Makeover | Painting and repurposing a breadbox

I found an old metal breadbox for $1.50 at a thrift store a few weeks ago.

It looked so sad, I had to bring it home and fix it up. It had a few dents in it that needed to be pounded out, and it had been painted a nasty pinky-beige color.

Apparently it had been used to store salt, soda and tea at one time, but hopefully not recently, because it smelled like a wet basement.

I washed the breadbox out and let it sit outside in the sun — with the lid open — for a couple weeks to dissipate the smell. Once the box was odor-free, I gave it a couple coats of gloss white enamel paint.

I painted both the outside and the inside.

Vintage bread boxes typically have the word “bread” printed on the front of them, but I wasn’t planning to put sliced baked goods in mine. I wanted to use the box for general storage, so I decided to just paint “etc.” on the front. I printed out the text (Bookman Old Style) on my computer.

Then I scribbled onto the back of the paper with a No. 2 pencil.

I positioned the word where I wanted it on the front of the breadbox and traced around the letters with a pencil.

transferring an image with pencil lead
When I removed the paper, the outline of the letters magically appeared.

 I filled in the outlines with some black craft paint.

After erasing a few errant pencil marks, the box was done.

Here’s what the back looks like.

For now, the box is sitting on a table on my back porch.


I put a bag of potting soil and some gardening supplies in it.


I’ll bring the box inside in the winter and probably use it to store craft supplies like glue, markers, glitter, felt, popsicle sticks, etc., etc.

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