What color should I paint filing cabinets??

dinobambinoFebruary 12, 2013

After checking out the cost of new filing cabinets, I have definitely decided to paint the 2 filing cabinets. I would love to hear advice on what color would look best in this office. I'm thinking black, but not sure.


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I'd do black; but before you paint, have you looked on Craigslist to see if you can find any like you have already in black? With so many companies downsizing these days or shutting down, I find office furniture all the time on my local CL.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:52PM
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I would consider just painting them the wall color to deemphasize them. File cabinets shouldn't really be a focal point and they are two different styles.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:55PM
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I was just going to say the same thing. They're very utilitarian looking so blend them into the wall. That would be what color, bandaid? lol

Seriously, if that's pink maybe pink filing cabinets feel odd or not versatile enough later. I wonder if you could do a stencil or something like we see the bloggers do.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:39PM
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There are quite a few examples out there.

I knew I could find a damask:

Some examples:

Here is a link that might be useful: examples

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:01AM
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In this situation, I would not paint them the wall color - you may want to change the wall color in the future. I would paint them black and if you want to get funky, do a design on the front.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:19AM
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I was in the same situation, and I painted the cabinet a color that was very close to the wall color (since I could not get the wall color). The less attention drawn to them the better, and I think they should recede rather than stand out in contrast.

Are the two walls different colors? If so, I would paint the cabinets the color of the left wall, which appears to be lighter and less saturated.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:08PM
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I might also do the wall color so the room feels less cluttered with "equipment" which can feel stressful in a work environment. Less visual clutter or stimulation helps a lot of people keep a clear path in the mind!

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 13:20

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:10PM
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My suggestion would be to do them along the lines of snookums pics. With stencils or spray adhesive on the back of an inexpensive lace fabric (and some craft paints or spray paint) it's a fairly inexpensive project with big potential for awesome-ness. :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:09PM
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I know you're just looking for help with paint color, but as I was looking at that corner by the filing cabinets, I got to thinking it would look nice if you brought them down to desk level which would give you more counter space. There are lots of places that sell second hand office furniture and perhaps you could do a trade and get 4 lower cabinets and put a counter on top so things wouldn't drop between them. I searched for an example and found this picture which would give you a lot of counter space and keep everything at desk height. It's just a suggestion for down the road. And, no, your office looks nothing like the before picture. Please ignore that. It came with the example of the counter top.

Here is a link that might be useful: filing cabinets into a desk

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:52PM
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My friend just decorated her MIL's office and she painted the filing cabinets and creamy color. Looks like she has the same wall color as you do.

Maybe this might help for inspiration.

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos and instructions

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:43AM
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. You've all given me lots of things to consider. I'm still going back and forth over the color. aktill..I had commented on this photo in the past. She did an excellant job. I love the look of her cabinets under the desk by the wall, but don't feel I'm crafty enough to do this. chickadee..I like the idea of adding a counter top above the filing cabinet and it just so happen today while I was at walmart I found 3 filing cabinets for a good price. I'm going to pick them up tonight.

They are black and probably wont know if I like them till I get a counter top to go with them.(not sure where to start with that process.) If I don't like black, I will exchange for a neutral color. I'm trying to avoid painting for now(unless all else fails), I have too much going on to find the time to get them finished anytime soon.

I'll post photos of progress, If I like the filing cabinets when I get them.

Thanks so much for the help. I really appreciate getting others opinions when I'm in the process of updating or decorating.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:53PM
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atkillery...It's funny, I just realized that I have this same chair in my office.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:00PM
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I've just established a new office for myself at home, and it's a lot like aktillery's friend's MIL's office. I used a couple of doors for the surface, which might be what she did?

If my desk weren't such an unholy mess at present, i'd take a picture, and I will after the next few nutty days are over - but I took two old black lateral cabinets, painted them cream with Cabinet Coat, and wallpapered the drawer fronts with a big tone on tone cream stripe. I think they look just swell!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:16PM
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bronwyn.. Would love to see your office if you get a chance.

Also would love to see others home office's to get more ideas and inspiration.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Thanks, dinobambino...I will.

And I am not nearly as crafty as lots of others here - in fact, I put the project off for weeks because I was not feeling particularly sure of myself. I meant at first to wallpaper the whole thing, but when I looked at all the corners and intersections of drawer, cabinet, and innards, I jettisoned that idea

I couldn't budge the heavy cabinets to take them outside, so spraying was out. Cabinet Coat was recommended in this forum and, I think, the paint forum as well.

So I primed everything, painted the bodies, made a brown paper template of the drawer fronts, wallpapered (pre-pasted), and Mod Podged the paper with the hard coat form.

I am ridiculously pleased with myself at how they came out!

Give me a week to get on top of things, because I am much too vain to let you see it in its current state, and I'll post some pictures.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Just went to Home Depot and saw their interior doors. They are ridiculously cheap and would make a great desk top, e.g. they were 24.00 for 80"x 24".
Also, look at the link below of the cabinets modgepodged with wrapping paper.

Here is a link that might be useful: repurposed file cabinets

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Brown... Great, ill keep my eyes open for your post.

No soccer.. Thanks for the idea. That could be really cool.

These different ideas are what I love about this forum . I don't think you can even pay for all this diverse advice with using a designer. I appreciate everyone's ideas and advice.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:05AM
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You can use a pre fab countertop as easily as a door. The in stock stuff at a big box is only about $10 a linear foot.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:55PM
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I decided to order a laminate counter top from lowes. It should be in sometime this week.

This counter will give my office the space that I need for work or for scrapebooking, etc. (if i ever get time to finish the kids books)

With the changes I've already made to the office, has made it much more enjoyable to have to "work".

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:16PM
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How exciting Dinobambino! My desk is made of filing cabinets and countertops. It was easy to customize the whole thing so that it goes wall to wall and it cost a fraction of what a "desk" would cost.

I love having the indestructible, easy to clean surface. Come back and show pictures when your office is finished.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:36PM
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