Last week, I shared some before and after pictures of the kids’ new dresser and changing table top…today, let me show you the coordinating toybox…This toybox is one of several fabulous furniture items we got from Grammy Sammy when she decided to downsize to smaller home at about the same time we purchased our  first home!For a long time, it sat behind the love seat in the little play nook we had set up in the living room. It kinda makes me laugh to think that all of the toys in our home once fit into that little space.

The toybox actually stayed put when we rearranged the living room last January, though I wasn’t real fond of the way it was one of several items just shoved up against the wall in a big long line. See it right down there in the corner?

When we moved the dining room table into the kitchen area a few months later, the line was broken up and more “counterspace” was gained in the kitchen. This meant that the barnwood cabinet thingy we use to store our dishes was scooched over into the living room to make way for the table (kind of weird that it is in the living room…but ya gotta do what ya gotta do…). And thus the toybox was displaced…but that was perfectly alright in my book because it fits just right at the foot of one of the twin beds in the kids’ room. See:

I think it is a really fabulous toybox…probably its’ best feature is that black hinge that holds the lid open so it doesn’t come crashing down on little fingers, or smack the little noggin’ that is bent over searching for the toy at the bottom.There really was nothing wrong with the toybox the way that it was: finished with a light sort of natural stain and varnish. And it was in good shape. But I wanted it to match the dresser and red beds…to look like it really belonged…

So here it is today:With the same primary color spectrum and glaze I used on the dresser, I decided to paint each plane of the toybox a different color: surfaces that stand left to right are now yellow, surfaces that stand front to back are now blue, and surfaces parallel to the floor are now red.You can’t see it, but the bottom of the inside of the toybox is red, too.Part way through the process, I started kicking myself for undergoing such a complicated painting project on a furniture item that was really OK just the way it was. All those clean lines where the different colors meet make it a pretty big job.

Here is what I did:

First, I took all the hardware off and set it all up underneath a canopy in the backyard. After wiping it down, I started with a coat of Zinnser Cover Stain Primer: the same stuff I used on the Robin’s Egg Blue dresser and nightstand except this time I bought a gallon of the brush on variety instead of dozens of spray cans…I didn’t really realize, though, quite how difficult oil-based paint is to get out of paint brushes. After getting it all over the kitchen sink, drain plug, my hands, and more…and drenching all of it with several douses of mineral spirits…I decided just to throw away the paint brush. Next time I think I’ll just try using the cheap foam brushes with the intention of tossing them when I am through.

The next day, I applied a second coat of primer. This time I used the same latex primer as I used on the dresser as I assumed the first layer had adhered well enough and I was just going for better color coverage.

On Day 3, I painted the yellow surfaces. One coat in the morning, another late in the afternoon. I did not worry about clean edges, as I would be able to cover over the yellow with the red and blue paints.

Day 4 was blue. I did blue before red because I knew it would be easier to tape over the blue and yellow together when painting the red than visa versa (especially around the curves on the front of the toy box). Again, I painted two coats–one in the morning and one later on. For the first coat only, I taped over the yellow sides and used the caulk method I explained in this post in order to get clean straight lines. For the second coat, I got close to the edge, but not right to the line of my blue paint (the corners get a pretty good thick application the first time around, the second coat was just for nice even coverage where it is a bit thinner in the middle).

Day 4 I painted red. This took 3 coats. Again, I taped and caulked along all the edges where the red would be meeting the yellow or blue. The red paint was thinner than the blue paint, so even the edges required another coat…so I had to do the whole tape and caulk thing twice. ick. I also did some touch up paint on the blue and yellow surfaces (where I had accidentally dripped red or blue) so that it would all be dry for glazing the next day.

On Day 5 I applied the glaze. Wipe it on, wipe it off…repeat. This is not a difficult process, but a time-consuming one. It seemed to take forever! Later this same day we moved it inside.

On Day 6, after giving the glaze plenty of time to cure, we re-attached the hinges and stuffed it full of toys 🙂

If you don’t like it, don’t tell me…There is no going back now.

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This project is one of several I am working on as a part of our “Big Bedroom Swap Around”. To see more related posts, click here.

Come back next week when I’ll be revealing the whole new kids’ room!

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  1. Aunt Amber says:

    I love this.

    You have a paint sprayer, correct? Have you ever tried to use it with oil-based paints? I am asking for one for Christmas and am curious about their versatility.

  2. Grammy Sammy says:

    This turned out just super and is a fabulous and practical addition to the kids’ room. So glad you could make use out of it.

  3. Carol says:

    I love the look of your toy box. I am a primary color person all the way. I actually have a piece I painted last summer in the same colors.

  4. Carol says:

    I love the look of your toy box. I am a primary color person all the way. I actually have a piece I painted last summer in the same colors.

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