I love unfinished wood.  It’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to transform it.  Since I adore all things vintage and antique, I decided to make my plain box look aged.  My secret?  Don’t laugh!


It’s petroleum jelly.  For real.  Read on to learn how you can use a common household item to make your paint finish look distressed.

(This post first appeared at Crafts Unleashed, where I am a member of the Design Team.)


Supplies Needed:

To make your own antiqued jewelry box:

Step one:  Paint the box with acrylic paint.  I used brown so it would look like a dark wood box.


Step two:  Apply thick “blobs” of petroleum jelly to the parts of the box that you want distressed.  I concentrated on the corners and a few random spots on the top and sides.

Step three:  Spray paint the box.  I used a gold hammered finish spray paint.


Step four:  Use a stencil to add a design to the top of the box.  I painted my design with Antique White paint and then traced the edge with Chestnut Brown paint.


Step five:  Use a dry cloth to rub the petroleum jelly off the box.  The paint will come off with it.  Continue wiping until the surface is no longer slick.


Step six:  To finish the inside, cut a piece of fabric to fit the box.  Apply Mod Podge and press the fabric into the box.  I did not paint the top of the fabric with Mod Podge because I wanted it to be soft and feel like fabric.


Your fabulously “old” jewelry box is now ready to use.  Mine is in my craft room, holding some of my Tim Holtz embellishments.  How would you use your box?




  1. Yes, it does look antique and your design, stunning. But do you think the finished box needs a sealer or the paint where the jelly was will continue to come off with wear? Just curious.


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