0
0 In Chalk Paint/ Upcycled

How to Clean A Printer Drawer

Cleaning your letterpress printer drawer

This was not a fast project but I am in love with how it came out.

Disclosure: There are some Affiliate Links listed on this page, but these are all tools or products I use on a regular basis. I highly recommend the products I’ve chosen as affiliates to support my blog and bring you FREE SVG files. Thanks for your following.

I was excited about this upcycled project. Too excited I’ll admit …. And I had to chuckle when I would show my kids and friends, and be all excited, and their responses would be to look at me and say, “and what do you plan to do with that?” Haha. So, now I’ll show them! This is why I wanted it.

How to Clean a Printer tray

How to Clean a Printer drawer

I saw a few of these redone on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea. My first job was in a print shop over 20 years ago. I continued doing graphic design after leaving that job, so printing has been part of my life for more than half of it. When I found this gem on a local garage sale website for $20 I ran over to grab it that night. I couldn’t wait to have a place to display my first embossing die from my graphic design studio that is currently celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary.

How to Clean A Printer Tray

Dirty Printer Tray

What’s next?

I stared at it for weeks on my kitchen counter…. I searched Pinterest ideas… Tried to imagine where I would hang it on my office wall – also thinking about what colors to use on it…. or what varnishes to use… thought about what accessories to add to it…. Here’s what it looked like the day I brought it home.

How to Clean A Printer Tray

Printer drawer waiting to become pretty again.

So after much Pinterest research, I decided I would use a dark wood stain and white paint the bluefish drawer front with an off-white color. I also had a fun handle from Hobby Lobby laying around I decided to use. When I finally decided to start working on it I Googled and search Pinterest for hours but I couldn’t figure out an easy way to clean it. Or any way for that matter, except “wipe it down” {duh! But I wanted to know how to remove the lead and scuffs in all those corners from years of use}. Mine came from a newspaper, so I’m sure it was used daily! I decided to buy a few dies from the same person to go in it. Here’s a close up those…

Cleaning Printer Tray

Printing Dies from Newspaper

How the cleaning process started off…

In this post, I will show you how I cleaned my drawer, and save you some time searching for instructions on how to clean it. (I never did find online.) I’ll explain some things I did that didn’t work – that way you don’t have to try them also. My drawer had a thin paper liner, some were worn off, but most of it was holding its own, coated in lead to sweeten the deal. Check out my following post for how to paint and finish the Printer Drawer.

First, I tried just washing it. I used a bristle type scrub brush, an old toothbrush, a washrag and Murphy soap … and none of it seemed to take off the paper lining much less the lead particles. It did take up some of the paper in spots, but there was no way this any of these items were going to get the corners and there’s a LOT of corners! So, I dug out my handy-dandy Dremel tool. I’m so glad I did. I ran to the hardware stores and got a few different sanding and brush tools. I must’ve bought 10 of them by the time I was done. Maybe if I had a little more knowledge on woodworking it would have helped. But I went with trial and error method here.


Supplies I Used:

Cleaning Printer Tray


How to Clean A Printer Drawer

 Put on your mask and get your shop vac ready folks! It’s go time. Haha

Cleaning Printer Tray

It was dusty! I did this step outside.

Here you can see the specs of paper flying around. I would hold shop vac right next to it (But I needed a hand for the camera here!)

Cleaning Printer Tray

Paper flecks and lead were everywhere!

To start I used the brush-like brass attachment for the main flat areas. The paper liner is what the shop vac helps with. Without the shop vac, the flecks of paper just fell back into the drawer and you will keep hitting them with the sanding tool.

For the corners and smaller spots, I used the buffer attachment on the Drexel. It took a while and I used about 4 of them I think.

Cleaning Printer Tray

It’s about half cleaned here.

I next wanted to smooth out what was the front side of the drawer. I sanded down the painted part after removing the handle. I plan to chalk paint this part, so I didn’t have to be perfect I just got some of the gashes sanded down from the wear and tear over the years. I used my electric hand sander and it took about 5 minutes.

Final step. wipe it clean! I used the air compressor and then cleaned it off with a wet soapy rag. Now I’m ready to varnish.

Happy Crafting!

Disclosure: There are some Affiliate Links listed in the above blog post.

Save

How-to-Clean-a-Printer-tray-e1489162804448.png

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply