Upgrade a new melamine filing cabinet to give it an old look

by | Feb 9, 2021 | filing cabinet, How to give an antique look, How to paint on Plastic, Melamine or Metal? | 0 comments

Arranging a new workspace in the center of the ground floor and harmonizing it with the current decor was not an easy task. To no avail, for several months I researched here and there for inspiration. It was finally upon seeing a plank of spruce wood on liquidation at Rona, that the ideas suddenly sprang up.

A few hours later, I came home with the board, a filing cabinet and some nice handles, I was finally ready to start my new project. This began with the placement of the spruce board and the upgrading the filing cabinet.

filing cabinet

The products used


• Colorantic varnish cleaner and remover

• Colorantic Oil-Grip Primer (it is very important to use the oil-based primer for melamine, do not skip this step)

• Colorantic Paint in the colour Night

Natural beeswax, black coal and antique brown wax by Colorantic

• Colorantic foam roller

55mm silk brush for Colorantic painting

Round XL brush (for paint and wax) Colorantic

16mm round brush for Colorantic wax (2)

• Colorantic two-grain sanding block

• 100 and 120 grit sandpaper

• Colorantic granular mango hand and brush cleaner

• Blue paper towels for multiple uses (Shop Towels)

• T-shirt type cloths

• A bottle of water spray

filing cabinet

Phase 1 – Preparation of the cabinet

• Remove drawers and handles.

• Remove the casters from the file cabinet and replace them with small wooden legs, these were homemade.

• Spray the Cleaner and Varnish remover evenly on the furniture and drawers, spread it well on all surfaces using a paper towel, leave it to act for 30 minutes.

• Rinse and wipe down very well to remove all residue.

• Apply the primer coat using the foam roller and observe the recommended drying time.

• I preferred to keep the legs in natural wood.


Phase 2 – Painting

• You are now ready to apply the Night colour using the 55mm silk paintbrush, respecting the drying time.

• If necessary apply a second coat of paint, you can spray a little water on the brush to facilitate application if desired.

• Wear down using the sanding block, various sanding papers and a damp cloth (t-shirt).


Phase 3 – Protection of the surface

• Let the paint dry for 24 hours before waxing.

• The next day, using a 16mm round brush, apply natural beeswax to the worn parts and wipe it off with a paper towel or rag (t-shirt)

• One part at a time, apply the black coal wax to all surfaces and spread it well with a paper towel or cloth (t-shirt).

• Using a 16mm paintbrush, accentuate worn areas by applying antique brown wax and rub very lightly with a paper towel or rag (t-shirt).

• Rest assured, if you are not completely satisfied with the result, it is still possible to correct the undertones by reapplying natural wax, and you can start over.

• Wax can take up to 30 days to harden.

work space

Performing major renovations may also require giving a new function to an existing room. This is what happened to us when we decided to expand the living room by using the adjoining multifunctional room, in which there was an office space.

It is pure joy to work in this new environment, and Colorantic once allowed me to customize it to our needs.

Diane Lavoie



Photo de Diane Lavoie une enthousiaste de Colorantic

Diane Lavoie

Married for almost 45 years, mother of two children and grandmother of two grand-daughters, I am now retired. Native of Delson, in Montérégie, my little family and I made the big move 29 years ago to come and settle near Mont-Laurier in the Hautes-Laurentides. Our dream being to restore an old house, we acquired a house built in 1906 and it was on June 21, 1992 that this great adventure began. I love decor and love originality, seven years ago I discovered a passion for the revaluation of furniture and various salvage items. Now that the house has been fully restored, I have great pleasure in personalizing it exclusively and at a low price.


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