For the longest time, I’ve wanted to refinish two filing cabinets and make them look chic and industrial. Thing is, I couldn’t find a matching set and the rare occasion one would come up, it would be way out of my price range. In this “How To” I’ll be talking about how to turn wood into faux metal. You can do this on any surface, but since we couldn’t find any real cabinets, Glen made me these boxes. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s literally a box with lines scored into it to make it look like a filing cabinet.
Y’all know that I thrive on free or extremely cheap, so this project is no different. We had everything we already needed – including the wood. That being said, for those of you who probably don’t have a garage full of paints, stains and wood, here’s a break down on what you’ll need:
-Dark Grey Paint ( Any Kind )
-Dark Wax, I used Antiquing Wax from Country Chic Paint
-Old Rag, Cheesecloth or anything to apply rub the wax in
-Two paint brushes, one for paint & one for wax.
-Clear Wax or Polyurethane
Please please ignore these suppppper hideous “before” photos, but I was doing this project at 11 at night and I had one lamp for light. It was a lot brighter in person, but the camera makes the room look super yellowy and dark. faux metal
1.You first want to start with painting your piece dark grey. Depending on what surface you are working on, you will need a few coats. Since I was working on wood that had been unsealed, I only needed one coat. For a faster way of getting this first step done, you can use a mini roller too. faux metal
2.Second, let this thoroughly dry. Once dry, you want to start applying your wax everywhere. Don’t be alarmed if it goes on super dark at first.. that’s what your rag is for, to buff it in. I didn’t take pictures of this process because honestly, no process is alike. Both of my cabinets turned out differently, and you honestly just rub and paint until you get the finish you like. Here’s a quick video on how to apply Antiquing Wax. Click Here. faux metal
*Quick Tip*: If you think you’ve applied too much wax in an area, put some clear wax on a different rag and it will erase the dark wax.
3. Depending on if you want a distressed look, you can sand your piece on the edges and such, but I left mine plain. You want to let the above dark wax dry for about 1-2 hours. Once cured, you can apply your clear wax or polyurethane. If this is in a home with no kids and you don’t think they will be touched, you can skip this step too.. but I’ve almost 4 little guys running around and EVERYTHING in our home needs to be protected or else it’s ruined in the first week. faux metal
So, that’s it. It’s a three step easy-peasy tutorial. It’s amazing what dark wax can do to make a piece look old and industrial.
& Here’s the completed piece. I’m absolutely loving my faux modern filing cabinets. I think this method would look equally as good on an actual filing cabinet. The dark wax is the key ingredient!