Wednesday, February 8, 2012
DIY Project: Refinishing a File Cabinet
Time to unscrew the hardware. I decided to reuse the label bracket so I kept those off to the side but the handles and brass lock were goners.
Voila! A semi clean slate to work with!
Before I got started, I made sure the new lock I bought fit properly in the hole. I didn't want to do all of that work just to find out that it wasn't the right fit with the pre-existing hole and slot for the lock.
Time to sand! There were a few surface nicks I was anxious to get rid of as well as that thick layer of shellac!
I filled the holes where the original handle was with Elmer's Wood Filler (Natural) since the handles I had to replace them were a different size.
As the wood filler was drying, I sanded the veneer on the back of the cabinet by hand with a 220 grit very fine sandpaper. Then I went back to the wood filler when it was dry and sanded until smooth.
Then it was time to prime. I used the same primer I used for the ceiling fan blades, the Rustoleum spray primer. (Thank goodness for the "heat wave" so I could get several projects done at once!)
Body was primed and then did the drawers and let them dry.
Time to sand everything with 220 grit (fine grit) sandpaper until smooth.
To paint the screws for the label holder, I taped them together and just gave them a quick spray of Rustoleum Semi Gloss Black spray paint.
Then it was on to the label holders which were primed and then painted with the same paint.
Time to shrink some brain cells (even with the mask!) by spray painting the body and drawers in even, thin coats.
I did 2 coats plus some touch up and let them dry. Then I got the 220 sandpaper and distressed the edges of the drawer kind of willy nilly. I liked the way some primer showed through on some parts and other had wood.
After I got the distressing where I liked it (and trust me, I've had to repaint a part or two and try again), I made sure everything was dry and then put a coat of Rustoleum matte finish clear coat over the distressed portions. Then when that was dry, I did a coat over everything, touching up where needed when it was dry.
Time to measure where the holes for the new handle goes! Thankfully I could slightly see where the old holes were and wanted that covered up with the new handles so I knew about where to put them. I measured 2 1/4" up from the lip and 1/2" out from the old holes. Luckily it was pretty easy to see where the holes were on the handle so we could mark it slightly higher then move it down to cover when I marked.
Drilling time! Is it weird this made me feel like a DIY maven? I don't use drills. Well, I didn't but I said screw it (HA! An unintentional funny!) and went for it. I did have to drill the holes slightly bigger than the bit used here for them to line up correctly but when they did, there was another problem...
The screws were too long so luckily the Mr came to the rescue with his Dremel to cut off the end of the screw to fit.
Let's just say sparks flew!
We got the label bracket and handles on the front. (Sorry, there was a lot of dust flying, bad pic!)
Time to install the lock. It was a pain in my butt...
But I finally got it installed with minimum cursing. Plus!
We put those drawers in and moved it inside and got a pic.
Here's the drawer a little closer.
Finally the before and after. I'm so glad I decided to give this file cabinet a second life and instead of $120+ to replace it with something similar, it was about $20 in materials to revive!
What pieces of furniture have you given new life either by painting or using in a different way than originally intended?
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