Weekend DIY do up–Locker Reno


Locker Reno

I decided my weekend project for this week would be a “do-up” of my old steel school locker that I have carted around since I was 15. I remember buying this and an old dove tailed surfboard from a garage sale for $5 each at the time. It was pretty knocked around when I got it and it had been spray painted with illegible graffiti. So, I spent subsequent years painting over and over the locker to wild and weird specs…….. time has past, I peeled off all of the stickers years ago and now I am sick of looking at the locker in it’s unloved state.

I don’t want to throw it out – it’s super handy to keep my art materials in – I just want it less trashy, a little less busy.

Saturday; day one:

Starting condition:

BLAH – years of neglect show through, and rust has taken up residence.


Step one:

test patch with the paint stripper: 5 minutes is all it takes and the paint and undercoat in ripped back to bare steel. There’s a lot of rust under the paint………… oh no. Thumbs down


Step two:

Rip in to it! side by side, layer by layer.

Step three:

clean up for the day’s work, get husby to bang out some dents and fit the handle that I brought earlier in the day (bathroom draw handle).

At the close of day-one the locker looked better already: BARE STEEL & RUST.

Steel rust 1steel rust 3steel rust 5steel rust 4steel rust 6steel rust 2steel rust 7steel rust 8

Sunday; day two:

Today the finishing decisions are to be made. I was thinking fire engine red, or maybe blackboard paint, forest green, candy paint job…no, no, no, too busy… maybe just bare steel – minus the rust………

Perfect – not too attention seeking and has that industrial edge and classic style. I don’t want to disguise what it is, by tarting it up in a style I’m going to get sick of later on, and I think this idea will work.

I will see how much of the rust we can remove before making a final decision. I have polyurethane sealer standing at the ready if it turns out well. Otherwise I might have to default to plan ‘B’ which is also undecided at this stage.

Step one:

crack out the grinder and get to work on cleaning it up, and trying to remove some of the rust. – husby did this step for me.


Step two:

Get the table sander and a fairly coarse grit and give it the once over just to remove some of the burring left by the grinder.


Step three:

Rag and turpentine time, remove any of those fingers prints, dust and grease.

We couldn’t get all of the rust pitting out, but it doesn’t look so bad. Gives the piece age and authenticity. lol.


Step four:

Varnish with clear polyurethane and a rag to avoid brush marks.


…… drying time……..

and, you’re done.


My husby is now working on some steel supports to replace the old wooden ones on the inside. He will rivet them in rather than using screws (how it was).. After that I will put in my shelves and fill it up again in my art room. YAY.

It’s like Christmas!


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