blue filing cabinet

Let me tell you about this file cabinet. I got it from the free listings on Craigslist a couple years ago. (My secret to getting something good for FREE off Craigslist? Stalk the site or use a CL phone app and the minute you see something you want listed for Free, jump in the car and drive like the wind.) It was a not-so-tasty beige, which is fine for a bland office, but not fun. Not fun at all.

Enter Krylon’s new Dual Paint, which is a spray paint and primer in one can. I picked my favorite color, True Blue (or as I affectionately call it, “Ikea Blue”), and went to work on my old file cabinet.

file cabinet before

file cabinet before

I should tell you, I have had this file cabinet in my garage for three or four years. I put it in my office back when I picked it up for free, but it was so ugly that when we moved, I never moved it from the new garage back into the house.

 The Blueprint Inspiration

blueprint installation

A couple years ago, I found this blueprint-inspired art installation and I have always wanted to have a piece of furniture that looks like this. I love cobalt blue, and I think blueprints are so cool! I am not brave enough to paint a room this color (yet), so I started small, with my file cabinet.

Blue File Cabinet Revamp

Project Estimate:

  • Metal file cabinet, on hand
  • Can of Krylon Dual Paint, about $5
  • Sand paper, on hand or $1
  • White paint pen, on hand or about $3

Total: $5 and up


  • Screwdriver (to remove hardware)
  • Paper towels or rag to clean cabinet
  • Drop cloth (sooo worth the $5 investment) or newspaper/cardboard to cover work area

sanding a file cabinet

Before You Spray Paint a File Cabinet

Spray painting is very easy. Anyone can do it, BUT there are a few simple steps you should take to prepare your project to ensure that your spray painting experience is as successful as it can be.

To prep your surface, you should:

  1. Clean it with soap and water and dry it off
  2. Sand it lightly to scuff up the surface (this will allow the paint to adhere)
  3. If there are any rusty parts, sand them more
  4. Wipe off dust with a wet paper towel or rag and let it dry
  5. Remove hardware with a screwdriver (this only took about a minute! easier than masking)
  6. Make sure your work surface is covered with a drop cloth or enough newspaper/cardboard
  7. Shake the can of paint according to instructions, or for 2 minutes
  8. Wear gloves before you spray!

With Krylon Dual Paint, you don’t have to prime your surface, but if you are using another kind of paint, you will get the best results if you prime first.

painting file cabinet

How to Spray Paint Metal

One of the cool things about Krylon Dual Paint is that it works on metal and a bunch of other surfaces. Other tips for successful spray paint finishes:

  1. Make sure can is shaken before you start, and shake every 15 seconds while spraying
  2. Keep spray can 10-12 inches from surface (keep this consistent)
  3. Start your spray off the edge of the surface and spray in long sweeping motions to the other end of the surface (don’t stop your spray in the middle of the surface)
  4. Do two or three light coats and allow to dry between coats
  5. Overlap each pass by 1/3

pinstriped cabinet

Pinstriping the File Cabinet

I spray painted the file cabinet with a single can of Krylon Dual Paint in True Blue. This was the most successful spray paint experience I have ever had. The spray paint went on evenly and a single can provided full coverage for my two-drawer file cabinet.

After the paint dried, I added white pinstriping with a paint marker. I wanted the stripes to look hand-drawn, so I didn’t use a ruler or any masking, but if you want perfect lines, I suggest masking out your area with painter’s tape and using acrylic paint instead of a paint marker.

Start your pinstriping on the back or side of your furniture so you can get a feel for how the paint marker works on a side that won’t see as much prime-time action.

Even if you want your striping to look hand-drawn, you will have to be careful. There is quite a bit of drag with the paint marker. I found that it worked best when I:

  • Started from the bottom and drew the lines upward
  • Extended my arm and continued the line all the way from bottom to top without stopping

blue filing cabinet

I love how this file cabinet turned out — it went from an unloved piece of junk in the garage to one of the most stylish pieces in the house. I am going to use it as a bedside table. And if it’s not too matchy-matchy to have more than one blue pinstriped piece of furniture, I might just have to give the old blueprint treatment to some yard sale furniture finds this summer.

Krylon Dual DuelKrylon sent me the new Dual Paint to try out. Check out their latest promotion, The Dual Duel, where Krylon is looking to find The Ultimate Restorer.

To win this title, enter your spray paint restoration project and encourage friends and family to vote for your project as their favorite for their chance to win too.

disc: sponsored post, sample, all material, project and opinions my own

Reference: The Right Way to Spray Paint at DIY Life

Linked at: Miss Mustard Seed’s Party