How to Spray Filing Cabinets
Office furniture needn’t be replaced since re-spraying is a quick and cost effective way of updating a brand and giving an office interior a new lease of life. A new coating on filing cabinets will also protect them from damage and rust, so follow these 10 easy steps for a finish that will look as good as new.
1. Decide on the Colour
You may simply want to re-vamp the surface of furniture that has become damaged or chipped through wear and tear. If you are happy with the colour then re-coating filing cabinets in a matching colour can be done. On the other hand, a re-spray is a great opportunity to choose a different colour to update a brand or simply to inject a bit of verve in an interior.
2. Protect the Surrounding Area
If you have chosen to have filing cabinets sprayed electrostatically then overspray will be kept to a minimum, but it is always a good idea to mask off any items near the furniture that you do not want coated in paint. Plastic sheeting and masking tape is usually best.
3. Protect Yourself
If you are placing cabinets on a drop cloth or plastic then be careful to lift properly to support your back and it is always best to spray paint in a room that is well ventilated to reduce fumes. Wearing a respirator mask will also shield you from paint vapours and protective clothing including gloves will prevent splashes on clothing and skin.
4. Prepare the Filing Cabinets
The metal substrate needs to be scuffed up or keyed, so that the new coating sticks to it. Sanding with some 220 or 320 sandpaper will roughen the surface enough for the paint to adhere to it and will also remove any dirt and oil residue. Clean off the dust generated from the sanding by wiping down with a small amount of paint thinner on a soft cloth.
5. Detach any Hardware
Often the handles or nobs are made of a different material, so it is a good idea to take them off using a screwdriver. If they can’t be detached, protect them and the lock from the spray paint by masking them off using masking tape. Use a craft knife to trim off any excess tape for a neat finish.
6. Prime the Filing Cabinet
Unless the coating you are going be using already has a primer mixed in, a separate primer needs to be applied to the surface, so the paint to sticks to the metal. This is best sprayed on otherwise there is the danger of the finished surface being covered in brush marks. Always allow the primer to dry thoroughly according to package instructions.
7. Choose the Correct Paint
There is a wide array of coatings available, so it is important to use one that is designed for metal. A paint specially formulated for metallic substrates will adequately adhere to the surface, is less likely to chip or flake off and should protect against rust. Make sure the correct amount is purchased, so that you don’t run out or waste money by buying too much.
8. Use the Right Painting Technique
The main aim here is to attain a smooth surface, so as with using a primer, it is best to spray paint filing cabinets using a spray gun or aerosol. Coating the filing cabinet lightly, three to five times rather than one or two thick layers will prevent the paint from sagging or dripping.
The first coat needn’t fully cover the filing cabinet as its main purpose is to make the surface tacky which will help the subsequent layers stick to it.
9. Spray the Filing Cabinet
If you are not used to spray painting it is a good idea to practice first and it may be advisable to start at the back of filing cabinets since this side is least likely to be seen. Hold the spray gun or paint canister about 6 to 10 inches away from the surface. Start spraying a few inches away from the edge of the filing cabinet then spray from one end to a few inches past the other end in a long movement. Then follow this line with another one back the other way.
Overlap each line (or pass) by about one third and don’t stop spraying in the middle of these passes. It is this left to right then right to left motion whilst spraying the air a few inches past each end that will result in an even finish.
Leave the paint to dry for a few hours then remove any masking tape and plastic sheeting. If you have more than one item that you would like re-coated, a professional company will be able to re-spray office furniture quickly and with minimum disruption to create a beautifully even finish.