Two tone painted card catalog

Card catalogs. They are one of my favorite furniture pieces. I love all the little cubbies to fill. I found one at a local university surplus store a year ago and it has been waiting to be transformed into a show piece. I knew I wanted a two tone painted card catalog. I just needed to decide what color. We have been making some small updates to the basement. I only have one window in the entire space, so I knew the walls needed to be white. It has really brightened up the space so it is not so “dungeon-like”.

So, this was the perfect time to dress up my found card catalog.

two tone painted card catalog

Hello is right. I am so happy with how it turned out. Here is the before picture of it.

vintage card catalog

So, the even more exciting part of all this is that I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint on this piece. And, it was so easy to do. I have to say that I was a bit nervous about mixing the powder, but really there was nothing to worry about. It was so simple!

old fashioned milk paint co

I shared this little sneak peek of happy mail over on Instagram the other day. I would love for you to follow along there if you have an account. It is a little part of Dandelion Patina where I share sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes pics.


You simply measure out a few tablespoons of powder and water to a nice consistency of thinned out cake batter. You don’t want it runny, but thick enough to resemble paint. You also need to add your bonding agent if you want the paint to adhere and not have the “chippy” look.

white and black card catalog

One coat did give me enough coverage. This was about two tablespoons! Yup, I did say two tablespoons.

I was completely amazed! I have enough powder for about 4 of these babies! I then sealed the piece with Daddy Van’s Beeswax and Lavender Furniture Polish. This stuff is amazing! It is easy to apply and a little goes a long way! Plus, an added perk is that it smells like lavender…like the real deal. The room was filled with the fragrance of lavender fields! So yummy, if you like the fragrance of lavender.

two tone painted card catalog

painted black and white card catalog


I then picked out a few black and white patterns from scrapbook paper to create some fun on the drawer fronts.

milk paint card catalog

Below is a great pin-worthy photo. Go ahead and pin this to your favorite Pinterst board.

two tone card catalog


card catalog old fashioned milk paint


Once again this month, I am co-hosting the Fabulous Furniture Flippin’ Contest with these lovely ladies.

Fab Furniture Flipping Monthly Contest Hosts. Transform a dated piece of furniture monthly with chosen themes by hosts. Join us!

You can check out their projects with Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company products here:

Anastasia Vintage

Evey’s Creations

Thirty Eighth Street


Fern Avenue

And you also can keep checking back to see the contestants of this month’s Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest linked up below. The theme is  Shabby Chic Storage and the sponsor is Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company. If you are interested in becoming a participant in future monthly contests please contact Evey @ Evey’s Creations or Stacy @ Anastasia Vintage.

Details of this month’s contest:

June 2015 Theme: “Shabby Chic Storage”
Submission Deadline: Friday, June 19th @ 11:59 PM EST
Old Fashioned Milk Paint
Prize Package:
-Six (quarts) of OFMP (your choice of colors)
-One (quart) of Extra-Bond
-One (pint) of Antique Crackle
-One (5 oz.) Tin of Daddy Van’s Clear Wax
-One (2 oz.) Tin of Daddy Van’s Antique Brown Wax
-One (2 oz.) Tin of Daddy Van’s Shadow Black Wax

Did you miss last month’s contest? You can hop over to the Inspired by Moms contest. And you can view the contest winner of the May contest.

Feel like you want to try your hand at painting with Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company milk paint? Check out all their paint colors and products.

*Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company did compensate me for this post. All opinion on the ease of using milk paint, my love of cubbies, and creating a fun painted furniture piece are all my own.


Happy Painting!

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  1. I am IN LOVE with this piece! I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for my own card catalog but haven’t been fortunate enough to find one yet…at least not one for a deal that I can fix up! This is so beautiful Michelle! You did a fabulous job – and it really does look great up against your white walls. Pinning!!
    Kirsten – Sweet Tea & Saving Grace recently posted…60 DIY Father’s Day Gift IdeasMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Kirsten! I definitely lucked out finding it at the university. They actually had 3, so I picked the best one. I hope you find one for yourself.

    • Kristi, I really thank you so much for your kind words. Now, I just need to decide what to put in all those cubbies! 🙂

  2. i’m in love…. I have always wanted a card catalog but never find them!! Nice job…

    • Thanks so much DeDe! I hope you find one…it took me awhile too. Now, I have to figure out what to put into it.

