Grandma Claire’s Jewelry Box

grandma jewelry box_before1My Grandma Claire was a glamorous woman with a pair of big colorful clip-on earrings to match every outfit. She kept them in this jewelry box on top of her dresser.

The jewelry box now sits on top of my sister Colleen’s dresser, but it doesn’t really match. Colleen’s bedroom is crazy-big-huge (like bigger than your entire first apartment huge). It is also modern and sleek with black furniture, a plush red sofa and awesome black-and-white chevron draperies.

We decided the jewelry box needed a makeover.

* * *

This isn’t the first makeover I’ve done on something that belonged to our grandmother. I painted and decoupaged a picture of our kids onto the top of one of Grandma Claire’s tables for Colleen’s birthday present a few years ago. It sits in the entryway of her house now and makes me happy every time I walk through her front door and see it. I also painted a table for my living room—another piece that I love.

Grandma Claire’s jewelry box was a simple project—no fancy new techniques to share here today. Colleen wanted it black to match the furniture in her bedroom. I used American Paint Company‘s black color called Cannonball. I couldn’t resist adding a stencil down the sides of the drawers and on the drawer fronts for a surprise pop of gold when you open the doors. I used metallic gold craft paint.

DSC_0005I didn’t want to wax the jewelry box because it will be opened and closed every day and may start to look smudgy after awhile. Instead, I used a product that is new to our shop, All Things New Again in Leesburg, VA. It is called Low Sheen Burnishing Paste from Real Milk Paint Company … and it is AWESOME!


I LOVE THIS STUFF! Here’s a link for more information on Real Milk Paint Company’s Burnishing Paste. It is an environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, NO VOC top coat that provides great protection for high traffic areas like kitchen cabinets without harsh chemicals. It looks like lotion and can be applied with a brush, sponge or clean rag. I brushed on the outside of the jewelry box and used an old t-shirt on tight spots like the trim on the bottom.

This project was a bit of an experiment for me. I have used Low Sheen Burnishing Paste before over Real Milk Paint, but I have never tried it on a different brand like American Paint Company clay, chalk and mineral paint. (We carry both lines of paint in our shop.) I wanted to see if it was compatible—and it was!

Burnishing Paste makes the paint color a shade darker, which was perfect to make the black jewelry box even blacker. It also helps hide imperfections in your paint job. Check out this side-by-side shot:

Burnishing Paste_before and after

And here’s the finished jewelry box:

grandma jewelry box makeover1

grandma jewelry box makeover2grandma jewelry box makeover_inside

grandma jewelry box makeover3Those pictures were taken in MY bedroom. I deliver it to Colleen tomorrow. I know she will love it—and I know Grandma Claire would love it too.

~ Courtney


2 responses to “Grandma Claire’s Jewelry Box

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