Painting a Bread Box

My sister-in-law purchased a plain, wooden bread box at a second-hand store for $3.00. She knows I'm "crafty" and asked if I would paint and decorate the bread box with some type of blue and white design. After priming and painting the entire bread box white, I used a napkin applique technique to embellish it. I am happy to share the end result.

Approximate Time: About 3 hours plus drying time


  • bread box
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • primer
  • white gloss spray paint
  • napkins of your choice
  • decoupage glue (or Mod Podge)
  • paint brush or foam brush
  • scissors
  • non-yellowing, spray on gloss


If necessary, wipe down bread box with a damp cloth before beginning and allow to dry.

Lightly sand the bread box and wipe with a clean, dry rag or paper towel to remove any dust.

Apply primer to bread box and allow to dry overnight.

Lightly sand again, if needed.

Paint bread box white and allow to dry overnight.

Separate the layers of the napkins so that you end up with the printed single layer only. Cut out your desired designs from the napkins. It is easier to work with small pieces, as the delicate napkins tear easily.

Apply a thin coat of the decoupage glue to the bread box where you want to adhere your design.

Place napkin piece over glued area. Gently smooth out design and apply a thin coat of decoupage glue over top of the design, being careful not to tear the napkin.

Note: Don't worry about getting the design completely smooth, it will not affect the end result.

Once you have appliqued the desired areas of the box, allow the glue to dry.

Apply a coat of clear gloss and let dry completely.

By Rachel's Mom from Wilkesboro, NC

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April 15, 2015

Received as a wedding gift over 40 years ago, this retro breadbox was looking its age. It is still useful and in great shape, we wanted to modernize it.

finished project

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3 Questions

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I recently bought a metal bread box at a yard sale and would like to utilize it, but it needs some painting or something on the outside as it is just plain silver metal. Any suggestions or ideas of how I could spruce it up would be wonderful.


By WendyD from Palm Springs, CA


March 28, 20110 found this helpful

Here's an older post that I was able to find. Someone from the thriftyfun community decorated a wooden bread box. You might be able to do something similar with the silver metal one that you got at a yard sale.

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March 29, 20110 found this helpful

Well, bread box is made of aluminum. Sometimes if the aluminum is not prepared properly the paint will peel. My suggestion is to visit Home Depot or your local paint store and get their input for the proper paint and or primer to use.

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

Scuff up the metal thoroughly with sandpaper made for metal(have a dust mask and goggles on to prevent inhaling any metal dust etc) The sand paper for metal is black and is usually used wet. Paint with paints for metal. I would be tempted to stencil on the word bread and some wheat stalks or a proverb like Bread:The Staff of Life

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