I’ve long been a fan of old metal toolboxes.
But I have to say, it’s rather rare to find them with an original painted finish in a good color. The ones in nice colors tend to be priced a bit higher too.
So I’ve been known to make do with the ugly, old, rusty, crusty ones that no one seems to want. I clean them up and give them a paint job, like this fun one that I painted as a gift for my Secret Santa recipient at work last year.
That was such a fun one to fill up!
Another of my favorite painted toolboxes of all time was this one that I also did last year just before Christmas.
Over the summer my friend Sue found a nice little pile of the rusty, crusty toolboxes for me to work some magic on. I’ve been hanging onto them until the weather got too cold to paint out in my workshop, thus requiring me to move my painting production indoors.
Well, it snowed this past weekend, so I decided that meant I could get going on these.
But wait a minute, back up a bit … a week ago Friday it was 80 and sunny here in Minnesota (yep, we went from sunny and 80 one week, to snow the next, that’s how we roll here in the Midwest where there aren’t any moderating influences from a nearby ocean). Knowing that cold weather was coming, I prepped all of these by washing them in the yard using my garden hose and spray on Dawn dish soap. I let them air dry and then gave them a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. in clear. I’ve used B.O.S.S. to seal up rusty toolboxes before and it seems to work well.
Today’s q tip: Only use B.O.S.S. as a sealer if you’re going to paint over it. If you want to just seal a rusty toolbox without painting it, use one of the clear top coats.
I worked on toolbox no 1 first. It was definitely the rustiest of the lot. I started out by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky on the outside, and Sawmill Gravy on the inside. If you’re going to try this at home, I have to warn you, painting a toolbox inside and out can take a while. Not because you’re spending a lot of time painting, but because you’re spending a lot of time waiting for paint to dry. You have to let the top dry before you paint the bottom, let the inside dry before you can shut the lid, and so on.
Anyway, once I had it painted I added some bits and pieces from the Somewhere in France transfer from re.design with prima.
I also added a gold bee to the top from their Gilded Home & Nature transfer.
As you can see, I did leave some bits in their original rusty condition.
Finally, I lined the inside of the box with some of re.design with prima’s decor tissue paper.
The inside of the box is sealed with Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide, which is also the product I used to decoupage the tissue paper. The outside of the box got a coat of clear wax (Gator Hide can leave black looking filmy or streaky).
I also completed toolbox no 2 over the weekend. This one is painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the outside and Peony on the inside.
Isn’t that pop of pink brilliant? I just love it. I used some decor tissue to line this one too.
Next I pulled out the IOD Label Ephemera transfer and added some wording to the outside.
The bees are from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer from re.design with prima.
The crown is from the Lovely Ledger transfer, also from re.design with prima.
I ended up adding a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to the handle to clean it up a bit.
Initially my plan was to take both of these in to the shop to sell. I need another painted toolbox like I need a hole in my head … but … I really love how this 2nd one turned out!
I liked it so much that I rearranged my living room shelves in an attempt to accommodate it. But no, it really didn’t work there, so I will take it off to the shop after all. Probably on Wednesday.
You can check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for pricing info.
As always, if any of my local readers want to snatch it up first just let me know by either leaving a comment or emailing me at email@example.com
Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima for providing some of the products used in today’s makeovers.