I Did-It-Myself! The filing cabinet is finally done! It took me 4 hours and 4 cans of spray paint, plus gold leafing, but it looks great! And is functional! So… how did my filing cabinet go from this….
I did some shit, that's how. Read on if you wish me to elaborate...
I bought and transported the filing cabinet home from a Thrift Shop (best $15 I’ve spent in a while).
I ignored it for a few weeks. (You can skip this step, but it’s pretty much central to my process).
I got out my DIY dream team (they don’t pay me to advertise for them, but maybe they should). Simple Green gets permanent marker off metal (but not plastic..) which is great because the combination for the safe was written on the door. (A terrible security feature, but useful since it was traveling the thrift circuit). Goo Gone (which is pretty much just orange oil) gets the stickers off. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers didn’t really come into play here, but I love them anyway. And a box cutter – honestly, the most useful, dangerous tool in my arsenal.
While I do like the Chargers (go bolts!) I do not "really, really, REALLY love golf", so the stickers were liars and had to go. Neither really fit into my design scheme, anyway. This is where the Goo Gone and box cutter come into play.
Ok, so, after I upgraded security by removing the combination to the safe and got the stickers off, I pulled out the drawers, shelves, and doors (except for the safe door which, sensibly, cannot be removed). Now when I say “I” removed these things, in this particular case I mean the hubs removed them as he shook his head at my protests that they “weren’t made to come out”. Then I (really me, this time) sanded the whole thing. Mostly to get the rust off, but there was a lot of paint happening too.
Also, after disassembling, we found this nifty little thing stuffed in the back. No idea what it is, but I like it.
I washed it with dish soap (I used Palmolive, but I’m pretty sure any kind will work) and water and dried it off with paper towels.
Then, I put down my canvas drop-cloth, because spray paint is messy, people.
Next, I masked over all the bits I didn’t want to spray paint. Specifically, the combination lock and the key hole, because that would cause some problems, but also the card holders on the front that really WEREN’T made to come out (sometimes I know these things).
At this point, I got my graffiti on. Or more, my careful application of spray paint. Black for the body, metallic for the drawers and door. I used Rust-o-leum because it’s basically the only spray paint I trust. You can use any kind you want, but when painting metal things, I just feel better when “rust” is in the name (as in won’t rust, rather than containing rust). Anyway, I used Pro-Enamel in Glossy Black and Hammered Metal Finish in Copper.
Here’s a note, I bought a lightish-metal-color texture paint for the drawers/doors that looked ok, but I wasn’t sure about, since it was called Oatmeal and in my experience, oatmeal is not actually a metal. If you have this sort of feeling when buying something, listen to it. Because textured shiny beige is not pretty. And I had to go buy some copper. So if you feel that something seems kind of nonsensical—it probably is. That’s the take-home message here. Also, that oatmeal is non-metallic, and makes great cookies, but bad paint.
What was I doing? Oh yeah, so, I waited 15 minutes in between sides to paint the gloss black so I could turn the thing, but let it dry on the one unpainted side (the bottom) and at no point did a painted side get set on the drop cloth because it almost certainly would have f**ked that shit up.
Then, I waited overnight for it to dry. I’m pretty good at waiting (see my waiting room).
I waited another day to do this next step, because that's my thing, but you could do this on the same day if you're impatient(efficient/busy) like that. The handles on this thing were FIL-THY. Gross. So I grabbed the Simple Green and cleaned them.
Once they were clean and dry, I took my Krylon Gilding Pen and a dry small, stiff paint brush and painted and dry-brushed them gold (the dry brushing removes a lot of the paint and gives them a brushed nickel look- what I initially wanted for the doors, but c'est la vie). Anyway, give 'em a few minutes to dry and then put those bad boys back where they belong! (On the cabinet...)