Card Catalogue Restoration… From: A Little CLAIREification!!


I have a treat for you!

My beautiful and talented friend Claire from A Little CLAIREification has graciously agreed to guest host today.

I am very grateful to have her here because I have been so busy with our Client Diaries: Jess & Brad Project… my head is spinning a bit!

Things are moving fast and Kent and I are anxious to show you the progress. 

Until then have fun with Claire… she is a hoot… and clever too as you will see from her fantastic Card Catalogue Restoration project!



Antique Card Catalog Restoration with A #antiques #restoration


 Hi there! I’m Claire and I blog over at A Little CLAIREification.

I am so happy Cynthia asked me to stop by today to share one of my favorite projects with you – our Antique Card Catalog Restoration!

Cynthia is always running around working on beautiful projects and makeovers so I’m giving her a well deserved day off and I’ll tell you about this fun piece.

I have to warn you – the “before pictures” are over a year old and probably taken with my iPhone at the time so you’ll have to excuse that part.

So, years ago and far away, my Mom found this card catalog next to a dumpster outside the school where she taught.


Antique Card Catalog Restoration with A #antiques #restoration


Wooden card catalogs were being replaced by newer “modern” metal pieces {which makes me a bit wistful since now the digital age has replaced them altogether}.

I am so glad my Mom had the foresight to snag this and save it for me.

The piece was plain, low grade wood when she found it with no paint and tarnished brass hardware.

The drawer section is separate from the base so it’s a two part, yet very solid, piece.

I was in my early twenties at the time and didn’t think twice about slapping a coat of white paint on it – I didn’t even take off the hardware.

Mistake number one – I am older and wiser now. 😉


Antique Card Catalog Restoration with A #antiques #restoration


So there it sat for about 8 years or so and one day I decided to paint the base aqua.

For no reason other than I like the color but… I didn’t finish it.

Fast forward another 5 or so years and last year and I decided it was time to completely re-do the whole thing.

My Husband, thankfully, insisted that we had to do it right this time. I can be a little bit of “Impatient Pants” sometimes. 😉


Antique Card Catalog Restoration with A #antiques #restoration


He completely removed the hardware and sanded the entire thing. Each little part.


Antique Card Catalog Restoration with A #antiques #restoration


And then we carefully painted the piece before reapplying the hardware.

We considering staining it but the sides and top were really not in good shape.


And then in place:
And that brass sure polished up nicely – all these years and I never knew the potential there!
And now the drawers are all organized and labeled. Fancy, huh?
At the time I hadn’t decided what to put in the bottom drawers so they became the “Etc” drawers. :)
And a last Before & After look:

Antique Card Catalog Restoration with A #antiques #restoration


Isn’t it fun? I have people write me all the time since they are looking for old card catalogs and I feel so lucky that I ended up with this one.

I’d love for you to stop over and visit and tell me about any fun projects you are working on or have completed as well!

You might also enjoy my Budget Dresser Makeover:


Budget Dresser Makeover with A #furniture #restoration


Thanks so much again, Cynthia, for having me over today.

As always, I can’t wait to see the next posts about your fabulous projects!

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Thanks Claire,

I love the hardware on that piece… it turned out beautifully!
Be sure to pop over and check out A Little CLAIREification  if you haven’t had the pleasure before… her links are above!




  1. Love this. Wish I had one!! Great job Claire!

  2. Amazing! One of my BFFs is a librarian and she always looks for card catalogs when we go junking. This would be right up her alley!

  3. That cabinet turned out lovely, Pinning!

  4. Spencer Weber says:

    Mother you’re tempting me now. I think I’d better make a drawing.

  5. This was a project of love! It looks great, I love that you used 3 colors of paint on it. We came across an old file cabinet piece that I think would look great like this, thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I love this. I so want an old card catalog – such a part of growing up that is now obsolete. What a beautiful makeover!

  7. Love that! What a great idea. Good work!

  8. This looks so beautiful and it’s wonderful to see you both together in one place! Cynthia, thanks for having Claire here sharing this amazing project! Pinning! Hope you are both having a fabulous weekend!

  9. Spencer Weber says:

    How nice to finally have a little CLAIREification on the blog! Love what you did here; being a history major I’ve spent many hours in front of a card catalogue and thinking, “when I get out of this place I’m going to make things like this”. Love it!

  10. Oh, this takes me right back to public school! I wish I could find one of these. You did a great job restoring it Claire. I really enjoyed the post!

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