How To Paint a Filing Cabinet

I can’t be the only one who has (or had) a filing cabinet that’s not the prettiest thing to look at. And since we must have them for our office to survive the chaos of paper, I decided it was silly to not paint ours.

While the cabinet itself wasn’t bad, I’m not a huge fan of orange oak wood. It’s just not my favorite thing. And now that the office is starting to make big progress, I decided it was time to paint the filing cabinet.

So, here’s an easy way on how to paint a filing cabinet….

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

If you happen to have a filing cabinet that you can’t stand looking at, please promise me you’ll paint it. Our office feels like a new place now that it blends in with the desk.

Here’s what I started with…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

It was in great shape, just not really the look I was going for…

First, I pulled out the drawers and removed the hardware. Then I gave the body of the filing cabinet a coat of Maison Blanche Maison White paint…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

Because it’s sometimes a smidge hard to get full coverage with white paint, I used the Maison White as a base coat…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

I also added a coat to the drawer fronts…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

After the first coat of Maison White dried, I applied the actual white color, Magnolia. I’m amazed at how well this color matches the actual white color of our furniture. It seriously couldn’t match any better. After two coats, the entire cabinet was covered…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

Once the paint dried, I decided to use white lime wax to finish it…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

Basically, the difference between the lime wax and regular wax is the chalk that’s added to the lime wax. And because I wanted the filing cabinet to be as white as possible, I buffed on a coat of the white lime wax…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

While the white lime wax isn’t really noticeable on the white paint, I do think it would be amazing on a piece with color. I can’t wait to try it out!

After I buffed the wax, I reattached the drawers and added the hardware. And now it looks much, much better…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

I’m still in the process of organizing our paperwork, and that’s certainly not one of the funnest jobs, but once I do decide where everything is going to go, I plan on popping in some pretty labels…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

It’s taken me forever to paint this cabinet, and now that it’s done, I have no clue why I waited so long…

How To Paint a Filing Cabinet by The Wood Grain Cottage

Procrastination is a funny thing. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve walked into the office and thought about painting it… Too many times and a lot of wasted thoughts. Silly.

I’m so happy to have another project checked off the office to do list… and if you look extra hard, you may see a few more unfinished projects just waiting for their time to shine… hopefully soon! 😀

Now, be sure to stop by these other talented ladies to see what they’re sharing…


Maison Blanche Paint

Doreen from Hymns and Verses

Refresh Restyle with Debbie

Karin of Art is Beauty

Bliss at Bliss Ranch

And Shannon from Fox Hollow Cottage

And for a bit more detail about the paint (and step by step instructions), you can check out Maison Blanche’s You Tube Channel. There’s lots of great information and tutorials. To buy the paint, see the list of retailers here.

Happy Painting! 😀

Main Signature

 P.S.- I received product and/or compensation for reviewing Maison Blanche Paint Company products. However, all opinions about their paint, finishing products and this lovely white filing cabinet are my own! For my full disclosure policy, click here.


  1. What a great improvement! I love white furniture and am tempted to paint some of my office furniture,,,,but it is such a big job!!?? Love your office space, it is great! Have a happy day!

  2. That looks great. I love the brass with the clean white. I might have to pick me up a file cabinet. I just need one big enough to hold all my paint LOL!
    Great job!

  3. Wow, what a difference! The office is so cute and your burlap in the picture frame gives me inspiration. I have a wall with all my vintage frames ready to be hung, but not sure what is going to go where yet. I think I will frame burlap and then as I find just the right picture and art work fill them in. Is that a burlap covered stool under the desk? Tres chic!

  4. Hi Shayna-
    That came out so pretty.
    It looks like something your purchased at Pottery Barn
    Your work is so pretty –
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving –

  5. Have to agree with everyone, it’s very nice … now. I agree with YOU too … as I dislike orange oak … anything! But at the moment, I’ve had to stop painting mine, as it’s the woodwork all through our house, and that’s all I’ve been doing for months. Have to take a break … but lovin’ our new color. Stop over for a look sometime.
    Wishes to all for a great weekend.

  6. Did you not have to sand at all because of the paint you chose to use? I have a filing cabinet JUST like this, with a bit of a sheeny/gloss on it. I want to paint mine but don’t know if I need to sand it or anything first!

    1. Exactly! Because I used chalk paint, I didn’t need to rough up the texture of the filing cabinet. If you use latex paint, give it a light sanding job.

  7. Was you Maison Blanche White coat your primer or did you need to user primer and then THe Maison Blanche White followed by the Magnolia. I just received my paint from Maison Blanch that I ordered because of your story.

  8. Hi! I basically just acquired this same exact filing cabinet from my Aunt, but I can’t figure out how to remove the drawers. You mentioned that you were able to remove yours, but could you provide some more detail as to how? I feel like there’s a simple trick I am missing lol.

    1. Oh man, I don’t remember how I removed the drawers and I don’t have the filing cabinet anymore to look at it. Hopefully you can figure it out… it will be so much easier to paint!

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