Finishing of a Tea Box

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Project by Sergey posted 04-23-2009 06:10 AM 1670 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since Russians drink lots of tea and to keep with my family’s tradition I needed a small box for tea bags that were getting out of control on the dining table.

I was planning on making one (it would probably take me a while since I never made anything like that) but one Friday afternoon I stopped at a local craft store and saw an unfinished wooden box for $4.99 (+tax). I picked it up thinking it would serve as a prototype. At those prices I just cannot compete with Chinese folks, sorry…

Since I saved time on making it, I invested some of the saved time in finishing. I used TransTint dyes dissolved in denatured alcohol and very small white cotton rag cutoffs.

For the top, I first put down Lemon Yellow dye, then using Red dye I carefully worked from the outside edges to create a fade effect. Alcohol’s short drying time made it easy to control the fade even for me doing it first time. Airbrush would probably yield better effect but I don’t own one nor know anyone who does.

The sides were done with black TransTint dye as well.

The top coat is just Minwax Wipe-On Poly in gloss finish. Inside I just put on one coat of it to seal the wood pores. On outside, I put 3 coats on using the same white cotton rag leftovers with 0000 steel wool light sanding between coats. I opted out of using any kind of wax since this box will be on the dining table all the time.

I did not make the inner dividers that are needed to separate different kinds of tea bags since my finishing caused the “scope creep” of this project. I also wanted to show it off to the family members that were going to visit for Easter Sunday.

Since I completed this one, I got 4 more of these unfinished boxes to try different color/finish combinations and they should make a good Christmas gifts for family.

5 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 04-23-2009 08:21 AM

Looks like you did fine with a little help from the chinese folk :-) BTW, welcome to LJ

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3442 days

#2 posted 04-23-2009 09:45 AM

Should we consider that cheating slightly? :-) and I had no idea russians were big tea drinkers. Nice finish all the same. Welcome to lumber jocks.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3590 days

#3 posted 04-23-2009 03:22 PM

Very nice finish and nice box too.
I guess, the actual colour and finish was a victim of flash and lighting distortion (1st & 2nd pic).

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#4 posted 04-23-2009 05:12 PM

Nice Job, welcome to LJs

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ladiesman217's profile


74 posts in 3215 days

#5 posted 08-15-2009 08:24 AM

That is a baller finish, sir.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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