Thursday, August 7, 2014

File Cabinet Makeover

Last year, I redid a file cabinet for my new office upstairs.  It turned out great, but as we get ready for the move, we are getting rid of things we just don't need anymore.  The file cabinet and matching bookshelf fell into that category.  So, that left us with our old metal filing cabinet.  It's fine, but not especially pretty.  So, I decided to take a page from CB2 and turn it into a brightly colored piece for our new home!

You will need:

  • Spray paint (make sure it is specifically designed to adhere to metal surfaces)
  • Sandpaper
  • Damp washcloth
  • Painter's tape

When you pick your paint, there are a few things to consider.  One, be sure to get a paint that is designed for your specific material.  Two, pick a color that will pop against its surroundings. Three, consider the finish- there is matte, satin, and gloss typically available in spray paints.  Gloss looks sleek, but tends to show errors more.  Since I tend to goof up, I picked a satin finish instead in a lemongrass color that I thought would look great with the black and white office rug.

Set up an area to work outside on a pleasant, but not too humid day.  If it's too humid, your paint won't dry properly.

Give your file cabinet a good sanding, paying special attention to any spots that have started to rust.  Wipe it down with your damp cloth after you are finished sanding and allow to dry completely.

Use your painter's tape to cover up any areas that you do not want getting painted.  For larger areas, you can use a combination of tape and paper or cardboard, or use an old rag to drape the places you want left unpainted.

Then, simply spray paint the file cabinet!  You want to do this in at least two coats, otherwise you will glob on too much paint and it will come out a mess.  If you do get overzealous with the spray paint and notice drips, don't stress.  Just let them dry completely, sand, and respray.
After your first coat, it's okay for the coverage to be splotchy
I went a little over board with the paint and got some drips- I can sand these off and repaint once it is dry

I think this turned out really great!  I'm very excited to use it in our new home... and I'm even more excited to share those pictures with you!!


  1. Adorable. Love the bright color!

    1. Thank you! I'm already picturing it with my polka dotted rug...

  2. Love the change, great job.

  3. This is so cool I would say. My file cabinet too need a makeover. Now I can handle this issue better...


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