Help make my card catalog into an awesome pixel-ated image.
May 17, 2009 9:23 AM   Subscribe

I recently acquired one of these orthodontic cabinets at a consignment shop and it is in desperate need of a paint job. Because there are 100 drawers (10 x 10) I would like to paint the individual drawers to create a neat image when the cabinet is viewed from a distance. Any suggestions?

I've thought of a Mondrian-style idea as well as Mario or Space Invaders. I do not mind purchasing different colored spray paints but would like the entire cabinet to become a talking point in my living room. (The wackier or more humorous, the better.) But since there are only 100 drawers, I do not think a Close-style drawing or depiction of something huge would work.

(As an aside, I purchased the cabinet for 25 bucks and it was rusty and gross. I did not know it was an orthodontics cabinet (I assumed library) until I opened up some of the bins and they contained teeth. Yes, teeth. Teeth and tooth molds. Ew. Ew. Ew. So I've scrubbed and vinegared/baking soda-ed all 100 of the drawers, and they are now clean and ready for primer and paint.)
posted by melodykramer to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Tetris blocks.
posted by Verdandi at 10:12 AM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about words? You could use them like those magnetic poetry kits people put on their refridgerators. Rearrange them when you're feeling clever!

they contained teeth
Isn't that a biohazard? Maybe they were fake teeth?
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 10:16 AM on May 17, 2009

Pacman ghost?
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:16 AM on May 17, 2009

Crossword puzzle(s)
posted by Rendus at 11:00 AM on May 17, 2009

Paint it with some kind of finish that's compatible with chalk/dry erase markers so you can do something new every week?
posted by aquafortis at 12:18 PM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

My vote is for the Periodic Table of Elements. Light ground, detail with drawing tools, like interference colors that shift with light, glossy varnish. It would be beautiful and serve as a visual filing system. I bet you could get an easy stencil type thing off of a science site. There's a Periodic Table of Fonts, for example. Hilarious.
posted by effluvia at 12:48 PM on May 17, 2009

It looks like you can put photos or drawings in the little slots on the front of each drawer so I'd be tempted to use those rather than paint the drawers themselves. That way it's easier to change the design.

Personally I'd probably do something with fractals, or other repetitive elements that people could switch the drawers around and make a new design.

This would work with letters too, you could have a scrabble type bookcase.
posted by fshgrl at 1:35 PM on May 17, 2009

Response by poster: Oh! Wow, these are all wonderful suggestions. I do like the idea of doing something with the slots as well...I was thinking maybe taking pictures of my friends and putting them in the slots. Like a face cabinet. But that's clearly up for debate.

Fractals and Scrabble and the Periodic Table (which happens to be my shower curtain) and Crossword Puzzles and Pacman and Tetris and dry erase are all fantastic.

Thank you all so much.

posted by melodykramer at 1:57 PM on May 17, 2009

Response by poster: Twister would also be cool, but it would have to go across multiple boxes. And it's hard to play Twister when the game isn't on the floor and comes with sharp handles.
posted by melodykramer at 2:01 PM on May 17, 2009

Response by poster: odinsdream: Like in that old Pipe game for Windows?
posted by melodykramer at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2009

Can't find an example, but I saw someone paint a bunch of file drawers like this in three or four different colors. This allowed them a lot of flexibility in arranging the drawers into patterns and images, like working with pixels.

I always thought it would be cool to make a cabinet of this sort look like an office building, with each drawer being an individual window. Some windows could be lit and others dark, some with people or scenes visible. You could maybe find a high-res photo of a building that you could blow up and glue onto the drawer fronts.

Whatever you do, post some pics of the result!
posted by orme at 6:46 PM on May 17, 2009

Response by poster: I will definitely post pictures. Believe me, the cleaning process was quite...interesting. My guess is that the owner filled the sucker with teeth and then submerged the entire thing in a swamp, based on what was inside. Gross, but will be lovingly restored to (hopeful) awesomeness. :P
posted by melodykramer at 7:08 PM on May 17, 2009

Take a picture of the insides of the drawer and put small prints of them in the slots. Now you can be confused about finding your stuff WITHOUT opening the drawers.
posted by ouke at 12:58 AM on May 18, 2009

If you want some ideas for a cool 10x10 graphic, check out
PBN stands for paint-by-number, and there are puzzles of all dimensions on there.
You can search by size and you can "peek" at the solutions. Most of the titles are not straightforward enough to tell you what they are though, because they don't want to give away the solution.
posted by soelo at 7:44 AM on May 18, 2009

« Older Music that endures?   |   Who played that amazing song? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.