Jewelry boxes, even small ones, can be a little pricey. And who wants to spend money on a new organizer instead of new necklaces? Thankfully you can usually find an old or unfinished jewelry box that's in need of a little love. A coat of paint and maybe some new fabric on the inside is usually all they need to look brand new. If you're looking to give the jewelry box as a gift, you can personalize it with new hardware or stenciled-on initials.
Here are all the supplies you'll need to get started:
- Cleaning supplies, like a window or glass cleaner, if applicable
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Spray primer or regular primer
- Spray paint or acrylic paint if unfinished
- Painter's tape
- Newspaper or brown bag
Tip: Before beginning any project that involves spray paint, set up a workspace in a well-ventilated area and cover it with a drop cloth to protect any flooring or surfaces that could be affected.
Thoroughly Clean the Box
Before you begin refinishing your jewelry box, you're going to want to clean the inside and outside of the box, as well as any glass (if the jewelry box has any). Removing dirt, dust, and grime will help the paint stick better.
Start by removing any glass panels, hardware, or metal paneling from the outside of the jewelry box. Clean them with soap and water or glass cleaner (where applicable) and then immediately dry so any metal doesn't rust. If there is any sticky residue from old tape or a purchase sticker, use rubbing alcohol or Goo Gone to take off the excess adhesive.
If possible, remove any liners or fabric from inside the jewelry box. Since most liners are glued inside the jewelry box, only remove it if you're looking to replace it. It could be worth it if the liner has holes or is really stained. If there is only a small stain, you can spot clean the area with a drop of dish soap or laundry detergent on a clean toothbrush with some water. If the inside of the jewelry box has a musty odor, you could spritz it with a fabric refresher too. Leave the jewelry box open to air dry.
Sand Your Jewelry Box
To prep your jewelry box for its new coat of paint, you must sand the wood first. If the wood surface is already finished, the sandpaper helps to remove that finish so the new paint will adhere to the surface. Before you start sanding, disassemble it as much as you can.
If you want to paint the hardware the same color as the jewelry box, reattach the hinges now. If you want them to remain as they are or want to paint them a different color, leave them off to the side for now.
Using fine grit sandpaper, start on the wooden surfaces. You don't need to remove every trace of paint (if applicable), but you do want to rough up the wood as much as you can to help the primer stick. If there are carvings or grooves, wedge the sandpaper in there and try your best to send off as much finish as possible. Once you're satisfied with the results, wipe down the jewelry box with a damp microfiber cloth to help remove any sanding dust. Let any moisture dry completely before starting to prime.
Prime the Jewelry Box
Before painting, cover any areas of the jewelry box that you don't want painted—like the inside or any non-removable glass—with newspaper and painter's tape. Be very careful with the tape because any little piece that covers the wood won't get covered with the paint and primer.
While you can use a paint and primer in one, we suggest using a spray primer that's specially formulated to really adhere to the wood no matter the finish. Apply in thin even motions and in two coats, allowing each coat to dry according to the directions on the label before moving on to the next. Let dry completely before applying paint.
Paint the Jewelry Box
Select your spray or acrylic color. The lighter the hue, the more coats you'll need, so keep that in mind. Apply the paint the same way you apply the primer: in thin even coats and keeping the paint can far enough away from the surface so the paint doesn't run. Let the paint dry completely, preferably overnight before reattaching the hardware, glass, and/or adding new fabric to the interior of the jewelry box.
Add any final touches that you'd like. You could stencil on initials or free-hand paint on a pattern. Then fill with all of your favorite pieces of jewelry or wrap it up to give as a thoughtful keepsake for someone special.