oops, I did it again...

...that is, I started an "easy" project and it ended up being way more work than I anticipated.
Picked up a 1950's vintage (I'm guessing, from the style of the drawer pulls and the gauge of the metal) Steelcase filing cabinet off Craigslist for $10. I figured I'd rather "restore" an old one than pay big bucks for a new one that wouldn't fall apart after one move (like the one sitting under the stairs right now, eagerly awating my finishing of this "new" one so I can send it on its way to its final reward.)
Well, I picked it up and it turns out that it'd been painted twice before by previous owners, both times with a PAINTBRUSH. Oh well, I figured, I'd just sand it down with some 80 grit, finish with some 120 then 240 and spray it. No such luck! the old paint is completely resistant to my efforts, although I do not have a D/A or air compressor which might be appropriate. I got two drawers done by stripping them with your typical methylene chloride based paint stripper and then scraping, steel wool, wet sand, prime, paint. Ugh. I wasn't planning on doing this thorough a job on it, nor was I planning on using all my primer on the filing cabinet.
Anyone see an easier way, short of continuing on as I am, and/or buying an air compressor and a D/A? I'm guessing "no" but I figured I'd ask.
nate
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A sand blaster (commercial type ) could have the paint off in a few minutes but might wrinkle any light gage sheet metal, so having it done by those people could be risky, or maybe not. Some operators have a light touch, so it would pay to ask. Chemical stripping is sometimes available at shops that do furniture, or for something strictly metal (disassembled) a plating shop could be a possibility. Auto body shops might have some good ideas, since they often get odd projects like color matching appliances for folks doing remodels who aren't into the current stainless steel fad. Bottom line, you probably have a ten page Honeydo list, so outsourcing will save your sanity. Good luck.
Joe
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Sounds familiar. I started the day replacing a toilet fill valve, a simple 10 minute project. Things went fine until reassembly when I went to align the supply tube with the fill valve and the slight flexing pressure broke the corroded outlet port off of the supply valve. I figured no big deal since the supply valve didn't shutoff anyway and I had to use the main shutoff. Out to Depot for a new valve. I get back, grab my plumbing kit and start prepping to solder the new valve on. After cleaning and fluxing the cutoff stub from the wall and the new valve I go to assemble them for soldering, only to find they don't fit. Seems the pipe from the wall is oversized (type K?). Back out to Depot to see if I can find something suitable, which of course is hopeless. I ended up getting a 1/2" FIP valve and then taking a standard 1/2" sweat to 1/2" MIP fitting out to the shop and boring it out to fit the oversized pipe. I soldered the modified fitting on, cooled it, put a healthy amount of teflon tape on and assembled the valve. Amazingly enough when I turned on the water nothing leaked. 10 minute project turned 2 hour project *sigh*.
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Anyone see an easier way, short of continuing on as I am, and/or buying

You're on your way to having a really nice cabinet, nate. With a nice, sprayed on primer, wet sanding and a spray finish it will look like new.
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