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.