12 Steps to Rejuvenate the Old Wooden Box from your Junkyard!

Have you ever noticed the old wooden box or diwan set of your house is no longer in trend? or you need the new look of it. A new look to these old boxes is the easiest, fastest and least expensive way to add some flavour to your room. With the bold palette of colours  & designs available now a days, here we select a bluish – black colour for the wooden box for the makeover!

Old Box to makeover

Design Decisions:

Shape & Size:

Big & bulky: Reminded us of the wooden chest of ancient times with brass studs & hardware, though the original was nowhere close!

Surface Treatment:

Polished: Usually soft wood is in use to make these boxes. Sometimes even recycled wood crates/ chest/box with crude workmanship are used. The wood is often left untreated & the paint is applied directly to its raw external surface. Here we want to change this & give it a polished hardwood look!

Grain & Texture:

Natural: The soft wood used in these boxes lack of wood grains. Therefore here we have decided to create artificial grains to deceive the viewer & not apply extensive base preparation to retain its natural wood texture!

You’ll need the following things to start:

Old wooden box

4 (4 in x 6 in) metal sheets (patti)

0.5 litre paint-stripping chemical

0.2 litre thinner

0.25 kg white chalk powder

100 gm of Turkey Umber powder

50 ml of white glue

1 paintbrush (3-inch wide)

10 cleaning cloth

2 (support) painters 100 ml water 3 sheets of grade 100 sandpaper

Step – 1:

Take 500 ml paint striping chemical in a plastic container & mix 200 ml thinner into it. As thinner improves the viscosity & helps to spread easily. Use brush to mix & apply on painted wood surface.

Keep the cleaning cloth handy for wiping the spilled chemical which can ruin the other surfaces.

Use paint stripping chemical ans apply thinner with brush

Step – 2:

Now wait till the paint starts to blister or soften on the surface. Hold the metal patti with both hands as shown in figure & scratch the surface hard by using one of it longer edges.

Note: This job is done best by the painters, in-case you hurt yourself. Clean the brush with thinner as you will need it again.

Remove the old paint with metal strip-patti

Step – 3:

Rub the surface lightly with the sandpaper to remove loose paint & wood splinters.

Step – 4:

Now make a paste of 250 gm chalk powder with powder with water. Add 100 gm of yellow wood powder to it to get the base for a honey coloured wooden finish. Add another 50 gm of turkey umber powder for a dark walnut – coloured polish. Add 40 ml of white glue to this mixture as a binder. Mix well by using two metal pattis to get a thick granule – free sticky paste.

Step – 5:

Apply a thin layer of this paste (called wood putty or filler) mixture to the uneven surface of the wooden box with help of metal patti. Rub the metal patti on the surface to remove excess paste. This process will help to fill cracks & leaving a thin coloured film on the surface.

Note: Avoid attaining visibly thick layers as they will develop cracks later. Make sure you cover all the variations on the wood surface. Wipe your hands with clean cloth.

Allow the wooden box surface to dry for couple of hours.

After it gets dried, now it time to give a new look to the box.

Following things you need now:

3 sheets of grade 100 sandpaper 2 Litre of spirit furniture polish 50 gm of Turkey Umber powder

50 gm of surma

4 cleaning cloths

1 (support) painter

0.2 Litre water

1 old painting brush (3-inch wide)

A pair of scissors

A pair of rubber gloves

It is time to give the old wooden box a new look. The wood base has been prepared and we are ready to give it a base coat of furniture polish. The dark coloured base will help conceal the original paint that had seeped into the innermost layers of the wood.

Also Read: 6 Tips to Remove Wax & Scratches from your Wooden Furniture!

New Surface Finish:

Step – 6:

Sandpaper the wooden box surface lightly.

(Wear your gloves throughout the following procedures.)

Scrape with sandpaper

Step – 7:

Pour 1 litre of furniture polish into a wide mouthed container. Take a piece of clean cloth and put 60 gm of Turkey Umber powder in the centre. Hold the loose ends of the cloth such that the powder gets encased in a cloth bulb. Dip this way the colour will filter its way into the polish. Repeat this process with 20 gm of black surma powder.

Mix polish material

Step – 8:

Make a small cloth pillow and dip it into the polish solution. Lightly squeeze the excess liquid and apply a thin coat of this liquid on the wood surface. Move from right to left (edge to edge) in parallel overlapping bands to cover the entire surface. Never stop in the middle or else tint polish stains will remain visible after it dries. Though each coat of polish is extremely thin and transparent, successive layers will add to the sheen and colour of the surface. In case the moisture in the air is low, polish coats will dry quickly. Apply two coats and then create the wood – grain design on the surface.

Apply polish on box

Step – 9:

Take the old paintbrush. Cut the bristles to create it teeth – like formations.

Cut the old brush corners

Step – 10:

Mix about 10 gm of surma powder in 50 ml of polish as demonstrated in Step 7. Dip the brush in the polish and wipe off excess liquid with a clean piece of cloth.

Dip the paint brush in polish and wipe it off with cloth

Step – 11:

Run the brush over the – polished wood surface to create a wood grain like pattern. You can also use a small paintbrush to touch up the pattern.

Run the brush with the pattern

Step – 12:

Apply some of the remaining furniture polish from Step 8 in the same fashion using the cloth pillow. Make sure each coat is thin & light.

Allow the surface to dry for a couple of hours…

Apply polish and let it to dry

You will get the new look of the wooden box which you can further use for other purposes in your house.

Courtesy - Navneet Malhotra
Also Read: Follow 11 Steps to Get the Silvery Look of Your Table!
Courtesy - Shutterstock


Richa Parmar





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