  3. Michelle, This is an amazing piece! Never met a card catalog I didn’t like!! The scrap book paper alone makes me exhausted, but the finished results of the whole thing is amazing! Pinned and green with envy. 🙂 xx

    • Charlotte, it was quite a tedious process cutting the scrapbook pieces. I had cramps in my fingers for a few days…lol. So glad you like the piece. Thank you.

  4. Found you through the Inspiration Monday party. I love how you changed this piece! The b/w touches are so clever and created. Nice job, love it! (I wish I had one!)
    Brooke recently posted…Review // PreviewMy Profile

    • Brooke, so glad you found me via the link party. I appreciate your kind comments. Have a great week.

    • Ann Marie, I was worried about using it too, but really there was nothing to it. I used the bonding agent for my piece, but it went on super easy. Give it a go!

  5. Wow, what a beautiful transformation, love the update! I’d love to find an old card catalog, but they are SO expensive around here. Thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party
    Betsy recently posted…Vintage Inspiration Party #199My Profile

    • Thank you so much Betsy! They are pretty expensive, I got lucky at a local university supply store.

    • I know, right? I love furniture pieces with little cubbies. Thanks for your comment Leah. I appreciate it.

  6. Love this! I am always on the hunt for a card catalog, but haven’t been able to get my hands on one yet. Yours is a beauty, but the two two paint magic you worked on it really makes it shine! Great Job!
    Pieced Pastimes

  7. Wow, what a gorgeous piece of furniture. Love the transformation. Lavender furniture polish!…I’ve never heard of it. It’s one of my favorite scents. I’ll have to check it out.

    • Mary, lavender is one of my favorite fragrances as well. Yes, you should definitely try the lavender wax.

  8. I LOVE this piece! You were so fortunate to find it and what you did with it is sheer genius! I’ve pinned it on Pinterest. Maybe you could visit my site and see if there’s something there you’d like to pin?

  9. Michelle –

    I love everything about your card catalog! I have to admit i’ve never tried milk paint but it sounds amazing! I may be trying it on my next project. I especially love your lavender wax. I am buying some of that now. I hate how my current wax smells. I have to do it outside or my space will stink for the 36 hours after. Yuck. Thank you for sharing at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link! I really love your style!

    Cat @ Pocketful of Posies recently posted…Dream. Create. Inspire. Link! #9My Profile

    • Cat, you will love the lavender wax. It is amazing! And I was a bit intimidated about using milk paint because of the mixing, but really, it is so easy. Thank you for stopping by.

  10. Michelle, your card catalog looks absolutely amazing! You transformed it with the milk paint:). I have been looking for a card catalog for my son’s room but haven’t had much luck, what a great find! Thank you so much for sharing your project at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. Hope you had a great weekend, Take care, Tara
    Tara @ Lehman lane recently posted…Our Before / After Home Tour 2015My Profile

  11. Wow Michelle! You did an amazing job on this card catalog! I never would have thought to add scrapbook paper like that – it looks soooooo good! Thanks so much for sharing at Talented Tuesdays; I’m featuring this post tomorrow! 🙂
    Amy@HomeRemedies recently posted…DIY Faux Metal SphereMy Profile

  12. Wow what a stunning transformation! I have used chalk paint before but never the type of paint you have to mix power with… I guess I’ll have to give it a shot! Your little bit of color adds so much life and dimension to the piece! Love it! Thanks for linking up at the Welcome Home Wednesday Link Party! Can’t wait to see what you link up next week!
    Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc. recently posted…Ask Sherwin Williams… What are the most Popular Paint Colors?My Profile

  13. I cannot believe that all you needed was 2 tablespoons! No kidding a little goes a long way! I am fond of card catalogs too but have not been able to find one to repurpose. Can I ask what you store in the cute little cubbies? Thank you for sharing such a fantastic transformation with us at Welcome Home Wednesday. We hope to see more of your work next week!
    Lyn @MidMichiganMom recently posted…Welcome Home Wednesday Link Party #2My Profile

    • Lyn, I was amazed as well. I have so much paint powder left! Right now I am storing craft supplies in the cubbies, but eventually this piece will move into a hang out room for my girls.


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