How to Create a Faux Zinc Metal Finish

6 Materials
3 Hours

Have an old, metal file cabinet that needs an update? Give it a faux zinc metal finish for a rustic and industrial update!

We owned a red file cabinet that no longer matched our office decor, and it was in need of a fresh new finish.

Step 1: First, cover the file cabinet in a deep gray - near black - chalk style paint. Use a brush to paint the cabinet, making sure to cover the surface, including the handle insets, drawer edges, etc,.

Step 2: Once you've covered the cabinet in a dark gray, apply a metallic finish with a rag, paper towel, or dry brush. Apply the metallic paint lightly, and don't cover the entire file cabinet surface. This step transforms the file cabinet from a gray to zinc-like finish.

Step 3: Finally, if you'd like more depth, age, and rustic warmth, add a dark wax. Again, apply the wax lightly and without covering the entire surface. Use a rag or paper towel to wipe it over portions of the cabinet. If you apply to much dark wax, simply wipe it off before it dries.

Simple! In 3 steps, our file cabinet was transformed from a bold red, to an antiqued, zinc, industrial-style finish. It's such a better fit for the design of our office and much cheaper than buying a new file cabinet. View the full supply list for a Faux Zinc Finish on my blog.

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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 4 questions
  • Lucy Jenkins Lucy Jenkins on Aug 28, 2018

    so I can't change the color of my filing cabinet?

  • Lucy Jenkins Lucy Jenkins on Aug 29, 2018

    thank you for the bit of inspiration, after I let it dry, I would like to a pine look, so just apply a pine finish?

  • Carmen Carmen on Mar 24, 2019

    would like to turn my BLACK file cabinet into Pepto-bismal PINK...Any suggestions?. Thanks in advance Carmen


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