These painted metal lockers are the paint project that started it all for me. A friend of mine called me to see if I would want some lockers that her work was getting rid of. Lockers equal storage and if you have kids you know how important storage is. Then she said the magic words "Free" Metal lockers. Of course, I said yes!!! Bring them over.
These were basic break room lockers. But, I had a plan that was not basic by any means! At first I wanted to put 2 on each side of my TV as media storage. To my hearts dismay the set of three was not coming apart, ever. Still on the media center plan, I tried laying them on their side & stacking the single set on top of the 3. Mentally flip the lockers on the right so that their legs hang to the right & the bins open upward. Now flip the single tower the same way and stack it up on top of the 3 tower. Got it? No worries if not, you will see below:) I also planned on adding planked wood to the top to create a finished look.
Painted metal lockers supply list
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Painted Metal Lockers Drama
What's a story without a little drama?
Remember when we flipped the lockers on their side and those legs were sticking out? Well they need to be removed before we can go any further. An angle grinder is the perfect tool for this job. A metal cut wheel was put on the grinder and and used to cut through the metal legs all 12 of them.
Using an angle grinder on metal creates a spark show to rival 4th of July fireworks. Take my work for it you should wear long sleeves, goggles, a hat, and maybe wrap your face in a sheet. Yes, a pink sheet from your daughter's clean clothes bin will work just fine. Sometimes we just have to work with what we have when it is raining hot metal in our garage.
The top single tower was attached to the bottom section using machine screws, washers, and nuts. I used my drill to pre-drill a hole through both sets. Then dropped the machine screw into the hole and fastened from the bottom set.
Adding a planked wood exterior
Once the legs were removed I had to figure out how to hide the indented tray bottom that could now be seen. One side, used to be the top was a normal finished edge. The opposite side, which used to be the bottom was indented.
Since I wanted to include stained planked wood, I decided to wrap the sides with the wood as well.
To do that over the indented part I first put a few scrap pieces of wood in the gap. At first they were just pressure mounted in. Then I predrilled a hold through my pallet wood, the scrap wood and through the metal. Next the screw was pushed through and countersunk into the wood using a counter sink drill bit.
PAINTING METAL LOCKERS
I almost forgot this post was supposed to be about painting metal lockers. It's kinda 3 projects in one at this point. Thanks for staying with me this long!
This locker set was one of those times in life where saying yes to one thing, free lockers, lead me to finding my passion, DIY, Upcycling, and painting furniture. I did a Google search for best paint to use on metal & somehow found a store 45 miles away that carried a line of chalked acrylic furniture paints that claimed to work well for painting metal furniture.
Mind you I live a block from Lowe's and most Google searches with that criteria would probably turn up a spray paint option. I have to believe it was meant to be. I drove the 45 miles, fell in LOVE with the little shop & said out loud, "People can make a living doing this? I want this store!"
With this paint, the process for metal furniture is exactly the same as any other surface.
- Clean with 50/50 water and vinegar mix
- Wipe down with clear water.
- Mix your paint.
- Brush on two coats of paint
- I used a color called Cyan. It is aggressively green in the picture below. Please tell me you see the face sticking it's tongue out. I cannot unsee it! I did tone down the aggressive green though.
Pure Home Paints is a chalked Acrylic made specifically for furniture. It does require sealing. I wanted this piece to have a little bit of a grunge look to it. I wanted it to be very industrial and not so much break room.
The glazing process is completely up to your taste. After my glaze coats dried I did go ahead and add an additional layer of matte clear top coat. I wanted to make sure the finish held up to my busy household.
This locker project led to so many changes. Say yes to offers & opportunities and keep seeing where they take you.
There are many options of paint in the market. I only have need for one though. Whether you are painting metal lockers or any other surface, Kristi Kuehl Pure Home Paints is the perfect universal paint. You can read more about them here.