Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Make-Over Of An Old Steel Cabinet

This will probably my last post for regular DIY projects because I am planning on posting mostly holiday DIY projects before the end of the year. Here goes...

Do you throw old steel cabinets? If you ask me, you probably already know the answer. I’d say No to this question. Throwing old steel cabinets is a waste of effort and money. It is a waste of effort since you have to carry this bulky and heavy furniture to the junkyard and it is a waste of money because buying them is expensive in the first place.

We had this old steel cabinet where we keep our important files hidden for as long as I can remember. In fact, my mother bought it second hand when her company was having an inventory sale. We had it in its dull and boring color. Over the years, it did not only collect dust but it also rusted on all sides. And so as part of our DIY project this year, we decided to spruce up our old steel cabinet so it looked like this: 

See how bad it looks?

To this:

The finished product. 

If you are wondering how I did this, then here are the things that you need for this project.

  • Metal paint primer (any color)
  • White latex paint
  • Cotton paint roller
  • Paint brush
  • Paint reducer (thinner)
  • Waste cloth
  • Drip tarp
  • Masking tape
  • Sand paper
  • Working gloves
  • Mask
Safety first! The smell of the paint can be overpowering to the nose so you may want to wear a mask while working on this project.

Wearing a pair of working gloves, smooth out the surface of the steel cabinet using a fine sand paper. Use a dry paint brush to remove the dust particles. Once done, wipe the entire surface with a dry waste cloth.

Cover the handles with masking tape unless you plan on painting them too. Put a drip tarp underneath the steel cabinet. I am doing the paint job inside the house because I cannot carry the heavy cabinet outside so it is necessary to use drip tarp to prevent the paint from ruining your floor. You can also use newspaper or used cartons if you don’t have a tarp.

Using a paint brush, apply a generous coat of metal primer to the entire surface of the steel cabinet.  Let it dry for several hours. Applying a paint primer is important because it preserves the metal and prevents it from oxidizing. It also helps the latex paint to adhere to the surface of the metal cabinet properly.

Use a cotton roller brush to paint the surface of your cabinet with white latex. Don’t worry about latex getting on your skin because you can easily scrub it off with soap and water. You can also use spray paint if you want but since I have a lot of leftover paint from the previous paint job of our house, I did not bother to buy spray paint.

You can be creative in painting your cabinet. In my case, I used filigree designs to set apart each compartment of the cabinet. For the pink filigree, I used red acrylic paint mixed with white so I had to use a thinner to combine both. At first I did not intend to use pink or the filigree design but because of a beautiful accident, I ended up with this design. With a little ingenuity and creativity, you can transform a dull steel cabinet with something as funky as this. And now, it looked great in our small office nook. 

I  just love the way this cabinet looked. 

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