Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Amazing Metal Cabinet!

If you ever come across a metal cabinet don't turn your nose up thinking it's hideous. A little (okay, maybe more than just a little) hard work and you can turn a plain office cabinet into something amazing! You can find them in yard-sales, flea markets, thrift stores, donation centers, used office supply, etc...

Here is what I used to give this new life. 
  • A foam sanding block, 
  • Car wax (this is a secret weapon when you don't want something spray-painted)
  • Q-Tips
  • Dremel, with polishing tips (not necessary if you don't have one) 
  • A green scouring pad (yes, the one for kitchen scrubbing),
  • Spray Paint of your choice. I used 2 cans of Tropical Oasis 

This piece sits about 3 feet high x 2.5' wide and 12" deep and has 18 drawers that hold 8.5x11 sheets of paper. I have lots of plans for this to hold all kinds of household goodies. My Junk-Drawer has just received it's eviction notice with the arrival of this bad boy. Can you image filling it up and knowing exactly where to find batteries, scissors, ribbons, candles, etc...


First I removed all the drawers. I started to use painters tape to tape off the silver/metal bookplates. This was tedious and I envisioned myself still working on this well into Spring of 2013. I sadly looked at my beautiful spray paint longing to just start spraying...but alas I couldn't. I wanted the silver to stay.

 I went to the local hardware store to look for something. I was thinking Vaseline might do the trick but decided to ask the worker in the paint department for help (here is where I truly appreciate the workers at True-Value where they really take their time helping you accomplish the job you're working on). He told me I should use car wax. He said that he covers his truck in it, paints it in camaflauge for hunting season then it wipes off easily and viola his red-truck is back to being a city-boy truck! :) LOL He warned not to get it anywhere I wanted the paint to stay because it wouldn't adhere to anything that was waxed.

Using the turtle wax as a 'relief' just think of the possibilities  If you have a standard filing cabinet you could freehand designs. Spray paint, wipe off and wow!

I came home and used a Q-tip and very carefully applied wax to the little silver metal bookplates. I spray-painted the sides of the drawers so that if the drawer wasn't pushed in completely you wouldn't see the "putty" sides.  If I had purchased 3 cans I would have sprayed the entire side - but I'm hoping this won't bother me. If it does, it's easy enough to remove the drawers and spray paint them again. 

 I lightly sanded the sides and top ensuring that I removed any rust that was on the piece. Then I sprayed the unit - empty of it's drawers. Once the paint was dry, I loaded it back up with all the drawers and used the little green scouring  pad and literally just wiped away the paint! It was easy - yes time consuming but easy! My 10 year daughter even helped me!


I used the Dremel with the polishing wheel on the larger areas just for the speed factor. But I had to be careful, because it slipped off and would hit the drawer.

I don't have the finished piece sitting in it's final spot because we're redoing the room that this is going in. It's sitting in the garage right now where I let it set for several days to let it off-gas from the spray-paint.