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How to Paint Boxes

Boxes come in both hard wooden or cardboard form. Wooden box projects can fulfill many duties, ranging from exterior window boxes, interior storage and creative displays. They come in a wide variety of sizes from local craft stores and thrift marts.

Boxes serve many functions inside and outside the home.

Things You Will Need

  • Brown spray paint
  • Latex house paint
  • Paint pad kit with tray
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Natural bristle paintbrush
  • Latex primer
  • Water-based polyacrylic topcoat

Boxes come in both hard wooden or cardboard form.  Wooden box projects can fulfill many duties, ranging from exterior window boxes, interior storage and creative displays.

They come in a wide variety of sizes from local craft stores and thrift marts.  Cardboard boxes are convenient and often free when recycled from major purchases or from local stores after a shipment.

When cut, assembled and painted, they make wonderful weekend play sets for children and are completely recyclable once playtime is over. 


Painting Cardboard Boxes

  1. Conceal the logo and other markings by spraying a primer coat of brown spray paint over the box. Hold the can of spray paint at least 10 inches away from the cardboard box.
  2. Press the nozzle and move your hand in a swift, even motion back and forth across the box markings. Spray on a very thin coat first and let it dry before adding another concealing coat.
  3. Pour 1/4 inch of paint into the paint pad tray. Dip the paint pad down into the paint using a wiggling motion.
  4. Pull the paint pad up from the paint and scrape the paint pad across the rim of the paint tray. Do not press too hard since this will force the paint from the pad.
  5. Place the paint pad against the bottom of the cardboard box and drag the pad upward applying paint in 24- to 36-inch-long strokes.
  6. Pull the paint pad back down over the vertical stroke to even out the paint layer and remove any bristle marks. Continue covering the cardboard box using the same technique.

Painting Wooden Boxes

  1. Fill any holes, dents or knots in the wood with wood filler.
  2. Sand the wooden box with medium-grit sandpaper. Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove the dust.
  3. Brush on a layer of latex primer to provide a smooth finish for the paint to adhere to. Let the primer coat dry.
  4. Apply a thin coat of latex paint in your choice of color over the primer. Let it dry completely before adding another thin coat.
  5. Apply a thin layer of the polyacrylic topcoat to protect the finish.
  6. Tip

    When painting cardboard boxes for a craft project or weekend play set, remember that cardboard will wrinkle if it gets too wet. Apply the paint in very thin even coats instead of one thick coat. Add embellishments like decals or stickers to make the box look more visually appealing. The polyacrylic topcoat will not yellow like polyurethane topcoats.

Things You Will Need

  • Brown spray paint
  • Latex house paint
  • Paint pad kit with tray
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Natural bristle paintbrush
  • Latex primer
  • Water-based polyacrylic topcoat

Photo Credits

  • coasters image by charles taylor from Fotolia.com
  • coasters image by charles taylor from Fotolia.com