How to Paint a Metal Storage Cabinet

By Andrew Dewitt

  • Overview

    Metal storage cabinets can sometimes be very neglected pieces of furniture. Because they are often out in the garage or shed, they are prone to rust, chemical spills and difficult-to-remove stains. Occasionally these metal storage cabinets get so filthy that it's time to get repaint them. Cleaning and repainting a metal storage cabinet can revitalize your workspace and add a refreshing touch to an otherwise worn out area.
    How to Paint a Metal Storage Cabinet
    How to Paint a Metal Storage Cabinet
    • Step 1

      Remove any articles above or inside the metal cabinet. Take the metal cabinet off the wall using a screwdriver. Check the top, bottom and inside to find where the cabinet is mounted. Wipe the entire cabinet free of dust, cobwebs and any other debris you find there.
    • Step 2

      Sand the entire cabinet. Be sure to have on a painter's mask while doing this. Sand down rough patches where rust has collected, but the entire cabinet must be sanded so that the paint will stick to it.


    • Step 3

      Lay down some newspapers in a well-ventilated area and tape the joints of the cabinet so that they won't get stuck when you paint. Spray the entire cabinet with metal primer. This will help cover and protect the rust-damaged areas as well as ensure a tight bond with the metal paint.
    • Step 4

      Let the primer dry the required time. The label on the primer should clearly indicate the proper drying time, and each primer is different. Spray the the metal cabinet with a compatible metal spray paint. Do this several inches away from the cabinet in a fanning motion to get a clear coat of paint on over the entire cabinet.
    • Step 5

      Gently spray the joints so that they match the color of the rest of the cabinet. Ensure that they continue to move by rocking them open and closed as you spray. Allow the paint to dry totally before remounting to the wall.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Spray primer
    • Sandpaper
    • Screwdriver
    • Newspapers
    • Spray paint
    • Painter's tape
    • Painter's mask
    • Paper towels
    • Tip: Check the labels of the spray primer and spray paint to make sure they are compatible. If you aren't sure, ask.
    • Warning:
    • Be sure to clean the surface as much as possible prior to priming and painting, or the work you do simply won't look professional.

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