Lacquered Boxes


I was at Gracious Home last month and noticed this lacquered beauty for $90. Pretty? Yes. Worth the money? Unlikely. I was Inspired by the DIY lacquer box featured on Centsational Girl’s blog. And, as a lover of shiny things, I thought I’ll try my hand at that, too.  

This was not a typical studio project.  There was no leaving the comforts of my apartment, scurrying like a homeless lady into a stairwell with a cardboard box and a can of spray paint, and then casually slinking back home, as if I have no idea where that strong, chemically paint smell in the hallway comes from.  Not that I’m hating on my studio.  Never.  I’d never do that.  Like, really I’d never do that.  We are BFF.

So anyway, back to the important shiny things at hand: I put my thinking cap on and opted for an unfinished wood box, inexpensive paint and various tools I already had my paws on…enter: Lacquered box for under $15. 

Tools you’ll need:
1 or 2 unfinished wood boxes easily available at craft stores like Michael’s (if using 2, look for nesting boxes – where one smaller box fits inside a slightly larger one)
2 colors of acrylic paint (one for base, one for trim)
1 paint brush (a smaller one is ideal for the trim, and can be used for the base too)
High gloss coating (I used Minwax polycrylic protective finish in clear gloss because I already had it, but you can try any clear gloss from your favorite acrylic paint company, too)
1 small screwdriver to remove front facing hardware only (if present)*
Painters tape
1 level 

*if you remove any hardware, you may be left with small holes on the face. If so, you can fill them with wood filler. Mine are barley noticeable even without wood filler. 

1. Using a piece of painters tape, tape off the opening of the box so that you don’t paint the top and bottom shut 
2. Paint the box with your base color, paying attention to evenly apply the paint without too many brush strokes, let dry 12 hours (I did this part the day before I painted the trim)
3. If you want a second coat, apply it after the first coat dries, and be sure to let this coat dry another 12 hours
4. With painters tape, mark off the sections you wish to paint with trim color (in my case, I painted a square around 5 of the 6 “faces” of the box — I didn’t paint trim on the bottom, but I did on each other side)
5. Check to be sure the tape is straight with a level, and press to be sure there are no air pockets
6. Apply trim color with small paintbrush and let dry 12 hours 
7. Once trim is dry, coat the painted box with gloss (apply in thin layers)
8. Stand back and admire, gush, squeal…you are now the proud owner of a lacquer box

Where we started:


Removing the front facing hardware:

Taping off the opening:

Base coat:


My finished product:

Where do you store little trinkets? 

The Future Mrs. Wolf

p.s. if you happen to get paint on your phone (not that its ever happened to me…) use a magic eraser. It’ll take it right out. 
  • Anonymous

    I’m obsessed with these! Can’t wait to attempt!

    • The Domesticated Wolf

      please let me know how it turns out…xx!!

  • Katy Corrado

    LOVE these! And LOVE your posts – you inspire me (and make me giggle) every day on the way to work!!

    • The Domesticated Wolf

      haha :) i’m happy you’re enjoying!! thanks for reading…xx.