Did you want to know how we transformed HH’s grandfather’s old hand-made tool box? In the reveal post (Antique Tool Box Coffee Table), I promised to share the details.
If you really want to know, here’s a run-through of the transformation. The first thing was to remove the hinges and decorative brass corners. The deeply embedded old rusty nails were hard to remove.
I began at each top nail and drove a chisel under it by tapping with a hammer, then working the nail loose. Doable, but it took a little work.
Once the nail head was out enough, I worked it with a crowbar to finish removing the nail.
If a nail head breaks off, you can tap the remaining nail stem to one side with a hammer. I know this because it happened a lot!
Then, you can work it loose with the crowbar. (Thank you, Handy Builder Dad, for teaching me so many great wood-working man tricks!)
Once the top nail is removed, you can slide a blade under and hammer against the side wall of the bracket. That pushes the side nail out enough to remove with the crowbar. First one side nail, then the other.
Clean the brass by soaking in mineral spirits, then sanding to remove paint to find the shine again to your liking. I left some paint…wanted a little chippy with my shine.
Sand the box exterior with medium grade sandpaper. Wipe the entire box with mineral spirits on an old cloth.
If you want a perfectly smooth finish, you’ll need to sand the paint more or strip it off completely. We wanted to leave the aged look of the old paint, so I sanded it only enough to get it smooth.
I also sanded the handles on each end to remove some of the paint, but not all of it.
The under side had a little rotten wood, so HH added a piece of ply board.
He hid the ply board edge with some 3/4″ trim we bought for another project but never used.
He also drilled a hole at each corner to mount the bun feet I bought at Lowe’s.
I painted all the trim pieces and bun feet with cheap Wal-Mart spray paint. It’s the same color HH’s grandaddy used on his tool box years and years ago. Pretty good match. It’s nice how some things never change.
After HH nailed the brass corners on again, I gave the box a coating of Annie Sloan clear wax, then dark wax.
The dark wax accentuates the aged and cracked paint.
There’s a lot of love and family history in all those cracks, bumps, and bruises.
If you have a family treasure, get it out of hiding, fix it up and use it. God gives us things to enjoy. So, make it a part of your everyday life and use it, enjoy it.
That wasn’t too hard, was it? Sometimes the only thing needed is a good cleaning. 🙂
What’s on your project list? Anything full of family history?
I’m sharing the metamorphosis of Grandaddy H’s antique tool chest at Metamorphosis Monday.