Milk Paint: Vintage Shoebox Makeover

Before I left for Haven last Tuesday I was really scrambling to make sure the shop was stocked with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and that I finished up some small projects needing to go to the shop!

This is a cute box I found one day at the thrift. I just thought it was a nice steps tool until I got close enough to see the hinges.


When I opened it I was pleasantly surprised to see this!


A vintage shoeshine box with the original paper label still intact!


I knew it would look great with a nice chippy, vintage finish. I gave it an even sanding because I wanted to have the first coat stick pretty well as I wasn’t going to use the bonding agent with the milk paint. Bonding agent will help the milk paint stick very well normally. I wanted to get a little chipping so the areas I sanded less well that still had some of the original varnish on them would be the areas I could expect some paint to lift.

I started with an overall coat of Kitchen Scale. When that was dry, I brushed several areas with Boxwood. You can see the Kitchen Scale base and the Boxwood accent in this picture.


When those layers were dry, I brushed some Hemp Oil on the Boxwood areas and then followed immediately with an allover coat of Ironstone. I used no bonding agent in any of the colors to allow for less adherence….exactly what I was going for. Anywhere the Hemp Oil was applied created some paint lifting and allowed some of the boxwood and Kitchen Scale to peek through.


I used my scraper to make sure I removed anything that was loose. Then I followed with some MMS Antiquing Wax followed by a coat of MMS Furniture Wax. I didn’t do anything to the inside and I liked the result of some paint leaking under the lid which made it look as though it had been painted a few times in the past!


I think it would look great on a counter holding cookbooks, flowers, even toiletries in the bathroom! Sometimes it’s really hard to put things in the shop when they turn out so quirky and unique!

I love this little box! What an easy project!




  1. Ooh! What a find!! Great job Lorraine. :o)
    Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces recently posted…Closet Renovation Using Reclaimed Barn WoodMy Profile

  2. What a fun box and what a great paint job. I sometimes wonder what the original owner would think of the update.
    Carol recently posted…Not my usual color paletteMy Profile

  3. Hi Lorraine!….love the shoe shine box!…the colors are great..I am anxious to use MMS paint…have only used ASCP…So great to have met you!!!!

  4. What an awesome find and I love how you gave it a new life!!!~~Ang
    Angela recently posted…Sisal, Sisal Everywhere!My Profile

  5. Love this transformation….looks so authentic!

  6. It looks wonderful! I am just hearing of the “Haven conf”. I so want to go next year. I have tried chalk paint and love it. blessings!

  7. So pretty! Oh, and so wonderful to finally meet you at Haven! x
    Danielle recently posted…Easy Couscous and Herb SaladMy Profile

  8. I love it- It looks 100 years old! xo Diana

  9. What a great transformation Lorraine!!!!!!
    Beautiful job xxx
    Suzan recently posted…The FAIRMONT hotels………& a makeover!!!My Profile

  10. That Kitchen Scale is such a pretty color, Lorraine! Love how your shoe box turned out. I didn’t see the hinge until you mentioned it. That must have been a nice surprise.

  11. That metal shoe detail is awesome, unscrew it and put it on the outside of the box so I can see it all the time please.
    Bliss recently posted…Vintage Car PatinaMy Profile

  12. That looks so cute mom! I love the colors you choose… big improvement!!

  13. Oh wow, I love that, how come your paint drips look classy and mine just look sloppy 🙂
    Mel recently posted…Get Digging!My Profile

  14. OMG! I love this Lorraine! You are killing me with this look. I want to do it. I had such a good time at Haven with you. Can’t wait to get together again!

  15. I love the way this turned out. Flakey paint is my favorite.
    kirby carespodi recently posted…Haven 2013: What I learned!!My Profile

  16. Great find and you knew just what to do with it! Way to go girl!
    Danni@SiloHillFarm recently posted…STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENINGMy Profile

  17. I love love love old boxes! Perfect timing, too…I wanted to see those three colors used together.
    Awesome job!
    Tina recently posted…Laughin’ and a runnin’, hey hey…My Profile

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