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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