Saturday, March 27, 2010

Painting Primitive Paper Mache Boxes Tutorial

I have seen several different people show how they paint paper mache boxes, and although my rendition is very, very similar, it is what i find easiest, so maybe if there is someone out there like me, this will be easy for you too.

The boxes im painting today are a small set of 3, i got the idea for the olde pantry label off a box i saw on the pickled pepper patch.  I make my own everything usually, lol, so i opened up word and found a clipart of a sheep and made my own little "woolens" label.  I'll share that with you at the end, i dont care to share!

What u need!
Paper Mache Boxes (you can find these at almost any craft store, im using a small oval set)
Craft Paint (i like folk art brand, and i use black, barn red, yellow orche, and cobalt blue today)
brushes to paint with
old piece of wax (i use the old wax i remove from my tart warmer, you could use a cheep candle)
minwax dark walnut (this is optional but it seals and makes them look prim perfect)

ok first i painted them all one base color, i like to use black as my base for primitive projects, so i painted them all black.

 Let the paint dry completely (craft paint only takes about 5-10 min if its not too thick), and rub your wax all over the boxes and lids, i rub it on pretty thick. After you are finished with this, gently wipe off the loose wax from the box so you can apply your second coat of paint.

I wanted each of the 3 boxes a different color, i used barn red, yellow ochre, and a prim green (i couldnt find a green i liked, so i mixed colbalt blue and ochre yellow together pretty equall parts of each for a nice green).
Apply the paint to the boxes quickly, could be haphazardly, doesnt need to be perfect.

  and quickly, before the paint dries completely, roughly wipe it back off with an old cloth, or paper towel.  The more you rub off, the more prim it will look.
  This is about what mine looked like after rubbing some of the paint off, i like doing this, because i dont have to sand anything this way, if you want even more paint off, you could sand your pieces  as soon as this paint dries good.

I just followed this process for each color and the end result was this.

They looked cute like this, but a little too brite, this is where the minwax comes it, i just use an old cloth and wipe a little on, then wipe most back off, leaving just a hint of color, and the product is sealed.

I wanted to add some labels, so i printed some out, then stained them with instant coffee, dried them in the oven, and cut them out to size.

I glued each label on and i was done, the label i made myself that im going to share is the woolens lable in the center.

 Just right click on the image and save it to your computer!

Hope this helps somebody!!


  1. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial. How sweet of you.

  2. very nice tutorial - thanks for sharing - Melody

  3. Love this and love the labels. I can't seem to open the pictures of the labels, any idea what I am doing wrong? LOL
    Thank you,

  4. Hi Ang! I am about to paint , for the first time ever, some paper mache boxes. I'm nervous about the moisture of the paint warping the boxes so I googled "how to..." and came across your blog post. Yours turned out wonderfully and give me confidence to go ahead on and "just do it".

  5. Was looking for a how to for doing stacking boxes...someone led me to your site...I have painted my boxes black, coated in wax, but not sure I put enough, but time will tell. It's getting late here now, but am hoping to actually paint & wipe 1 box and see what happens. I'm like a kid at Christmas when it comes to trying something I like....Thanks for posting!!

    1. Well, I couldn't stop at just trying the paint on one!!! 12:52am. and I have finished the 3 stacking boxes. May not have chose the perfect prints for the boxes, but for my first ones I am pleased with how they turned out and needless to say, I will be making more....Thanks again!!

  6. What an easy tutorial for these. Hope to try this out later .

  7. These are super cute! I have been looking for an idea such as this. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Your instructions are awesome and your boxes turned out great. Thank you for leaving this out on the internet so we could benefit from it!