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By Pompey | 24 December 2021 | 0 Comments

How to Paint a Filling Cabinet: 5 Easy Steps

If you have an old metal filling cabinet that does not match your decoration, don’t throw it away, you can conveniently re-paint it to match your room.
You might be surprised how wonderful it is after you’ve painted your old rusty metal file cabinet!

Why Should You Paint Your Filing Cabinet?

Sure, you might believe it isn't feasible to in fact paint a metal file cabinet, but the bright side is that you can do so fairly quickly. Actually, all you need are a couple of basic devices and also items, and you're off to creating an actual work of art.

Certainly, you can be very imaginative when painting and decorating a metal file cabinet, so taking pleasure in something one-of-a-kind when the work is a piece of cake for you!

As a matter of fact, you don't also need to utilize the filling cabinet for that function if you do not wish to. Refurbished file cabinet make wonderful ornamental end tables and also shelves, and you can make them as basic or as expensive as you wish. Also file closets that are rusty can be restored into something beautiful if you recognize how to do it.

What Is the Best Paint To Use on a Filing Cabinet?

Although painting a metal file cabinet isn’t that difficult, you will need a rust-resistant spray paint.
In general, an all-in-one paint & primer works best when painting a metal file cabinet.
If you’re looking for the best spray paint that offer a wide selection of colors with a beautiful finish, you may need a universal metallic spray paint that offers easy operation.

How to Paint Your Metal File Cabinet?


1, Prepare you space for painting

Make sure to use an old cloth or fabric to cover the entire floor of your room or office, even your backyard, so that to protect your computer, desk, carpet, furniture, or ground from getting any paint marks.
As you will be using aerosol-based spray paint, which can cause respiratory troubles for you if the ventilation in the room is poor, make sure you’re painting the filling cabinet in a well-ventilated room or space. Gloves and a full respirator mask are the must-have equipment you need to wear to protect you lungs from dangerous vapors and potentially harmful chemical fumes when you’re spraying.

2, Prepare the filling cabinet which you need to paint

Utilize a distinct piece of 220 or 320-grit sandpaper over the surface of the filling cabinet to smoothen it out, making sure the surface is ready to accept the new paint.
It is essential to note that new paint actually sticks to lightly sanded existing paint better than it does to a spray-on primer or to bare metal, which means the new coating of paint will stick perfectly to the well sanded surface.
The sanded surface provides a great level of cohesion with the new paint coating compared to primer coated or bare metal surface. It is important to use a green abrasive pad for molded profiles while sanding, as it has a better ability to sand in the intricate spots as compared to the normal sandpaper. 
In addition, there is another advantage of sanding, that is it it comprehensively removes any oil on the surface of the metal cabinet, making the new paint coating can adhere completely to the metal surface.
After sanding, you will need to make sure that all the sanding dust from the metal surface is removed so that to make sure you will have a smooth painting job and proper paint adhesion. To do that, you can use a soft brush or a small vacuum cleaner to remove the dust on the metal surface. After that, remove the residual dust from the metal surface left behind by using another cloth with a little paint thinner on it.
Additionally, make sure to remove any hardware like knobs of handles before painting. You will need to cover them with masking tape to protect them from paint on condition that you cannot remove them. And also remember to cover the lock with masking tape or a cloth so that it won’t get painted.

3, Use primer to paint your file cabinet

Primer coating is an important part of painting your metal file cabinet but not a must.
You will only need to apply a coating of primer only when the metal filling cabinet contains several bare metal spots, which will make the new paint sticks to the metal much easier.
Choosing the right primer for the surface is also important. You can use a separate coating of primer before applying the new paint, or choose a paint that already contains primer mixed in.
If you use separate primer for the surface, make sure to purchase a spray primer because it is easy for the manual coating to leave brush marks on the surface. Besides, you can always find metal paint primer at most home improvement store without too much difficulty.

4, Use the right paint for metal filling cabinet

It is important to choose the right paint when you start painting your metal filling cabinet.
As with the primer, it is recommended to use a spray paint instead of a brush paint, since these will help prevent brush marks. In addition, it is also more efficient to secure the surface against rust by using a s pray paint.
Make sure to use light sprays evenly on the entire metal surface, as well as to have enough paint for the entire task while painting. Don’t spray too much on every coating because it can cause drip marks on the surface, two or three coatings of the paint are enough to comprehensively cover the surface.
The finish coat usually need three to six coatings. To make sure the smoothness of the surface is intact, the paint must be applied in thin layers.
Normally, the first coat is always light, which is known as tacking coat as it never completely covers the entire surface, and it’s only done to ensure the subsequent coats adhere well to it. The following coats can be thicker than the first coat on condition that there are no dripping marks over the entire surface. Make sure that you apply the paint lightly, evenly, and smoothly over the metal surface while painting as heavy coats of paint can cause it to sag.
As the spray paints are available in a variety of colors, make sure to choose the right color and type of spray paint in accordance with your decor. For example, you can use a dark colors if your office has a direct sunlight contact, on the other hand, bright colors can be used if your workplace has no exposure to direct sunlight.

5, Implement the proper technique

To paint your metal filling cabinet need to implement the proper technique.
Don’t forget to shake the spray can for about 40 to 60 seconds before beginning. In addition, subsequent shaking can also be done while painting the file cabinet.
Basically, the spray technique is an on/off action method. Experienced painters usually spray three inches of air before the paint makes contact with the surface, then go past the end of the cabinet and let go of the trigger. After that, move your hand in the opposite direction before depressing the trigger again, and make your pass across the cabinet an let go of the trigger again. Remember it is the on/off, left to right, right to left motion that will do the job perfectly.
Wait for the at least 24 hours to let the base coat dry, then spray a second coat of paint over it. You can also paint a third layer as well, on condition that you’ve already waited 48 hours before you use the final layer of paint over the surface.
You can start painting at the back of the metal file cabinet if you’re unsure about how to produce a smooth and even finish, so even if you make mistakes, it will not be seen by anyone.
Make sure to cover the metal filling cabinet and lightly seal it with a masking tape to protect it from dust, bugs, and dirt, after completing the painting job.


There you go, this article is a comprehensive guide on how to paint a metal filling cabinet. If you learn to be creative and create unique design with different colors, renovating old file cabinet old file can be a lucrative hobby. The painting of a metal file cabinet is a patient job. Therefore, you need to read the provided information carefully and slowly, so that to build your knowledge to complete the job successfully. 

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