Finishing A Tool Chest

To paint or not to paint, and then beyond that, what color to paint? With all the Anarchist Tool Chest builds I've seen the predominant color is the one proscribed by the author. Black.

But while I have a lot of favorite passages in the book, there are two simple words that stand out the most. They have insidiously stuck in my mind and have shaded many of my thoughts since I first paid attention to them. Both my thoughts on sawdust and elsewhere. I was compelled to scrawl them on one of the tenons for the lid of my chest before I glued them up. Sealing their delicious paradox into the wood, into the chest, and into my life.

Disobey Me! was not the only thing I wrote on the tenons, you can read about that experience HERE.
So when it comes to my choice of paint on my version of the chest. So far I am forging my way down a different path. I chose a white undercoat with a red oil based enamel over-coat.

I used the techniques Steve Shanesy demonstrated in this YouTube video to layout the ellipse on the front of the chest. After a couple coats of the red I pulled the tape off and was left with this wonderful open area. I intend to stencil in the lettering for Oldwolf Workshop Studio in that space.

I also primed the center space inside the lid. It's my intention is to paint the lid in a lettered version of the saw/sign I painted a while ago.

A million years ago in my basement shop in Northern Maine. 
I know the thought of this kind of ornamentation is an abomination to the author, but again it was his instructions to disobey.

So far I'm not unhappy with the way things are working. But if I change my mind in the future I can fall in line and repaint the whole thing black. There by disobeying the order asking me to disobey. Confused yet? What else is a paradox for? Maybe Chris explains it better HERE.

Either way I'm calling this one done for now and moving on to other matters. There's that Spice Chest I started and my oldest daughter's 16th birthday is just around the corner and I have something I really want to build for her.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. Nice!

    Did you see the paint job that Peter Follansbee did on his chest?

  2. I sure did and I loved it. Seemed a little over the top after seeing so many black chests but seeing him put his thing down sure gave me a little more confidence to stretch out here on my own.

    Thanks Badger.

  3. Hey Derek,

    Nice work. The only "abomination" is doing intentionally poor work. And that is not the case here.

    If I could find someone to paint a barbarian librarian on the lid of my chest (airbrushed, natch) I'd do it.

  4. This is a fantastic chest. I bet it will make woodworking even more fun that it already is, now.


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