Mar 182016

Firstly, I apologise for not thinking to take “before” photos, as I started this before posting about it on Facebook, and hadn’t anticipated the interest shown.  I will remember to take before shots on future projects.

OK, I bought this jewellery box….ooh, at least 20 years ago from Argos.  There was nothing wrong with it other than being boring brown wood, so looking for a small project, I set about changing it.  The process was simple and straightforward.


  • Disassemble box, removing hinges and brackets that hold the glass in the lid.
  • Sand lightly to give a key, then wipe over with white vinegar to remove any traces of grease or polish.
  • Apply chalk paint and leave to dry.
  • When dry, sand back lightly to leave small worn patches.
  • Apply hot fix decals and leave 24 hours.
  • Lightly rub the decals with fine wire wool to distress slightly, then apply a coat of Antique Wax.  Leave overnight.
  • Buff to get a satin sheen on the paint.
  • Apply a small amount of copper gilt cream to the inside edge of the lid, leave 24 hours, then buff.


  • Clean glass well to remove any dust and grease.
  • Apply gilding size and leave a few minutes to go tacky.
  • Carefully apply copper leaf, and rub down lightly with a soft cloth.  Leave 24 hours.
  • To take the shine off the underside of the leaf, I haphazardly rubbed over it with a mix of bronze and copper gilt cream.
  • Leave 24 hours then buff.

There was no closure on the box, so I also added a hasp as a finishing touch.

The flower motif on the glass was already there.

Painted jewellery box

Painted jewellery box

Copper leaf on the underside of the glass

Painted jewellery box

Floral decals

Painted jewellery box

The copper leaf on the inside of the lid has been given an aged look