Refinishing my Filing Cabinet

You may remembered that I snagged this baby for free from Chris' work a few months back. It's been sitting in my art room ever since waiting to get used (because for some reason I decided it needed to get refinished before I would put anything in it)

And refinishing was a must. That biscuit color just makes me want to barf. Whoever thought biscuit was a good idea...gross.

Chris and I hauled it to the backyard, which was met with much huffing and puffing because that sucker is heavy. But once it was outside it was time for a beautiful, glossy white transformation

First up was taking out all the drawers and cleaning it. This required scraping off old tape, sponging down strange, gross stains...

...and just a general scrub down. Once the cleaning was done it was time for a light sanding. I didn't need to sand it down to the bare metal, but it's important to scuff the top layer up so the spray paint has something to fix to

After sanding, another sponge down is necessary to wipe off all the dust sanding has created. Next, I attempted to take off the hardware, but those screws were in really tight, and I just too lazy to fiddle with them anymore, so out came the frog tape

On all four of the drawers I taped off the handle, label plate, and that thingy-ma-jig you push when you open the drawer. I didn't tape the label plate off perfectly (left the center open) because a label will eventually be slid into the opening, so I really just only wanted the metal to stay protected

Scraping, cleaining, sanding and taping off all the drawers and the little key hole on the actual cabinet took me about an hour

It's important to really do the prep work right and make sure everything is clean and sanded, otherwise your paint just is going to be subpar, splotchy and not be looking too hot. Prep work is always the most annoying part, but it's also the most important to a nice, clean finished product

With all the prep done, I was ready to go. I had bought a can of spray primer for the first coat. There wasn't any bare metal to prime over, but I knew starting with a primer coat would help all my glossy white layers go on more evenly

I went through the whole can of primer, so I was a little nervous my 2 1/2 cans of glossy white spray paint wouldn't be enough. But with the primer undercoat, the glossy white went on really evenly and 2 1/2 cans was more then enough In fact, only 3 coats of the glossy white was needed (I had thought I'd need many more coats) to make things even and clean. I had to move it into the garage for the last coat because we've had some rain storms here in the Bay for the last couple of days

I'm lovin' the way it's looking

Now we just have to haul it into the animal room. Boo. But I can't wait to fill it with a bunch of organized shit! :)


Brian said...

Nicely done! Looks like I have to do something like this in the near future, my cabinet is jealous.

meryl rose said...

It's a super easy project! The worst is just the prep, but none of it is hard, just slightly annoying :) And cabinets are much happier after :)

Anonymous said...

How did you get the drawers out? I am having trouble with that right now. :(

meryl rose said...

That is a tricky part of it :( Pull the drawers open as far as they will go and grab the handle on the front of the drawer with one hand and brace the bottom of the drawer towards the back with the other. If you lift the drawer up with the hand you're holding onto the handle with while pulling the drawer forward at the same time the drawer should come off the track and free from the cabinet.