Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jewelry Box Makeover

I have a LOT of jewelry.  I don't feel like any outfit is complete without jewelry, and I like to switch mine up a lot, so I have quite a bit.  Storing, organizing and managing all of my jewelry has long been a struggle, so several years ago I bought a large jewelry box that had a TON of storage.  There were not many finish options when I bought the box, but at the time I didn't care.  I desperately needed storage, and was willing to sacrifice form for function.  Well no more honey oak finish, I tell you.  NO MORE!

Seriously, look at all of that storage!  I accidentally broke the mirror a few years back, when I let the lid slam.  I don't use the mirror, so I haven't bothered to replace it.   
Now before you go getting too impressed with my mad make-over skills, let me tell you that this was an exterior makeover only.  With the attached felt and all of those drawers, sanding and painting the inside would have been a major undertaking.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  Plus, to be honest, I don't really care what it looks like when I open it.  As long as it looks good while sitting on my bedside table, I'm happy. 
The decided that this was the perfect project to take my first stab at painting, distressing, and glazing a piece of furniture.  I've read several tutorials, and it seemed like a job that I could handle. 
I got started by taking the jewelry box apart, so that I could sand and paint the outside of each of the eight pieces.  Taking the box apart wasn't too difficult, but I did run into a snag where I couldn't remove any of the drawers without removing the very top piece on the back of the box.  The trouble was....that top piece appeared to be glued on.  There was no way that I could pry that piece off without breaking it.  So....

I sawed the part that was blocking removal of the drawers off.  Don't worry, it's under the lid when the box is closed, and I figured I could wood glue it back on later.  It seemed like the only way to take the box apart.
I gave each piece a good sanding, used tack cloth to remove the dust, and then taped off the parts of each piece that I did not want to paint. Taping took quite some time, because I had to cover ever surface on the inside of the box securely, so that the inside of the jewelry box would remain unpainted and clean.


Once I had each part taped up, it was over the drop cloths for three light coats of off-white spray paint. I really considered painting the box a fun color.  But I'm working on some colored lamps for our bedroom and thought it might be best to keep the jewelry box neutral.

 From there, I called it a day and let the spray paint dry overnight.

The next day, I took each of my freshly painted parts and distressed the paint with sand paper and a hammer.  I used the sandpaper to rub off  some of the paint on all of the edges, and on some of the drawer fronts.  I really had to sand hard in order to adequately distress the drawers!  Then I took a hammer and banged on the jewelry box lid to nick it up.  It was a little nerve-wracking to take a hammer to something that I had just worked so hard to repaint!  In fact I almost chickened out, but I persisted with the hammer and followed up with more sanding on top of the lid.  The goal was to remove paint from areas of the jewelry box to make it appear worn, so that glaze could collect in those areas when I glazed the box.  

Once each piece felt sufficiently distressed, it was time to try my hand at glazing.   I used True Value Simply Glaze, which is clear and can be tinted with any paint color. 


I tinted mine with some leftover chocolate colored paint, which we had originally used to paint our bedroom walls.  I did not measure my glaze or paint, but I would guess it was a glaze to paint ratio or about 2:1.  I wanted my glaze to be fairly opaque, but you could add more or less paint depending upon the level of opaqueness that you desire.  For convenience purposes, I just mixed my glaze in a plastic cup, and I used a foam brush in order to avoid brush strokes. 

I brushed on a coat of glaze to completely cover the painted surface....

...and then used a rag to wipe off almost all of the glaze.  The glaze naturally collects and remains in the areas that were nicked/sanded/distressed.  If you'd like a darker glaze, you could repeat this process until you reach the shade you desire.  I only glazed and wiped once. 

The results were AWESOME!  I was almost giddy to see that each piece looked like the distressed furniture that I covet in stores.


I was so excited about how well it was turning out, that I wanted to put the jewelry box back together immediately.  So I distracted myself by rubbing some Silver Leaf Rub 'N Buff onto the gold handles in order to transform them into silver fixtures.  Using Rub 'N Buff is so simple, you literally just rub it on, let it dry for a few minutes, and buff it to a shine.  The silver compliments the distressed white finish so much better.

Once everything was nice and dry, I put the jewelry box back together and just stared at its beauty for a few minutes.  I couldn't believe that I had lived with that horrible honey oak for so long.

I was so excited to get it into the bedroom and load it back up with my jewelry. 

And load it up I did! Let's do a tour, shall we?

 The bottom section holds watches, bracelets, and items that wouldn't fit in any of the top three sections.

Just above that are shelves that house more of my bracelets.

And then a set of drawers that hold my rings and The Land of Lonely Earrings.  I can't tell you how often I eventually find the lost earring and am SO GLAD that I held on to the survivor.  It's nice to have a place to keep them while I'm waiting for their mates to reappear.

But the BEST part of this jewelry box is the earring storage.  Eight removable stands hold dozens of pairs of earrings, and make it really easy to find and access what I'm looking for. 


And of course, there are several necklace hooks in the back. 

Not ENOUGH necklace hooks, mind you.  But I manage to find other places to hold the overflow... the inside wall of my closet.  And a bowl in our bathroom.  And in a smaller jewelry box that I keep stored away.  And......I need to stop buying necklaces!

One final, happy shot of my newly updated beside table.  I like it so much better. Oh!  And if you like this jewelry box, you can find it here.  This is an updated version, but its almost the same as mine.  You can even get a honey oak finish of your own :)

Now if I can just force myself to put my jewelry away each day instead of putting in that bowl on the bathroom counter...
Have you glazed anything?  I'm hooked!  I want to glaze everything I can find now!
Linking Up To

TDC Before and After


  1. Nice! I've never glazed but you made it look so easy!

    1. It WAS easy! You could definitely do it!