How to Paint a Wooden Box

Wooden boxes work well for storing practical items, such as tools, or for toys, mementos and other personal items. Wooden boxes, perhaps filled with a sentimental item, also make nice gifts. You can add beautiful color to any wood box, new or old, simply by painting it. Any color will do---it is completely up to you.

  1. Place the wooden box on a drop cloth to protect your working surface. Remove the lid or open the lid, if applicable.

  2. Sand the entire box, inside and out, with 120-grit sandpaper. Follow this with a finer grit, such as 180-grit sandpaper to smooth out remaining rough edges. When you are finished sanding, wipe the surfaces with a tack cloth to remove dust from the box.

  3. Ventilate the area by opening windows and doors, put on rubber gloves and then get ready to use the primer. Some primer is sprayed on, others are applied with a paintbrush. Apply it on the interior of the wood box first, and then on all sides except the bottom of the box and the lid. If the lid is removable, you will need to prime and paint it separately.

  4. Allow the primer to dry completely. This may take hours; drying time depends partly on the humidity in the air.

  5. When the surfaces feel dry to the touch and not tacky, sand them again. Use a fine grit sandpaper---about 220 grit, as suggested by Wood Zone---to do this. When you are finished, apply another layer of primer and let it dry completely.

  6. Open your paint can and stir the paint. Dip your paint brush in the paint and paint all visible surfaces of the box. Keep your brush strokes even so they won't be as noticeable after the paint has dried. Allow this first layer to dry completely (this may take several hours) before continuing.

  7. Paint at least one more layer for best color and durability. You may also paint a third layer if you choose.

    When you are finished and the second layer is dry, turn the box over and prime and paint the bottom and the lid just as you did the other surfaces.

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