Text Resize

  • -A
  • +A
  • Your rating: None (8 votes)

    Part III: Practice Your Dovetails with a Tool Caddy





    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    Add a distressed finish to your tool caddy for the appearance of decades of use.

    Dovetailed tool caddyIn this, the third and final installment of my three-part series on building a dovetailed tool caddy, I’ll show you how to apply a traditional milk paint finish that’s distressed, to give the appearance of a century’s-worth of scuffs and scratches.

    Old Fashioned Milk Paint is a safe, non-toxic finish that mixes up with water. It’s easy to apply and fun to layer. By adding various colors atop one another, and then sanding through to simulate wear, you can give a furniture project decades of age in an afternoon. It’s a fun process that’s easy to replicate.

    Read Part I of this series

    Read Part II of this series


    How to Make

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeBarn red milk paint application

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paint: For this project, I chose to apply a base coat of Barn Red Old Fashioned Milk Paint over Black. The paint comes as a powder and is easily mixed with water. Before gluing up the basic box, I took the time to pre-finish the pine bottom with a quick coat of shellac, followed by polyurethane and a bit of wax. Notice how I’ve applied a bit of masking tape to keep the paint off the bottom.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeScuff sand milk paint

    Scuff Sand Milk Paint for a Smoother Finish: After the milk paint dries (about 1 hour), you can go ahead and give it a light sanding with 220 or 300-grit sandpaper. This will take down the slightly raised grain that results from having applied a water-based finish. Once you’ve finished sanding your project, blow off the dust and apply a second coat of Barn Red, or your color of choice.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeBlack milk paint application

    Add a Secondary Color of Milk Paint: After the second coat has dried, and you’ve given it a quick scuff sanding, go ahead and apply the first coat of Black milk paint. Repeat the scuff-sanding process in between two coats of Black.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeMilk paint on pegs

    Don't Forget the Pegs!: Don’t forget to apply paint to the ends of your whittled pegs as well. it's a lot easier to do this now, rather than later.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeDoweled dado joint

    A Touch of Glue Secures the Doweled Dado Joint: Once the final coat of paint has dried, slide in the central divider, add a bit of glue into the dowel holes, and insert the dowels that secure the divider to the box sides.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeDoweled dado joint

    Tap in the Dowels: Gently tap the pegs home. Remember, you want the domed, faceted ends to stick out proud.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeDistressed milk paint finish

    Distressed Finish Begins with Sandpaper: Now it’s time to add years of patina and scuff marks to your newly-made tool caddy. I begin by using 300-grit sandpaper to sand away a bit of the top layer of black paint in areas that would typically experience high wear (corners and edges are a good start). This reveals a bit of the red paint beneath and adds a great deal of depth and interest to the final finish.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeDistressed milk paint finish

    Steel Wool Adds Luster and Smoothness: Follow up with a bit of #0000 steel wool to smooth things out to a satin luster.

    Add a Base Coat of Milk Paintclick to enlargeBoiled linseed oil over milk paint

    Boiled Linseed Oil Adds Depth: Finally, apply two coats of boiled linseed oil (thinned with a bit of mineral spirits) and allow each coat to dry thoroughly (about a day). After the second and final coat, allow the finish to cure and harden for about a week before applying a thin coat of paste wax. Then, get some tools in your caddy and get to work!



    Ed_Pirnik