set of 2, slivers included)

The Transformation:

Paint a magazine file


Aqaua magazine file

Painted magazine file

I know, a pretty subtle transformation but I don’t really want to draw attention to them.  Now I have to get them on the shelves and photograph my Ikea Expedit Hack.  Yup, it is done.  Just waiting for a sunny day to snap some photos!  I’m such a tease . . . hope you’re not all underwhelmed after all this hype.



  1. Dana@Mid2Mod
    November 25, 2011 / 3:58 pm

    They look really nice, and I like them much better with the inside unpainted than I would if they were all turquoise. Good call! I can't wait to see what you did with the Expedit.

  2. Faith
    November 25, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    Yay!!!!!!! I can't wait to see the Expedit hack!!!!! I've looked at those magazine holders at Ikea several times. I guess I just can't bring myself to spend that much. Yours look great, I really like the color. 🙂 🙂

  3. EJ @ Not A House, But A Home
    November 25, 2011 / 4:12 pm

    Great colour choice! I like that you left the inside wood au natural.

  4. Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    November 25, 2011 / 5:39 pm

    Thanks Ladies!Faith – they are a bit pricey, but anything cheaper is made of cardboard and it seems anything better quality is even MORE money. But if your Ikea has a sale like mine, maybe you can get them for a better price.

  5. elaine
    November 25, 2011 / 5:46 pm

    Love the colour. Very subtle but beautiful. Big improvement!

  6. Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    November 25, 2011 / 6:01 pm

    Sometimes subtle transformations are more desirable, aren't they? I'd rather draw attention to prettier aspects of my office, but sprucing up the files a bit makes them look better without making them a focal point.

  7. Beatrice @
    November 25, 2011 / 6:03 pm

    They look great. I really love the paint color you chose. I made one of your spiders the other day and it looks great. Will share pictures soon. Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    November 25, 2011 / 7:46 pm

    Oooo, Beatrice I can't wait to see your spider!! I've been busy making them, too, and am planning a post with photos of a few dozen I've made, for inspiration/ogling purposes.

  9. Dora
    November 25, 2011 / 9:06 pm

    They look very pretty. I love the color you chose for them 🙂

  10. Sudha
    November 27, 2011 / 5:47 am

    amazing 🙂

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