The Big Green Beast

Wow! Mid-February already? 



Many of you followed along on Facebook as I refreshed a 1920’s metal filing cabinet I nicknamed “The Big Green Beast.”  The Big Green Beast was manufactured by Baker-Vawter, a Benton Harbor, Michigan company.  Baker-Vawter was the largest manufacturer and supplier of steel filing cabinets. 


Though this piece was old, and could easily be replaced, it had a sentimental value to my clients. This was a filing cabinet that their father used.  “My dad stored tools and electrical supplies in the ‘big green beast.’”


After a consultation, my client decided on Cranberry Red by Fusion Mineral Paint.  I had never used Cranberry, so I was really excited to see this beautiful color.  I was even more honored to be refinishing such an important family heirloom.  “Thank you for creating an heirloom.”  What a compliment. 


The Big Green Beast was ready for a fight!  I mean a fight!  Believed to be made after World War I, the Big Green Beast had some tough paint on it. I am almost positive it was left over army tank green paint.  It was on there and it was on there GOOD!  

I can’t honestly say how many hours I worked on stripping the paint. Maybe it was the fumes? Who knows? But, every time I thought it was all gone, it would reappear as if it was ghost paint.  


FINALLY! It was all off! It took some time.  I shined up the aged file catalog holders and brass pulls with a Black and Decker angle grinder. Man, did they shine!  Then came the primer.  Probably the easiest part.  I applied several layers of Rust-Oleum rust metal primer in gray.  It was really taking shape.  I was nearing the end.  Finally, it was ready for the beautiful Cranberry.  I applied several coats of paint and then a satin clear coat by Miss Lillian’s. Next, the meticulous and tedious task of hand painting all ten little squares. WOW! Then I added another few layers of satin protectant.   I’m not gonna tell you how I feel at this point, but let’s just say, some tears may have been shed. 



Staged and looking fabulous. The Big Green Beast transformed to The Cranberry Beauty.  So, I sent over a picture.  With approval in hand, I toasted goodbye to The Big Green Beast!