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Thrift Store Box Makeover with a Classic Look

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A thrift store box makeover with a classic look is that perfect beginner DIY project that is beautiful yet functional in your home.

console table with white box

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Thrift Store Makeover Day

Join us each month for NEW thrifty ideas from the team. You'll find links to all of the projects below.

Use the slider below to see the before and after!

before of bon appetit boxup close of white box

I find the thrift store hunt thrilling. There is nothing like finding that perfect treasure that you can incorporate into your home as is or turn into fun DIY projects. 

Breathing new life into a thrift store find is not only easy on the budget, but great for the environment. 

The projects that I opt to do usually require just a little paint and elbow grease. 

​Boxes are one of these items that I always pick up. You can get creative with them or go simple. 

before of bon appetit box

This box was a project from my early years of blogging when everything vintage farmhouse was in vogue. 

I used to use this a lot when the kids were young and I had a chalkboard menu board. Fast forward a few years, and we are an empty nest. 

Also on OSH!  Toy Chest Chalk Paint Makeover

The box shape is great, but my style leans more classic. 

My style has come a long way in recent years. More on that later, but in this world of blogging, I no longer create and decorate to the “in” look of the moment. It's all about classic decor that stands the test of time. 

I knew that an update was necessary for me to get this box in use again. 

Thrift Store Box Makeover with a Classic Look

Keep reading below to see how you can change the look of your decor with paint and a hardware change. Simple is key for me these days. 

Look for Boxes

  • garage sale
  • thrift store
  • vintage shop
  • consignment shop
  • antique shop
  • attic
  • family member cleaning out their home
  • craft store
  • home interior shop
  • dollar store
up close of white box

Box Finishing Ideas

  • chalk paint
  • stencil
  • spray paint
  • interior paint
  • decoupage
  • free-hand paint design
  • new hardware

Supplies Used


Clean the box. I just used some cleaning wipes. Let it dry thoroughly.

My previous box was stenciled. You can see the previous makeover HERE. When you stencil something, the paint becomes raised. You have to sand down the raised portion or you will see it when you paint over it. 

top of sanded box

I used my favorite orbital sander. It has been a workhorse for many years from small projects to larger furniture pieces. 

The sander bit the dust during this project. As a result, the interior of the box will have to be a part two. I did not have enough elbow grease in me to sand back the decoupage by hand. 

Also on OSH!  Carved Fish Vase Makeover

My husband had used it the day before to sand down the top of a door that was sticking. He noted that it wasn't working well. He threw it away per my instructions, but I dug it out of the trash to try to get a quick use of sanding off the stencil. It worked, but not after smelling like the motor had burned up. I will be ordering the same sander or possibly the battery-operated one. It is that good!

Wipe the box down of all dust with a damp rag. Luckily, the box is in good shape. 

I wanted to use what I had on hand. Sadly I wanted to paint the box the color of our bedroom walls, Ashwood by Benjamin Moore. What was left was all dried up. 

We recently had 3rd car garage repainted in Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore. It's a warm grayish-white and very pretty. I used it instead. 

bottom of box

First, I primed the box with 3 coats of Kilz. I wanted to ensure coverage and no bleedthrough since the original wool had a very red tint. 

After I primed, I used wood filler to fill any holes of glaring imperfections. Sand smooth after it has hardened and cured. 

aura paint with box

I then painted 2 coats with the exterior Balboa Mist. I wasn't going for a distressed look this time around. I wanted a clean, classic look for the small project. 

cat sitting on chair

I could not have completed this project without help from Big Jack!


I let it dry overnight. The next morning, I sealed the paint with sealer. I was out of my favorite sealer so used what I had on hand. 

I applied 2 coats of sealer with a foam brush. 

Next, I marked the center of the box and drilled a hole for new hardware

white chinoiserie box

It is amazing how you can get a new look with this easy project with a paint color change and new hardware. II really like the simplistic look.

Also on OSH!  Easy DIY Spring Tulip Basket Front Door Wreath

I was going for a classic vibe with a chinoiserie influence with the new hardware

This can be such a budget DIY by using paints that you may already have on hand and an inexpensive hardware update

decorative box with gold hardware

Shop my Chinoiserie Spheres

The hardware was a 2-pack, so I will have to find new wood pieces for my next project!

family room with white box

Gift Idea: Thrift store boxes make great DIY projects for gift giving! 

Box Uses

  • men's valets
  • jewelry box
  • greeting card storage
  • remote controls
  • bedside storage
  • coupons
  • junk drawer storage
  • desk supplies
  • small electronic cord storage

I hope you are inspired to shop or look at your home for a box in great shape that you can give a new, classic look. 

Check out this month's makeovers!

Eleven Washboard Upcycled Decor Projects Organized Clutter

Vintage Headboard Makeover My Repurposed Life 

Upcycled Boho Bamboo Decor  House of Hawthornes

DIY Vintage Aged Pottery Vessel My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

DIY Love Sign Petticoat Junktion 

Thrift Store Box Makeover Our Southern Home

Upcycled Cedar Chest Trunk Shop At Blu

collage of thrift store projects
pin it button graphic
graphic with thrift store box
white blouse and jeans

Christy has been creating content for Our Southern Home since 2012. She has been featured in numerous print and online publications. Her classic, eclectic design approach spans her home and fashion style. Christy has a way of mixing store-bought with thrift store, antique and vintage finds. As a recent empty nester, she is having fun navigating this new stage of life. Read more about Christy HERE. Be sure to subscribe below. You can also contact me HERE.


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  1. I can never pass up a wooden box at the thrift store. Then, I have no idea what to do with it when I get it home. Your suggestions of uses is an awesome list!
    I love the new look and the hardware.
    I see where BIG Jack gets his name, he’s gorgeous, and I think he knows it.


    1. Thanks, Kristin!The hardware was such a fabulous Amazon find. It was a 2-pack so scheming for another place to use it.

  2. Christy, you can’t go wrong with a solid wooden box. Those babies will last forever. Love the neutral timeless look!

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