How to Rescue a Vintage Box with Paint & a Stencil

Hi everyone! Lately I’ve been finding all kinds of cool wooden and metal pieces to paint and decorate. Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to give a vintage box a makeover with paint and a stencil, giving it a whole new look.

rescue a vintage box with paint & a stencil adirondackgirlatheart.comThe spring blue compliments the bird-on-a-branch stencil perfectly.

vintage wooden recipe boxBefore its transformation, the box had a distinct 80’s vibe to it.

bird stencilI decided to paint over all that stain and strawberries, and then apply this new Hobby Lobby stencil that I bought recently for just $1.99.

chalk paintI went with “Serene” blue by Americana Decor paint.

side view of stenciled boxI gave it two coats of the paint and let it dry overnight. Then I used my new trick–a makeup sponge–to apply the stencil with black acrylic craft paint.

top of stenciled vintage boxNext, I distressed the edges with some fine sand paper, and applied a coat of Minwax paste wax. For those of you who may never have used paste wax, it’s super simple. Following the directions, apply a thin, even coat using a lint-free cloth (I use cheesecloth). Let the wax sit for about 10-15  minutes, then buff it using a separate, lint-free cloth.

partial view of stenciled vintage boxBuffing is the process of rubbing the wax into the surface until you begin to see a soft sheen appear. Tap it with your fingernail and you will discover that you’ve just created a lovely, hard surface with a soft, natural appearance.

corner of stenciled vintage boxI’ve read that it’s good to reapply wax every year or so. Depending on the size and intricacy of a piece, it’s generally not a huge job to apply one coat of wax. I’m still learning about the whole process myself.

I do know, it is not recommended that you use spray wax (like Johnson’s) on waxed furniture, just a damp cloth or feather-type duster.

chalk painted and stenciled vintage boxI plan to take this piece to the Shaker Craft Fair this coming Christmas. I think it’s perfect for recipe cards or how about treats for the children or grandchildren?

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rescue a vintage box with paint and a stencil

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  1. So cute! And it turned out beautifully. How do you like the Americana Decor Chalk Paint?


  2. Love that sweet stencil.. I have used Minwax for decades and I am always pleased with the result. Try using a soft synthetic sponge (no holes). I also store my rag or sponge in the can to keep them moist.

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