iambillyg's Flat File Refurbish Thread

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Postby iambillyg on Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:16 pm

Paint Choice / Process.
Obviously you're going to need to choose a paint color before proceeding here.

Again, for this project I'm using spray paint. I've used automotive paint in the past, which opens up a great deal of choices. This can be great, but can also be daunting. There are SO many color choices and, if you're adventurous, you could consider adding candy, pearl, etc. These more "flashy" options could turn out amazing, but at the end of the day, it is just a flat file afterall.

Also if you're using automotive paint, your expenses go way up. You'll need a spray rig. You'll also have to purchase activator. And, if you're buying it online, you'll have to pay more for shipping because it's hazardous material.

Note: When I say 'I' used automotive paint in the past, I mean I purchased it but had an amazing member here hook me up with actually applying it to the file. So, my knowledge of applying it is pretty much 0.
- - -
The paint I chose is Rust-o-Leum. This is the brand that I've always used when using spray paint and haven't had any issues. As for the color, I went with Sunrise Red in a gloss. I've used Satin finishes in the past and wanted to do a heavy gloss this time around. The red color was really just random. My girlfriend and I went to Home Depot and browsed the colors until deciding on this one. The first file I did was black, second was white, then tuquoise (girlfriend's idea). I tend to stick to more 'safe' colors, though I still want to do one in seafoam at some point.

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You'll want to grab a pack of gloves to wear as well. The process takes a while, so you'll be going through a few pair. Getting paint on your pointer finger isn't a big deal, but since you'll be stopping and starting over and over, it's easier just to avoid it all together.

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You'll also notice the amount of overspray on the plastic tarps. This is why they're essential if you're doing your painting inside your garage and not out in the open.

It's also good to use a pair of old shoes you don't care about. The reason for this is that you're going to be walking around the file and you're going to get paint on the bottoms of them. You can see my foot prints in the image above.

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Another shot showing the amount of overspray. Again, plastic tarps are very important.

Here's the file, sitting up on the cabinet I used, taped off and ready for paint.
- - -
After you've wiped down the file, put on your shoes and gloves, and shaken up the can of paint, you're ready. Pointing the can away from the drawer, towards one of the tarps, press the nozzle once or twice to get the paint out. Next, about 5-6 inches away from the drawer, point your hand 3-4 inches after the spot where the drawer ends.

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This is your starting point.

Without spraying move your arm left, across the drawer, and stop about 3-4 inches after the drawer ends.

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This is your stopping point.

You don't want to start/stop right on the drawer. Doing this will result in heavier amounts of paint in these two areas and could cause drips. You also do not want to stop half-way across the drawer. This will result in the paint being heavier in the center, due to your start/stop points.

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Here is how it will look with one pass left and one pass right. At your "starting point" hold the nozzle down, slowly swipe to the left, hit your "stopping point", stop. Repeat the process, beginning at your "stopping point" and finishing at the start.

DO. NOT. RUSH. A lot of times, people will see something like the image above and quickly do another 2-3 passes and end up with drips. It's not a race to finish and it saves you a ton of time and aggrivation by slowing down and doing it right. It's a lot more work getting drips resolved than just avoiding them completely.

After waiting a few minutes, you can do your passes again.

Here is the drawer after another two more passes. (Left, right, left, right).

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Next, you'll want to hit the sides to ensure the entire 'front' is painted. This can be done with a few quick sprays. 4-5 taps.

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Also, make sure you hit the 'top' of the 'front'. Usually, one pass is all it takes.

After this, you can turn the drawer around, so that you can hit the inside of the 'front'. (This is why there are so many foot prints around the tarps in the overspray).

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Make sure to hit the corners.

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Wait 15-20 minutes for this to dry. Turn the drawer over and hit the 'bottom' of the 'front'. Or 'top' depending in which side you started with.

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Designate an area where you can stack up your painted drawers to dry so that you can proceed in painting the others.

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Here, I've placed one drawer on a tub, then four small cans inside the drawer and stacked another drawer on top of it. When stacking them, I place each drawer face the opposite of the one before it. So, drawer 'face' going left, the next one going right, etc.

More soon.
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Postby cchang on Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:44 pm

Great work, I love that color and used that color on my own flat file as well as a 4-drawer cabinet file to match.

I'd also recommend going with a spray can tool. You can find these in the same isle when you grab cans of spray paint. I found it easier on my fingers and can really help you with replicating the spray technique so you do not get runs.
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Postby iambillyg on Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:39 am

I started with two drawers on Saturday, and hit the other three on Sunday. This allowed me to do a second coat on the two from Saturday.

I'm still mulling over doing an additional coat, followed by a few coats of gloss. With the paint already being a gloss it might not be necessary though.

Once the paint has fully dried, it's time to remove the barrier.

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If you did this right, its extremely satisfying seeing a straight line.

Between coats, I got a little bored. The files came with these flaps that hold down your documents. I always remove these from my files (except for my turquoise one, because they can't be easily removed), so I figured I'd mess with them. While shopping for spray paint, my girlfriend pointed out the metallic gold paint and I joked about how I should do a gold file. Anyway, we bought a single can.

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It doesn't really look that bad. It's completely ridiculous, but sort of works. If the drawers were lined in black? I don't know.

Again, I was bored.

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And, here's how it is sitting as of now.

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The other three drawers are currently drying. I'll be spraying their second coats some time later this week, since a cold front just moved in. Once the drawers are completed, it'll be time to paint the base. I'm not sure if I'll be doing a 'window' on this one just yet. We'll see.
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Postby thewerepuppygrr on Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:50 pm

Great thread, love the spray paint technique.

In future, I'd sure appreciate a similar tutorial in how to add a glass top to a regular wooden flat file.
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Postby TheSomething on Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:15 am

Being new, this is maybe the best thing I've found on this site so far. :clap:
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Postby iambillyg on Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:48 pm

The weather has been on the 'chilly' side lately but I was finally able to add a bit more progress this week.

On Tuesday, I began painting the base. I didn't take any photos of this process, as it's basically the same as painting the drawers. Prior to painting, I made sure to wipe down the sections I was going to be painting, as well as the top. Because there would be a bit of overspray hitting the top, it was important to ensure this was wiped down too.

I also covered each drawer roller with tape. I'll post an image of this on my next update. Basically, just like I did with the rollers on the drawers, I covered the rollers inside the base with tape as well. While I'm not painting the interior, spray paint goes all over and, for peace of mind, I made sure they were covered.

With the area clear and dry, I began spraying the first layer. Again, this was done using the same technique for the drawers. It just lasted longer, because the surface area was greater. After the first pass, the section is going to look like the drawers did, with some spots a bit heavier than others, and the original color showing through. That is completely fine. It will take a few passes to get the entire area covered.

Per the recommendation of cchang, I picked up an adaptor to help with the process.

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This can be picked up for a few dollars from Home Depot or Wal-Mart. It goes over the can and allows you to pull a trigger with 3-4 four fingers, as opposed to having to hold pressure with just your pointer. It made covering this large area much, much easier. *Note: the version I got is for Rustoleum cans, which have fatter caps. If you're using a different brand (Krylon), you'll need a different style adaptor.

After allowing the first pass to dry for 30 minutes, I went back with another. This time, I went a bit slower (not much), to ensure good coverage.

I did this to the left side first, waiting and re-hitting it, and then did the same to the rear.

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Next up will be the right side, front, and top.
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Postby iambillyg on Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:38 am

Took the day off yesterday and decided to dedicate a little bit of time to finish this up.

Using the same technique and supplies, I pained the right, front, and top.

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I'm going to hit the top one more time, just to get the finish right. Other than that, I'm done with this one. Anyone want it?
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Postby tnnskttykat1 on Sun May 31, 2015 10:56 am

Silly Question. How do you remove the drawers from the flat file. I am trying to move mine to a new location and want to put some casters on it, but I can't for the life of me get the drawers out. The lift and pull method puts them in a locked position. What am I doing wrong? :?
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Postby cchang on Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:23 am

tnnskttykat1 wrote:Silly Question. How do you remove the drawers from the flat file. I am trying to move mine to a new location and want to put some casters on it, but I can't for the life of me get the drawers out. The lift and pull method puts them in a locked position. What am I doing wrong? :?


Sounds like you have some locking drawer slides. With your drawer fully extended, look at the slides and examine them. There are several types of locks, but the concept is the same. Taking your finger on the rail and locate the 'locking' mechanism. Using your finger, you need to either push in and pull out or lift up or down and pull out (insert adult joke here).

Take a picture of the slide and post it for further help.
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Postby biscocrack420 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:32 am

tnnskttykat1 wrote:Silly Question. How do you remove the drawers from the flat file. I am trying to move mine to a new location and want to put some casters on it, but I can't for the life of me get the drawers out. The lift and pull method puts them in a locked position. What am I doing wrong? :?

i wonder whose alt that was
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Postby tnnskttykat1 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:22 am

cchang wrote:
tnnskttykat1 wrote:Silly Question. How do you remove the drawers from the flat file. I am trying to move mine to a new location and want to put some casters on it, but I can't for the life of me get the drawers out. The lift and pull method puts them in a locked position. What am I doing wrong? :?


Sounds like you have some locking drawer slides. With your drawer fully extended, look at the slides and examine them. There are several types of locks, but the concept is the same. Taking your finger on the rail and locate the 'locking' mechanism. Using your finger, you need to either push in and pull out or lift up or down and pull out (insert adult joke here).

Take a picture of the slide and post it for further help.


Here are a few pictures of the flat files. I'll try to post a better picture of the drawer slide soon. Its a Hamilton Flat File.
Attachments
IMG_20150601_024928.jpg
The only instructions I see are to remove the top.
IMG_20150601_024928.jpg (216.89 KiB) Viewed 2846 times
IMG_20150601_025118.jpg
IMG_20150601_025118.jpg (198.64 KiB) Viewed 2846 times
IMG_20150601_025056.jpg
It's hard to get a good picture of the sliding mechanism.
IMG_20150601_025056.jpg (192.02 KiB) Viewed 2846 times
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Postby tnnskttykat1 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:19 pm

IMG_20150601_120207.jpg
IMG_20150601_120207.jpg (203.96 KiB) Viewed 2823 times
IMG_20150601_120149.jpg
IMG_20150601_120149.jpg (213.75 KiB) Viewed 2823 times
IMG_20150601_120042.jpg
IMG_20150601_120042.jpg (216.42 KiB) Viewed 2823 times


Here are some clearer pictures. There are notches that make the drawer lock and the bolt doesn't seem to be stopping the drawer from coming out. Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Postby cchang on Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:48 am

Per your Tag image...

Step 3 says to 'reach under unit at front and swing catch so lugs engage flange of the unit as show in B'.

Are you able to reverse that swing?
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Postby Baker on Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:19 pm

The photo is showing how to take the top off, not take drawers out. For mine I pull to the stop and then lift the end up a little to keep pulling it out and then lift out the wheels at the end.
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Postby iambillyg on Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:57 pm

Baker wrote:The photo is showing how to take the top off, not take drawers out. For mine I pull to the stop and then lift the end up a little to keep pulling it out and then lift out the wheels at the end.

^^^
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