Most people have a metal file cabinet lying around the house storing the ever important files. These cabinets, although very durable and fire resistant, can degrade and become dilapidated over the years. The worst thing about it is that people will neglect maintaining it to a suitable condition, and that can lead to rust and decay. When the time comes, most people will opt to buy a new one thinking that it is too much of a pain to rehabilitate it. In reality, anyone can make a metal file cabinet look fresh and new by painting and rust proofing it. It is not a tough job and can save you the trouble of purchasing a new one and waste away more coin.
Prepare the materials. For this paint job, you will need to visit your local hardware supply store and get the necessary materials. You will need to get a couple of spray cans of metal primer, a couple of cans of metallic spray paint, a can of rust primer, a roll of painter’s tape, and a drop cloth.
Prepare the workspace. Choose an area where you can move the file cabinet to that is well ventilated. A garage or backyard would be a good place for this. Remove all the contents inside the file cabinet and place them in a place away from the work area. Place a drop cloth on the floor and place the file cabinet on top of it. This will protect your flooring from paint.
Clean and repair the file cabinet. Once the file cabinet is in the assigned work area, remove all the drawers. Get a damp cloth and start wiping the cabinet and drawers. Scrub off any dirt or adhesive residue that has latched on over the years. The cabinets must have attracted a lot of dust over the years, remove these with a cloth or duster. Cover the parts of the file cabinet that will be excluded from the paint job with painter’s tape. If there are parts of the file cabinet that have been damaged due to rust, apply rust primer on it. This should solve your rust problem.
Spray metal primer. To prepare the cabinets and drawers for the paint job, apply a base primer for proper absorption of the paint. Start spraying the primer all over the cabinet and drawers. A thin coat will do. If you cannot find a metal primer spray on can, you can use a brush to apply the primer instead. Let the primer dry for about 2 hours.
Spray the paint. Once the primer has adequately dried, spray on the first coat of paint. With spray paint, you will only need one coat however. Sometimes you will want a second coat for a better finish. It is important to use spray paint that has rust resistance qualities. Allow the paint to dry for 1 to 2 days.
Once the paint completely dries, reinsert the drawers. With the new paint job and rust repair maintenance, your metal file cabinet will look fresh and new. It should lengthen the durability of this hardware.