The top was just about rusted through, the hinges were frozen, the latch was rusted shut, but it was straight and still solid, so I gave it a go. There was lots of surface rust on the top and a bit on the insides and the rest was covered in the original paint.
The restoration is a basic two part process:
The first step is to sand blast and remove all paint and rust to expose a clean bare surface.
Next is to powder coat the inside, bake it, powder coat the outside, and bake it again.
Step 1: Clean the tackle box
There were a lot of surfaces to get to. Each time I pulled it out for inspection I found a new area that had not been touched.
I wear mechanic's gloves inside the sandblaster's rubber gloves for sanitary sanity - it gets pretty warm in there under the bright lights.
Step 2: Prep tackle box for powder
With the box all blasted and bare, I blew out all the sand residue in preparation for the powder coat.
A quick rinse with degreaser gets rid of any residues of oil, and then air dry with the shop air hose.
Set up powder coating equipment.
Step 3: Powder coat the inside of the tackle box
I'm using a silver powder that I got from http://www.powderbuythepound.com
Step 4: Bake the tackle box
Ten minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for my silver powder. Set a timer for consistency.
Notice how the soft powdery surface melts into a nice tough coating.