In our slow transformation of one of our bedrooms into a home office, we've added a couch and a new desk. Next up: a filing cabinet. I bought a basic black filing cabinet but was looking for a way to make it stand out less, so I decided to paint it the same color as the desk. This was a pretty fast project; I painted it in an afternoon, let it dry overnight, and had it back in the office the following day.
Here is what I started with: a new filing cabinet (although since you're going to be painting it, an old one would work just fine too).
For this project I used some newspaper and frog tape, a Kilz primer (although I probably would have used Zinsser if the store would have had it in stock), and a couple cans of Rustoleum white gloss enamel spray paint.
First step: tape off all the parts you don't want painted (since this is spray paint, it will go everywhere, so take time to thoroughly cover everything.) In case you're wondering, I popped out the plastic handles and taped behind the opening, then sprayed the handles separately.
Next, I applied one coat of spray primer. This actually changed the surface from being smooth and glossy to a little more "grippy" or sandpapery, which I liked. Read the product description carefully; this type of primer needed to dry for over an hour, so I applied it, moved the cabinet into the shade, and went back inside to let it dry.
After a couple hours of drying time (it was a humid day), I went back outside and applied two light coats of white spray paint. To get a less blotchy look, start spraying off the surface and then move evenly across the surface, slightly overlapping your last line. Also, try to maintain the same distance between the spray paint can and the surface so the paint isn't thicker in some places than others. I was glad I took the time to carefully tape off my cabinet; the lock and the sides of the drawers show that the frog tape works well--there was no leaking of paint underneath the tape.
The white matches the color of the desk very closely; here you can see the two pieces of furniture side by side.
I may still go back and add a couple coats of clear poly just to even out the finish and make it a bit more durable, but I'm pretty happy with the final product. Here are a couple before and afters of the filing cabinet in its new place in our office:
Doesn't that look better? I feel like having the desk and filing cabinet the same color makes them look more like a set, and the white makes them look less obtrusive in the room. In fact, I am feeling more organized just looking at all that white!