But other times, I believe it's fate.
On the drive home from a meeting with our insurance agent,
My husband spotted an elderly gentleman swinging
this amazingly tool caddy into a rubbish skip.
Knowing me well,
he pointed it out and at my urging screeched
into a U-turn and pulled up kerbside.
I hopped out and approached the gentlemen
to ask if I could have that beautiful solid wood toolbox.
What ensued was like a comedy routine.
He said, "I don't know why you'd want it...but take it if you like."
I told him I restore and refinish furniture
and that I generally love old stuff.
Again...he just stared at me blankly.
I'm used to that.
I've had that stare from family, friends and strangers most my life.
Eventually my enthusiasm either frightened or
intrigued him into telling me he was a retired builder.
He'd been building houses for more than 50 years.
This toolbox was one of his first projects he built
to hold his chisels and other tools.
"Don't you want to keep it?" I asked again.
"It's been collecting dust for years, it's yours if you want it," he said.
And back to that puzzled look...
Those old-school hammered nails, rough pieces of wood he likely
saved from a building site,
the strips of metal securing the improvised handle...
I enjoyed the tool box in its rough state in the studio
for some time until it was ready to embrace a new life.
We started with a bath!
I usually don't clean things up unless they REALLY need it,
but there was dust and dirt in every crevice.
So it got a quick hose down.
I lugged it inside after it stopped dripping, and was still quite damp.
The timber was thirsty —
ideal for Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint!
I mixed up a custom colour using Boxwood, Artissimo and
a bit of leftover French Enamel and Dried Lavender.
It made a delicious shade of blue-green
like a deeper version of Kitchen Scale?
that in my enthusiasm I worked backward
and painted the outside first.
the inside was painted with one coat
of a complementary custom colour mix using
Miss Mustard Seed Yellow and Layla's Mint.
with Lumiere Metallic Paint in Bronze.
I always try to salvage the mood of the piece,
but when I can restore a part of its original self...it's a win-win.
I wet-sanded the original timber handle with Hemp Oil
to clean it up, give it a little life back and to
restore, protect and seal the existing finish.
I added a favorite stencil,
Mr Nick's Shaving Equipment
using the Extra Large stencil brush and Lumiere Metallic Paint in Bronze.
wait 24-48 hours after painting, but again, impatience set in and
I sealed the finish on this beauty as soon as the paint dried.
I find you can get away with this when working
with old thirsty surfaces.
However, if I was after a pristine finish,
rather than a rough and rustic one, wait the recommended time!
I like to think Mr. Retired Builder would be thrilled with the result.
Likely still confused, but maybe proud to have his first
toolbox sitting in a home somewhere,
being used, loved and respected for its history.