Fab Find: Thrifty to Vintage Inspired Bread Box


Sources from left to right: 1, 2, 3, 4

Who knew that bread boxes could be so expensive? I can’t believe that the typical cost ranges from $30-$80 and I even saw one for $120! That seems like a lot of money for something that is so simple. I want to share this great and super easy project with you today, I was inspired by these vintage and retro style bread boxes (above) when I embarked on this project. If you are looking for more bread box inspiration check out this Pinterest Board

You may have read my previous post 5 Ways to Buy Cheap Home Decor, in this post I suggested keeping your eyes open at thrift stores for items that you can re-purpose and up-cycle and that is exactly what I did to find this wooden bread box for $3 at Goodwill. The wood was in good shape so I grabbed it up, originally I was just going to clean it up and use it as is but once I got the dirt off it was significantly lighter than the wood of our cabinets. So I decided to paint it with Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in Refreshing and add a stencil to the front and side to make it more interesting. Let me just say a few nice words about this paint before we move into the how-to, please remember this is my opinion and I was not compensated in any way by DecoArt for this project. This paint is great, it goes on smooth and dries quickly and I found during the course of this project that a little paint goes a long way so there is real value in these small jars of paint. The one negative thing I noticed was the paint has a very toxic smell so I grabbed a face mask after working with it for a minute, it’s generally a good idea to wear a face mask when painting anyway. Ok, shameless plug done, lets get down to brass tacks the bread box.


Here she is in all her dirty glory

Things you will need:

  • Bread box (or other object you want to up-cycle like this.)
  • 1 jar of Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in your choice of color (I painted this in Refreshing.)
  • Acrylic craft paint or other type of paint for stencil in your choice of color (mine is just white.)
  • 2″ Chip Brush
  • 1″ Foam Brush for stencil and small area work
  • No. 0 small paint brush for fine detail work (if needed)
  • Stencil(s)
  • Painters tape to hold stencil
  • Adhesive contact paper, if you want or need to cover part of your project (I used it on the bottom inside the box)


Always start by cleaning whatever you are planing to paint, I use a Lysol wipe and then dry it with a lint free towel, this will prepare the surface. Then I used a #60 grit sandpaper (medium grit) to scuff up the wood so the paint would adhere to the wood better, I wiped it again with a wet rag and dried it with the lint free towel, that prepares a great surface to begin painting on. Then I started painting the back and bottom using my 2″ chip brush, giving those areas two coats of paint, don’t worry if your first coat looks streaky, it will get better with every coat. Remember, you should always wash and dry your brush between coats of paint to get the best results. I only did 2 coats on these areas because I didn’t worry too much about total paint coverage since no one will ever see it, that way I saved some paint and money.


After three coats of Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in Refreshing

After the bottom had dried, I used three coats of paint to completely cover the wood on the front and sides in order have a smooth finish with no streaking or wood grain. For the paneled front I used the 1″ foam brush on the wider parts and the very fine detail brush and toothpicks to help completely cover the cracks in the lid without leaving too much paint behind. This was important for the lid’s usability, it still has to be able to roll up and down. I really worked the paint into the cracks by using only a small amount and dabbing off the excess paint from the tiny brush before applying it to the wood. Using this technique helped cover the wood and not leave globules of paint behind. This left me with about three quarters of the 8oz jar of paint left! I actually bought two jars thinking that I would need them for this project since the jars seemed so small in the store but it really does go a long way. I think I will return the other jar or maybe exchange it for another color!


Applying the No. 1 stencil to the side of the box

Then I applied my stencils, Bread for the front and the No. 1 for the side. I made these stencils on my Silhouette Cameo machine, I will follow up soon with a tutorial for stencil making because it deserves its own post and this was my first Silhouette stencil project so it was definitely a learning experience for me (translation: it did not go to plan).  I fixed the stencils to the wood with painters tape, I recommend a delicate tape for this so it doesn’t rip off the new paint. Then I used the 1″ foam brush to “pounce” the acrylic craft paint onto the stencil. What I mean is I held the brush vertical and dabbed quickly at the stencil, this helps not to over paint an area so it bleeds through the stencil. Even with this technique I noticed a lot more bleed through after I removed the stencil than I had anticipated or wanted since I used card-stock paper to make my stencil. I would not do this again in the future, I would use a plastic material or just trace the stencil in pencil and hand paint the design in. I think some of my issues were from the curved shape of the front which made the stencil not sit flat, I had much less bleed through on the flat side. I did also use the small detail paint brush to touch up the lines and cover the bleed out from the stencil. I used two coats of paint with the stencil and a third hand painted coat to fix the lines from the bleed through. You can apply as many coats as you want for coverage, you can also use chalk paint (or whatever) for the stencil if you want, I just had some white acrylic craft paint at home already, and I am so about saving every dollar I can by using existing supplies.


You can see the unfinished bottom on the left and the applied contact paper on the right

I wanted to do something on the inside of the box to make it more attractive and to cover the rough wood bottom, the insides are more finished but for some reason the bottom wasn’t finished. You can see I wasn’t too careful when I painted the edge since I knew I would be covering this area somehow.To fix this I applied adhesive contact paper (which I bought for a dollar and have tons leftover, I might try to line our kitchen drawers with it too) to the bottom. I cut it to just a hair wider than the inside dimensions and stuck it down using a scrapper to press it down firmly and push out bubbles as I laid it down. Then I used my handy dandy X-acto knife to trim off the excess edges on the sides and front.


Now I get to enjoy this beautiful vintage inspired bread box everyday and it hides the unsightly accumulation of various breads, chips and snacks which are always on the top of the microwave. 

Here is the cost breakdown for this project if y’all are interested

  • Bread box $3 – Goodwill
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint $6 – Michael’s (purchased on sale with an additional 20% off coupon, jars are normally $8)
  • Adhesive contact paper $1 – Dollar Tree
  • Acrylic paint FREE – from my craft stock
  • Paint brushes FREE – from my craft stock
  • Painters tape FREE – from my craft stock
  • Stencils FREE – made on my Silhouette Cameo machine


Best Wishes,


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