How to Paint a Fun Toy Box

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Today I’m sharing how to paint a fun boho toy box.  Since it’s white, it would fit in well in any room, but I think it would be particularly charming in a nursery.  It’s also perfect for a boy or a girl. 

It doesn’t have to be a toy box either, it could be a blanket chest for a living room or den.  You can modify the colors, transfers and stencils to fit your decor.

I started with this handmade wooden toy box built by my husband’s grandpa.  I painted it several years ago with a grain sack stripe, and here’s what it looked like.

painted toy box before

It was cute, but a little plain.  This painted toy chest needed a little more fun!

Here are the products I used for this upcycle.

Resource List

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

Before we get into the specifics of this look, feel free to grab yourself one of my free guides for Dixie Belle paint.  The Comprehensive Guide to all their products, or a Kitchen Cabinet Painting Guide.  Click on either one to download it.

Silk Salt Water

After cleaning the toy box well, I started by painting a base coat of Silk Salt Water.  Silk is not chalk paint; it has a built-in primer and top coat.  It’s not always the best choice for texture or blending, but I ended up doing both on this project and it worked out just fine!

I started this project in this video.

painted toy box makeover in progress

I originally thought I was going to leave the stripes, but later ended up covering them.  I also added some decoupage feathers that I later decided weren’t working for me and I removed them. 

This makeover wasn’t a straight path from A to Z, that’s for sure!

Back to where we left off, I thought the Salt Water color was too stark and clean.  To add some texture, I mixed some Salt Water with sea spray texture additive.  I brushed it on around the edges and a little all over.

painted toy box front

Boho Soul Transfer and Western Boho Silkscreen Stencil

Next I applied the hanging feathers section of the Boho Soul transfer on the front.  The transfer section itself is just the black outline.

boho soul transfer
western boho stencil

Using Pure Ocean, Peony and Colonel Mustard, I painted in portions of the feather design.  To age it, I sanded over the transfer a little too.

I also used the same colors with the stenciled borders on the front and top and the dreamcatcher.  I used tiny little artist brushes to get in those areas.

painted toy box top

If you look closely, you’ll see another couple of very faded stencils on the front.  I’ll tell you how I did that next.

painted toy box stencil

Color Wash

The last step before sealing was a color wash.  I was still feeling like the finish was too stark, so I pounced on some Drop Cloth (a much warmer cream color).

After that dried, I applied a very watered-down coat of Salt Water back over it.  I let it wash over the stencils too, some more than others.  I think they add a little character peeking through.

To finish this toy box off, I sealed it with 2 coats of Clear Coat in satin.  I brush it on with a synthetic brush, but I’m planning to try spraying soon now that the weather has warmed up in Wisconsin.

painted toy box pin

Here are some more trunk and boho projects to check out.

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4 thoughts on “How to Paint a Fun Toy Box”

  1. The colors would be great for a nursery. You made it look like a completely different piece. Thanks so much for sharing it. #HomeMattersParty

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Donna! It took a long route to get there, but it finally arrived 😉

  2. Allyson says:

    The boho stencil and colors you used makes the toy box a showpiece!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Allyson!

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