Silverware Box Repurposed

Leap of Faith
by Leap of Faith
13 Materials
2 Days

Hello my friends! I regularly find old silverware boxes on my treasure hunting adventures. They make a great repurposing project. My most recent box find had plenty of storage but was in need of some love.

This box is huge! I love the fact that it has a drawer.

I cleaned the outside of the box with Simple Green and a Scotch Brite Sponge. I then wiped it down with a my sponge and clean water.

Next, I removed all of the lining from inside the top portion and the drawer. (There was glue residue and little bit of the lining remaining in the box which I sanded later.) I also removed the hinges from the back and the handles from the drawer. During this time, I realized there were several repairs to be made.

Due to the amount of damage on the back where the hinges were attached, I had to use Bondo as a filler.

To do this, I made a trough from a plastic lid because the Bondo will not stick to plastic. I held the plastic pieces in place using a couple clamps. I mixed the Bondo according to directions and applied it with a plastic putty knife. I allowed the Bondo to to dry before removing the clamps and plastic.

I sanded it smooth using my mouse sander. I started with 80 grit paper since the Bondo surface was so rough. I switched to 220 grit for a smooth finish. It still wasn't even enough so I applied more Bondo and sanded again after it dried.

Next, I used Gorilla Wood Glue to reattach the bottom. I clamped the pieces for a tight hold and wiped off the excess glue with a paper towel. Small knicks were filled in with MH Ready Patch Wood Filler.

I then sanded the entire box both inside and out.

The outside and inside of the box were then primed with 2 coats of Zinsaar Bin Primer with Shellac using a sponge roller and sponge brush. This is the best primer to use to stop wood bleed through. After the primer dried, I gave it a light sanding with 220 grit sand paper.

I chose one of my favorite Dixie Belle colors, Vintage Duck Egg. I used two coats of paint for the outside and the inside edges of the lid and drawer.

I decided to add a stencil on top of the lid. I used Dixie Belle paint in Cotton and only painted the bird and twigs of my stencil.

Before applying top coat, I sanded and distressed the box using 220 grit sandpaper. For the top coat, I applied two coats of Minwax Polycrylic.

I replaced the hinges with ones that were more decorative. They were a brushed brass color so I spray painted them white. I happened to have a knob in my stash. I painted it and the pulls for the drawer Cotton by Dixie Belle.

For the inside of the box, I chose fabric from my scraps. Luckily, I had two different fabrics that coordinated great. I measured the lid, top inside, and drawer bottom and then cut 3 pieces of thick poster board. I laid the pieces on my fabric which was turned face down to determine how much fabric I needed. I left about 1/2" border on all sides.

Mod Podge was applied around the edge of the poster board and then the fabric was folded over.

On the corners were the fabric met, I creased it and the trimmed the excess off. I then applied Mod Podge in the bottom of all 3 surfaces and laid the fabric panels inside. I laid books on top of each panel to help them adhere.

It turned out great! I love the stencil and the fabrics. Now, it's the perfect box for jewelry, a home office, or you could even store your silverware in it again.

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  2 questions
  • Teri Sweeney Teri Sweeney on Apr 25, 2020

    What's the name and dealer of the stencil?

  • Mary Smith Mary Smith on Apr 26, 2020

    I have a beautiful old silverware box that is in really bad condition. I’d love to use it for my silver again, but the inside got wet and is ruined, too. How can I restore the inside so I can use it for silver again?

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  • Cassie Cassie on May 14, 2020

    Love this idea the box is beautiful... 😊👍👍

  • Marguerite Marguerite on Sep 17, 2020

    Had my mother's silver chest and thought I would have it refinished as gift for our daughter. Mistake - the professional refinisher really messed it up - so I am going to follow your idea, only adding copies of old family pictures, along with family tree scrap booking sheets, as a better gift. She can put whatever inside!