Toolbox Restoration

What type of primer and finish paint should I use to refinish a standing toolbox?

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Q. What type of primer and finish paint should I use to refinish a standing toolbox? I sanded the whole toolbox and wiped it with lacquer thinner. I then rinsed and washed with soap and water, and wiped dry. —B.B.

A. Well, you are halfway there. For simple refinishing, you can look for a self-primer and paint product with the gloss you desire at your local hardware store. If you want to go a little more elaborate, you may want to check out your local automotive paint supplier and get an iron oxide primer and a separate paint in the color and sheen you want. Usually this paint will be an acrylic product, and if you are looking for a very durable finish you may even want to purchase a paint that incorporates a catalyst hardener.

First, coat the prepared surface with the iron oxide primer in a well-ventilated booth or spray area. After it has dried, sand the surface smooth with a 220- to 320-grit stearated sandpaper. Be sure to remove all the sanding dust and make sure it is clean, then apply a uniform coat of the paint, being careful not to apply to much in one pass to avoid sags. The trick is getting uniform wet coats 6-8” from the surface, with half the spray pattern overlapping as you spray. If you do encounter sagging, let the paint dry, then sand with 400-600-grit wet/dry paper and repaint. If you end up using a two-part paint and sagging occurs, you’ll need to sand the whole surface of the affected area before recoating, as the paint may not adhere on the second coat.

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