I mentioned a week or two ago that I was working on a pair of custom painted toolboxes. I held off on posting them until today because one (or both?) of them was intended as a birthday present to be gifted to its recipient yesterday and I didn’t want to give away the surprise.
I have to confess, I don’t exactly enjoy the prep phase of toolbox painting. The toolboxes are often super grungy and need to be cleaned, sanded and sealed before I can even get to the painting part. But that is a necessary evil and you can’t skip those steps. Fortunately, these two toolboxes weren’t terribly dirty so the prep wasn’t too difficult.
I do enjoy the painting phase. Picking out pretty colors for the insides is fun, and it’s not as though it’s hard labor doing the actual painting. It’s just a bit time consuming with painting the full insides and outsides, and having to wait for different bits to dry before moving on to other bits.
In this case I painted one toolbox in solid Dixie Belle Drop Cloth, and the other is Drop Cloth with a French Linen stripe down the middle (I’ll share the inside colors in a minute).
Once painted, I sanded to distress and then added a coat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.
And now for the fun part! Each of them is like a blank canvas just waiting for me to dress them up however I like. Although this particular customer requested ‘words’, so that’s what I went with … at least on the outside.
I came up with a fun plan to make one of the toolboxes ‘British’ and the other ‘French’. I used a variety of transfer scraps from IOD’s Label Ephemera and re.design with prima’s Lovely Ledger furniture transfer and Parisienne knob transfers.
I started with the smaller one.
Obviously this is the ‘British’ version complete with crown.
Or should I say crowns …
since the little bees on the front have crowns too.
This one is painted in Dixie Belle’s Peony inside giving it a lovely pop of bright pink.
I lined it with re.design with prima’s Celeste decoupage décor tissue paper.
The larger toolbox is the ‘French’ version, which seemed appropriate since it had that stripe of French Linen down the middle.
I just love the look of French text even though I have very little idea what it says. Something about herbs, and amateurs, and maybe the king?
I used one of my favorite Classic Vintage Labels from re.design with prima on the top.
I brought Dixie Belle’s Blueberry paint back out for the interior of this one.
I loved it so much from the last toolbox that I used again here, and I ordered more of it!
And this time I did something new. I kept the tray that came with the toolbox and painted it up as well.
I lined it with re.design with prima’s Fancy Essence decoupage decor tissue paper, which worked beautifully with the Blueberry paint color. This time I used Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat as a decoupage medium and it worked beautifully. So if you like a flat finish, even over your decoupage, give it a try.
I don’t typically keep the trays, but in this case the customer requested it. I worry that taking the tray in and out is likely to scratch up the interior paint. Those trays typically have some pretty sharp corners. No matter how durable the paint finish, those sharp corners are going to scratch it.
But heck, a little wear and tear never hurt anyone, right?
So, tell me, which is your favorite?
French or English?
Thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and flat clear coat that I used on these toolboxes.