Roost + Restore
DIY Projects

Old Toolbox Restoration

Y’all I could­n’t believe my eyes when I came across this adorable old tool box at a yard sale for only $10. In fact, I almost over­looked it because of the bright shade of blue it had been paint­ed. My eyes are not typ­i­cal­ly drawn to bright col­ors but then I saw it for what it was. A beau­ti­ful old tool­box with excel­lent bones and a sto­ry to tell.

Sooo nat­u­ral­ly, I picked it up and brought it home. This lit­tle dia­mond in the rough need­ed some LOVE. And that is where the jour­ney of the old tool­box restora­tion began!

It all start­ed with some good ole strip­per. I like to use Cit­ristrip which you can find online or at your local home improve­ment store. I have found that the best way to apply this strip is with a paint brush. It eas­i­ly wash­es off your brush so don’t wor­ry about that lit­tle detail. 

Sim­ply paint on the strip like you would paint, except lath­er it on thick, and let it sit for 30 min­utes to an hour. The sit time is real­ly going to depend on the sur­face and fin­ish you are work­ing with. In that case, test a small area by scrap­ing with a put­ty knife to see if your strip needs to sit longer. Basi­cal­ly, if it bares nat­ur­al wood after the first cou­ple of scrapes you’re good to start the next step. If not, allow the strip to sit a bit longer. My best advice is to fol­low the label direc­tions for this part of the process.

Once your strip has had enough time to work its mag­ic, it’s time for the next cru­cial and per­haps the most sat­is­fy­ing phase of this project…scraping! If the cit­ristrip has done its job, you will see lay­ers of paint peel away from your surface. 

In the jour­ney of this old tool­box restora­tion, I repeat­ed the strip and scrape steps twice before mov­ing on to the next step.

Once I was sat­is­fied with the paint removal, I wiped it down with min­er­al spir­its and began sand­ing what was left of the pig­ment. This blue col­or was stub­born to say the least. At this point of the process there was no more scrap­ing of paint, only sand­ing was going to remove what was left.

Here she is after lots of sand­ing! It was made from a basic ply­wood but this wood is so much more appeal­ing than the bright blue paint! What do you think?

I used a stain I had handy which hap­pened to be Espres­so by Min­wax which gave it a deep rich tone that looks beau­ti­ful styled with plants or oth­er vin­tage items.

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