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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
This is your starting
Without spraying move your arm left, across the drawer, and stop about 3-4 inches after the drawer ends.
This is your stopping
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.
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).
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.
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).
Make sure to hit the corners.
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.
Designate an area where you can stack up your painted drawers to dry so that you can proceed in painting the others.
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.