Clean the cupboard thoroughly with ammonia-based cleaner. Make sure to remove all grease and grime from the surface of the cabinet.
Sand the cabinet with medium-grit sandpaper. Use a palm sander to make the job quicker and to make the final sanding smoother. Palm sanders are available at most hardware stores for about $30. Sand the entire cabinet. Wipe away sanding dust with a damp rag.
Paint the cupboard with any color paint. Use enamel paint with a high gloss to mimic the appearance of a high-end filing cabinet. Paint the corners and crevices with a trim brush. Paint the larger portions of the cupboard with a foam roller. Enamel paint works well with foam rollers because you can apply the paint in a thin, even coat. Apply multiple thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.
Add sliding file rails to the drawers of the cupboard. Use screws and a screw driver to install the rails. Drawers should be at least 11.5 inches deep to accommodate files. Pre-drill holes in the front and back panels of each drawer. Insert screws through the holes in the rails and attach the rails to the drawer. Insert hanging file folders onto the rails.
Assemble a file box or file frame to sit inside the cupboard. File boxes will be more versatile and will allow you to stack multiple boxes on top of one another. Installing file rails will give you easier access to your files, but you will not be able to stack the frames on top of one another. Attach rails to the base of the cupboard with screws. Pre-drill the holes with an electric drill. Insert screws through the base of the frame into the wooden bottom of the cupboard.
Install new hardware on the cupboard. Use filing cabinet style hardware with paper tags to mimic the look of a traditional filing cabinet. Label each tag to indicate the contents of the drawer or door.
Things You Will Need
- Ammonia-based cleaner
- Sliding rails
- File box or frame
- Hanging file folders
- Screw driver
- If you prefer the look of traditional furniture and would rather your filing cabinet look like a piece of furniture, skip the paint and hardware. Simply install sliding rails and file frames in the cupboard and your filing system will be well disguised.