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Decorating & Furniture/? painting my fil cabinets


We have metal file cabinet/can't afford to buy quality wood file cabinets or desk. Need your help in deciding how to make cabinets fit in with what we have and plan for the room.

The study has light gold coloredwalls/ceiling/light gold tile floors.

Wood window and sliding doors are dark brown color stain.

Have a large antique english bookcase with glass doors/dark brown stain.

We plan to use a laminate for a long desktop surface ..Wilsonart(Brazilian Topaz) Home Depot sells it. We will put the two, two drawer file cabinets underneath this form a desk area...we have a large verticle 4 drawer file cabinet that will be at the end of the desktop.

Would you suggest painting the file cabinets the same color dark brown as the other trim and furniture in the room? or  paint them a light gold color to match the walls/floor and ceiling? The laminate desktop is a dark brown with some gold flecks in it.

Is there a way that we could attach some small molding on the file cabinets drawers to make them look less commercial office looking? They are plain flat fronts........yuk

I know this is a long question...but I needed to explain what the room looks like for you to give me some ideas.

Thanks very much for any help.....wish I didn't have so many other projects to, money, money.

Budget Girl


Thanks for writing and for your question.  I appreciate your situation as far as budget is concerned.  We all have one, and the good news is, for those of us who take the time to figure out "a way" to make it work, we can end up with some good looking "stuff" at little cost.  

What I'd suggest for the file cabinets is indeed paint.  I tend to lean toward suggesting a color other than the dark brown or gold that's already prevalent in the room.  Adding another punch of color might be just the thing to enliven the space for the same amount of money and effort.  How about considering an icy aqua blue, a zen-like mint green or even a lush shade of red (like cranberry or strawberry) for the cabinets?  By doing so, you are breaking up the gold and brown with a splash of vibrant color, and are purposely drawing attention to the file cabinets.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to purposely call attention to something to make it pop and make it an interesting piece of art rather than a make-shift prop.  

If that doesn't appeal to you, you could paint the cabinets in an off-white or select an autumnal shade like sagey green or aubergine (eggplant).  In any event, I would opt for a color other than the two that are already in the room.

You can certainly add moldings to these cabinets, by gluing the moldings in place with epoxy glue (2 part).  If you do that, add the moldings, sand and then paint.

Hope this helps you.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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