Vintage Breadbox Makeover [Quick & Easy]
When out garage saling not too long ago, I came across a breadbox with a dated, 1980’s sort of vibe. It had seen better days — who hasn’t, LOL— but with a little love and some paint, I felt sure she could get a second chance.
Today I’m sharing this vintage breadbox makeover. It’s super easy, and all of the techniques you’ll see can be used when customizing all sorts of furniture and home decor accents.
My experience has shown that many vintage pieces offer both a satisfying and potentially lucrative makeover opportunity that even a novice DIYer can undertake.
Materials for Vintage Breadbox Makeover
I almost forgot to take a “before” photo of the breadbox, but here you see it in all it’s 1980’s glory. Certainly it was not something you’d want to use “as is.” It cried out for a makeover and its simple straight lines almost guaranteed success.
- Vintage breadbox (here’s a similar one)
- Petroleum jelly
- Chalk paint (I make my own, but here’s an alternative for you)
- Paint brush
- Stencil (here are some similar to mine)
- Black chalk paint
- Stencil brush
- Paste wax
- Cheese cloth
Stenciling Applicators & Brushes
When stenciling, my tool of choice is a nice chunky stenciling brush like the one you see on the far right. Next to it is a smaller brush, good for tight spots, and to the left of it you see a child’s stenciling brush.
On the far left is a makeup sponge (Dollar Tree) that is also great for tight places, as well as for stenciling on glass.
How to Give Your Breadbox a Farmhouse Style Makeover
Chalk paint will change your life. It is the best invention for every do-it-yourselfer! Instead of hours and days to make something look good, with chalk paint it takes minutes. No sanding and no priming for most projects.
1. Painting & Distressing Your Breadbox
In addition, making your own chalk paint is a very straight-forward, cost-effective way of making over old furniture.
Several years ago I wrote about a makeover I gave to a similar breadbox. You can get the details for painting and distressing a breadbox in that post: How to Update a Vintage Breadbox.
->>>Keep in mind that you should stencil your project (see the video below) BEFORE you wax it.
If the breadbox you’re giving a makeover to has hinges, as mine did, you can coat them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly (use a flat paintbrush for best results) prior to painting. This will prevent any of the paint from sticking to the hinges and you can simply wipe the jelly off after the paint has dried.
2. Stenciling Your Vintage Breadbox
Stenciling is one of my favorite ways to refresh a vintage piece like a breadbox.
Below is a video that will demonstrate how to stencil. It lasts just a couple of minutes but offers some great tips, especially for beginners.
3. Waxing Your Breadbox
After you’ve stenciled your project, go ahead and apply a thin coat of paste wax with cheesecloth, wait ten minutes, then buff out the wax with a clean piece of cheesecloth.
Here she sits, after the paint/stencil/wax job–such a dramatic transformation and she definitely deserved it.
Other Items to Upgrade With a Stencil
As I’ve mentioned, stenciling is one of my favorite ways to give projects that “WOW” factor so many decorators want for their homes.
Below you’ll find a number of items that have benefited from stenciling, some of which are decorating my home and others of which I sold for a good profit.
A Farmhouse Style Magazine Feature
Farmhouse Style Magazine commissioned this project and published it in their May 2021 “Kitchen” edition. You can find it on page 85.
Where to Sell a Farmhouse Style Breadbox
Facebook Marketplace: Shortly after giving this breadbox its makeover, I put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $27. It sold the same day and I could have sold it ten times over again(!). I think it would have sold just as easily for $35 or more.
Your Antique Booth: I feel confident that this project would sell well from certain antique malls. Mine happens to be focused heavily on actual antiques, rather than DIY projects. While I do sell painted and sometimes stenciled goods, I like to keep it to two or three at a time.
Another Breadbox Makeover
As I’ve already mentioned, several years ago I gave a different breadbox a makeover and used it in my kitchen for several years. I just came across it the other day in storage. I guess I was thinking one of my kids might want it some day?
It’s worth taking a look at it (if you haven’t already) to give you some idea of the various kinds of breadboxes that are worth giving a makeover.
Here’s another example that I just picked up at a garage sale for just $2. I look forward to giving it a makeover. What color should I paint it??
I do hope you enjoyed today’s makeover! Let me know in the comments what your next (or first) stenciling project is going to be…
Related Projects You May Enjoy
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Loved your makeover! Read the article about the stained glass breadbox, too! I have one of those waiting for me to turn it into a dollhouse roombox–as an antique store! I have also made a “grandma’s kitchen” roombox in a breadbox with the rolltop. Someday I want one with the wooden breadboard built into the door and make a “larger” kitchen; if you position stuff just right on the breadboard part, it will still close and double the floor plan’s space! Who says you have to use them for bread? Al was passing by the computer screen and thought the stencil looked like a Jim Beam label!!!! LOL
Glad you enjoyed the project Kathy! Love all your ideas for various dollhouses–you are so very creative 🙂 Made me laugh at the Jim Beam reference, LOL.
Very cute and easy idea! I will be keeping my eyes open for a bread box in the future! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Sheila! Be sure to share the results–I’d love to see your take on the project 🙂
Thank you Janna–so sweet of you to say 🙂
Ok, now I want a breadbox more than ever! I store all my cell phones and chargers on the kitchen counter, so this would provide the perfect hiding spot for a kitchen! This makeover has the perfect modern farmhouse vibe!
Haha! Great idea Donna, and of course using your own stencils will ensure it fits right in with your amazing decor 🙂 Here’s hoping you come across a suitable breadbox…
How do you know if you should update a find vs leaving it be? I assume the value with the breadboard increases with the update?
I’m always nervous I would paint something and it would lose value.
Hi Janae! I typically wouldn’t recommend painting a valuable antique. In my case, I painted an unattractive 1980’s breadbox that I couldn’t sell in my antique booth, or anywhere else, for more than a few dollars. So yes, in this case, painting it increased its value dramatically.