I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of painting toolboxes.
I totally enjoy the process. Well, most of the process. I don’t enjoy the initial cleaning. They tend to start out pretty gross; rusty, greasy, dirty, and smelly.
But after I give them a good cleaning with Dawn dish soap (or you could use any grease cutting cleaner), a light sanding to remove any flaking paint, and a coat or two of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S., we are good to get started with the fun part. Painting and embellishing.
One of my favorite paint combos on a toolbox is Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy and French Linen.
These two colors pair up beautifully, and it’s easy to add a wide stripe to the outside of a toolbox using some yellow frog tape.
Lately I’ve been loving a more floral look on toolboxes as well.
Most of those are I.O.D. transfers, although the floral portion of the one on the bottom right (and below) is a re.design with prima transfer.
I personally prefer the more muted colors of the I.O.D. florals …
But that’s just me. I know there are those of you that love a vibrant, brighter floral as well.
My go-to favorite neutral for toolboxes is, of course, Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.
I just love that warm white shade, it has a very vintage look.
Even though I keep these Drop Cloth toolboxes neutral on the outside, I really enjoy adding a pop of vibrant color on the inside.
I find this a great way to use some of those gorgeous colors without feeling like it’s going to limit the marketability of my piece (top row colors: Peony & Flamingo, bottom row colors: Blueberry and Mint Julep).
I often line the bottom inside with decoupage paper.
I find that the Decoupage Décor Tissue Paper from re.design with prima is the easiest ‘paper’ to use for this purpose. I put ‘paper’ in quotes because this stuff has a texture similar to dryer sheets. It’s not at all like a flimsy tissue paper. It doesn’t tear easily (in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever torn it), and it doesn’t wrinkle when you decoupage it. I use the Dixie Belle flat clear coat as a decoupage medium, but there are lots of options out there including Mod Podge, Fusion’s Decoupage and Transfer Gel, and others.
I don’t always keep the color on the inside. I’ve painted color on the outside of a few toolboxes too.
Does black count as a color? Well, maybe not. But it isn’t white so I’m going to count it.
I didn’t always keep the tray inserts with my toolboxes, but after one of my favorite customers requested that I paint one up I decided why not?
They aren’t that hard to paint, and they do add more functionality to the toolbox. Especially if you’re using it for artist paints and brushes, or a glue gun with glue sticks. Plus it adds another layer that I can decorate with transfers, decoupage paper or stencils.
I’m currently working on a couple of toolboxes that I’ll be sharing here next week. Both came with trays that I’ll be painting up to match.
This one was one of my friend Sue’s finds …
And this one came from my friend Annie …
Both will be for sale locally, so if any of you locals are in the market for a toolbox be sure to stay tuned next week to see how these turned out.
As I was putting this post together, I realized just how many toolboxes I’ve painted in the past and decided that I needed a ‘category’ on my blog devoted solely to toolbox makeovers. So if you want to see the details on any of these, just look on the right side of the page (if you’re viewing this on a computer) and under ‘sorted.’ where it says ‘Select Category’ simply choose ‘toolboxes’. I think I may have missed a few, but for the most part you’ll see all of my toolbox makeover posts there.
So tell me, do you have a favorite from amongst them all? If so, do share in a comment!