When working in tiny spaces, it’s important to understand the function and requirements of the space and then do everything possible to make the most efficient use of the space without it feeling cluttered. My tiny office is a great example of this need for balance. While the walls still need to be finished, I’m doing my best to”finish” the space as much as possible with everything else so it’s as pleasant a place to work as possible until we are able to finish the wall treatment.
My desk is in place and so are my bookcases. Still, I’ve been really wanting to add a filing cabinet for under the end of my desk for financial paperwork and in-progress client files. You know, the boss lady kind of stuff. The problem is, filing cabinets aren’t generally the most attractive item in a room and I wasn’t looking for anything super fancy. [This post contains affiliate links.]
Filing cabinets can be really really pricey and for my needs, I didn’t need anything crazy, just functional. I found a new one for less than $100 but it was as plain and blah so I decided to get it and come up with a way to make it look better to fit the look and feel I’m trying to create in my office.
I’ve been really wanting to try a faux zinc kind of finish or some kind of aged / distressed metal for a while and after reading a few tutorials with different techniques I decided to give it a try for myself pulling bits from a couple different tutorials.
I started my wiping down my cabinet to make sure it was clean. I then gave it a light sanding which I forgot to take photos of. I used a fine steel wool and then wiped it clean again.
I then painted the entire cabinet with a dark gray spray paint. I’m not the best spray painter so I did have a couple small runs which I just left go. With the additional steps, I hoped it wouldn’t show that much and it didn’t. I ended up needing two coats of spray paint letting the paint dry between coats.
Next I dry brushed silver metallic acrylic paint in light strokes across the entire cabinet. The point here is to see the bristle strokes and in a very random pattern though I kept the direction consistent. I wouldn’t mind trying this on another project and playing around with the pattern I use. there really is no right or wrong, just do what you like and have fun.
I was very careful to only get paint on the very end of the brush and I wiped it almost dry before applying it on the cabinet. Some areas I put more paint down while other areas I only applied a tiny bit. The idea with this step is to create that brushed metal look.
Once the silver paint was dry I applied dark wax using a similar technique as the silver paint. I scooped some dark wax onto a paper plate (just a little bit) and then dipped just the tips of a brush into the wax making sure the entire brush had wax on it. Then I buffed a lot of it off on the plate before applying it to the cabinet.
I applied the wax over the entire cabinet using the same stroke technique as the paint before it. The dark wax gives the cabinet more of an aged look. Some areas I put more wax on while other areas I left mostly free of wax.
The wax dries fast so the waxing process needs to move pretty quickly. Once done I let the wax cure for just a little while and then went back over and buffed it with a clean rag.
The last step of the process was to add the new hardware I bought. I wanted something that felt a little vintage but that was still clean looking. The black ties nicely into the black vintage cabinet I made over as well.
In the end, I’m happy with our the fining cabinet turned out. It went from plain black and blah to having some personality that fits nicely with the look of my tiny office. The whole project took a few hours and was pretty easy to do.