Toy box with milk paint

I promised my oldest girl a box, and that she could help me build it. We sat down together with paper and markers and sketched out what she wanted. I found some Southern Yellow Pine at Crosscut lumber for a reasonable price and this is what resulted. Somewhat surprisingly, I loved working with the pine – it was quick and easy to to the hand-cut dovetails joining the carcase and skirt. In fact, all the joinery for the box was completed in about 20 hours, and everything was done by hand except for the initial milling of the lumber. Madeline (my girl), helped with some of the sawing and the painting. She’s still a little young for chisel work, but she seemed to enjoy helping out with the sawing of the dovetails. This is the first project on which I’ve used milk paint and I’ve got to say, I love the stuff! I used a coat of lamp black then two of brick red. I love how the black shows through. I made three tills/boxes for the interior. Madeline currently uses the box for toys, but I am hopeful she will take it to Stanford with her when she’s ready…

This has become one of my favorite projects, and I’d like to build a few more. I figure with time and materials I could produce these for sale at about $500-$600 (without the tills). I’m planning on doing another, larger one for use as a coffee table in our family room.

Madeline’s toy chest

Toy chest, open showing inner tills.

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