It’s the age old story… I needed something to store my files and I didn’t want to spend any money.
1 metal filing cabinet
Sand paper (big enough grit to scratch the paint, but not so big it causes grooves)
Painters’ or masking tape
Paint (I’m sure spray paint enamel is the best, but I just had wall paint on hand)
A paint pen
Spray acrylic sealer (especially if you are using wall paint)
NOTE: The beauty of this project is to use what’s on hand, so that’s why nothing is specific. Of course if you plan to invest on your supplies, get the best stuff for the job.
Now that you’ve gathered my oh-so-specific-and-scientific supply list, let’s get started.
Remove the drawers. Sand your filing cabinet surfaces, paying special attention to any rusty spots. You want to mar the finish a bit so the new paint will stick.
Remove or tape over any hardware you don’t want painted.
Paint your cabinet. Only paint the parts you’ll see when the cabinet is closed, especially if you are using wall paint. The paint is likely to scratch off if surfaces rub together. Besides, I only want it to look nifty on the outside. It’s my studio, and a rusty cabinet, so I don’t mind that the inside is still icky almond. Cute file folders will distract me!
I needed two coats of paint to get the coverage I wanted, which is total coverage. If you want it to look more shabby chic, use a dry brush technique to add to the faux bois appearance.
If you can stand the suspense, I recommend waiting a day for the paint to fully cure, but of course, I’m not that patient when an exciting new project is in front of me. Use a paint pen to draw your wood grain. I just did it free hand, I promise you it’s really easy. If you’re nervous about your drawing abilities, don’t be. Drawing a straight line is not required for this project, and the internet has lots of inspiration. If you’re still terrified, check out this “how to draw wood grain” tutorial I found. If you follow the tutorial, use half as many lines on your cabinet, less is more for the mod look. Since you’re waiting for paint to dry and watching it is no fun, practice your wood grain with a Sharpie and some scratch paper while you wait. It will make the pen to cabinet part much easier, and will let you experiment how close you want your lines, how many, etc.
Ta Da!!!! When all your wood grain lines are done, seal the whole cabinet with clear acrylic spray sealer. Now you do have to wait overnight before putting the drawers back in and moving it into the house (or maybe move first, add drawers later, that would be easier).
My printer loves its new pedestal. I did notice that wall paint does scratch pretty easily. As I mentioned at the beginning, spray paint is best. I didn’t use it, because I didn’t have it, and I really wanted this coral color. Enjoy your “new” cabinet! Send pictures! Tell me how well the spray paint method works, and how many cans (I’m thinking at least two).