|Written by Thomas Conroy|
Introduction: At any time money is usually tight, but in a slow economy recycling office furniture can help to maintain a sound budget and painting wood filing cabinets is a good place to start. More often than not, a wood filing cabinet is structurally sound and usable, it has just taken a few bumps over the years that can make it an eyesore.
The project of painting a wood cabinet can be completed in about an hour, and with the addition of a few new drawer handles can turn a weathered old cabinet into the shiny new centerpiece of any office. Painting a wood cabinet takes no real skill, just a strong desire to turn a usable but ugly item into an aesthetically pleasing piece while saving money along the way.
Step 1: To paint a wooden file cabinet, begin by removing all of the cabinet's hardware one drawer at a time and placing the pieces into separate plastic bags and labeling them. Next, wash the cabinet with a wood soap, rinse it well and let it stand to dry for a few hours. When this is completed, assess if the cabinet requires sanding prior to the application of paint.
For badly abused wood cabinets, it may be necessary to full any deep gouges with wood filler and then sand them smooth. In either case the final step prior to painting should be to take a fine sandpaper and go over the entire cabinet while sanding gently. When the wood cabinet is smoothed to your satisfaction, wipe the cabinet using a damp cloth or tack cloth and allow it to dry thoroughly before attempting to apply paint.
Step 2: The choice of paint to use on a wood cabinet is solely up to individual preferences, but generally speaking latex paint is the best bet in ease of use and clean up. Because it is likely there has been some considerable sanding performed on the cabinet, two coats of paint will be necessary to not only cover well but the make the paint adhere properly.
The majority of the paint application can be performed with a paint roller, with a brush to cut in drawer edges and to smooth out paint runs. Paint the drawers first and set them aside to dry, then paint the body of the wood cabinet. After all have dried, repeat the process. When all wooden parts are dry, reattach the hardware and your project is finished.
Step 3: An especially nice touch is to spend a few dollars on some fancy drawer handles. The entire project of painting a wood cabinet should be under $30, but in light of the price of a new cabinet, this is a minor consideration compared to the outcome.