You can pick up a hatchet for $12 at your local hardware store. It has a nice wooden handle and will chop wood and hammer things and make your arm sore if you use it too much. You can buy a fancy hatchet online for $150. It has a colorful red wooden handle and it will chop wood and hammer things and make your arm sore if you use it too much. OR you could spend $12 on a hatchet, $4 on paint, $2 on sand paper and $5 on stain and make that fancy hatchet for yourself.
Any hatchet with a wooden handle will do. If you can see a strong grain in the handle, get that one. Don’t worry about any sort of branding on the handle. Some brands use stickers, others ink and others burn in their branding. You’ll also find some sort of stain or finish on the handle. The hatchet that I used in this project had a rough finish, which was likely applied to give the handle additional grip. The ONLY thing that really matters is the quality of the blade. Find a hatchet with a blade that you like because this project will change only the handle.
When purchasing the hatchet, I also picked up some supplies: sand paper, paint, painters tape, a foam brush and stain. I envisioned this hatchet to have only red at the end of the handle. For multiple colors, you’ll just need to add an extra step during the painting and taping.
To get started, take off any stickers, price tags or staples in the handle. Once you’re left with only the wood, use the sand paper to remove the finish and any branding. You’ll just want to sand off the top layer. Once you can feel only wood, stop there. You should start to see a nice grain appear as you sand. Blow off any remaining saw dust, then you’re ready for the next step.
This is when the painters tape comes in. Apply the paint based upon how you want the paint to turn out. I wanted my handle to be only red on the bottom, so I applied the tape to set a border for the paint. Because the handle is curved, you might need to get creative with the tape to make a straight edge.
The next step is painting. Rather than using a brush, I decided to dip the handle into the paint can. The twine around the blade is used to hang the hatchet while the paint dries.
If you want a stripe above your bottom color, when the paint is dried, you’ll need to apply a wrap of tape on the paint you just set, then another to set the border like you did when adding your first color. When this paint dried, I had to take a knife to the edge to straighten it out. You’ll likely need to do this, as the tape can let a splotch or two of paint under its edge.
Next up is applying the stain. I used a foam brush to coat the entire handle, then used the same twine to hang the hatchet while it dried. Setting newspaper below the hatchet while it was drying saved my porch floor. If you like to live dangerously, keep that floor bare. Let it dry overnight.
Now you have a $23 hatchet that has a colorful red wooden handle and it will chop wood and hammer things and make your arm sore if you use it too much.