Check out the before and after DIY transformation of some old ugly brown storage boxes. All you need is some colorful paint!

How to DIY Old Storage Boxes from Geek to Chic



painted storage boxes
painted storage boxes



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Check out my easy DIY storage box project.

I have had these 6 storage boxes since I can remember–every move I’ve ever made I have schlepped them with me. They store a lot of my jewelry supplies and findings, and they stack neatly on top of each other. The bins were originally my dad’s, he used them for old school slides. (Remember slides?!) Remarkably, they are still in perfect condition. But! They were the ugliest color brown I’ve ever seen. Fact: they’ve been living under my bed to avoid looking at them.

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I’ve been spending A LOT of money at The Container Store while trying to get the new Sisoo Studio organized. I’m there so often that the evening cashier knows me (and Dolly) by name, and I show her pictures of my Elfa systems and we swap organizing tips. I love going into that store.

DIY Storage Boxes

As much as I love my visits to The Container Store, my goal is to stop spending and use what I already have. My old brown bins were not exactly happy-display-worthy on my new Elfa shelves. The brown felt so dated and blah. But fear not! A really simple DIY fundamental hit me over the head: just cover them with pretty paint?

DIY Storage Boxes

I recently bought a lot of paint to create colorful photo backdrops, and I suddenly realized I could PAINT THE STORAGE BOXES TOO. Duh! I had 5 BEHR quarts of paint (interior/matte finish) sitting there on my work table….staring at me. And they could do no wrong!

I easily removed the brass pulls with flat nose pliers before I began painting (and re-mounted them again once the paint was dry). I used a large brush for the box and the lid, let them dry for several hours, and flipped each over and used a small brush to touch up the edges and the interior seam so that there was not a trace of that brown left behind!

DIY Storage Boxes

To say I love the result of the painted boxes would be a massive understatement. Like my sister always says, “FROM GEEK TO CHIC!” These boxes now make me so happy, or as we all call it lately…they spark so much joy!

On the shelves I also added The Container Store emerald paper drawers and the mint ones too. I am loving how they look with the color palette of the painted boxes. You can find the honeycomb vase here and the cement tulip vase here (air plant not included). And I can’t say enough good things about that sheepskin chair throw–makes any space more cozy!

I’m (over)inspired now to look at all my old things and think about how I can freshen them up and make them new. What’s something that’s hiding under your bed that you could fix up?


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March 5, 2019

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Hey, I'm Sarah!

Designer, DIYer, & Deep Googler

I've always been infinitely curious on how the things I love are created. Whether it's a soap recipe, a beautiful piece of jewelry, or a jaw-drooping, drool-worthy interior... I have an persistent need to figure it out... and do it myself!

Learn more about me