Faux Wood Grain Storage Box with Lid

Here is an idea for a diy storage box with lid that has the look of wood without the cost or labor needed to make a lidded storage box from wood.  This one is made of cardboard and simply faux painted to look like real wood.  

storage box with lid wood grain look

I used an empty computer paper box, but if you don’t have any, you could also consider making your own storage box with lid.  These storage boxes will look great in any basement, garage or man cave.



Cardboard storage box with lid

Craft paint in vanilla

Craft paint in burnt sienna and burnt umber

Paint glaze

Sponge paint brush- wide

Standard paint brush

Faux wood graining tool

Softening brush (or 1 additional clean paint brush)


Awl or scissors

Optional for finishing:

Decoupage glue (I used Mod Podge)

Sponge Roller

Paint box

Paint your box

Paint your lidded storage box with 2 coats of vanilla craft paint and a wide sponge paint brush.  Let dry.

Make glaze

To make the stain glaze, mix 1 part burnt umber and 1 part burnt sienna craft paint with 4 parts clear paint glazing medium.

Brush on dark glaze

Roll with faux grain applicator

Apply glaze

With a standard paint brush, paint on the glaze mixture to one side of the box or lid.  Immediately after applying the glaze, run the faux graining tool across the applied glaze to create the wood grain look.  You will get a more natural look if you run the tool one way, then the opposite way on the next pass.  Once you have completed the side, you can soften the grain pattern by softly brushing over the glaze with either a softening brush, or another clean paint brush.  Do this part very lightly, just enough to soften the look.

Once you have repeated this process on 3 sides of the box or lid, stop and let the glaze dry, before you complete the other sides.  Most glazes will dry in about an hour.

paint drips

Soften with paint brush

Tip:  make sure to check for drips.  If you have any drips that run over the side you are working on, just brush them softly with the softening brush or clean paint brush.  These areas will blend together once the box is fully covered.

Faux wood grain paint technique

Tip: Use less or more glaze to your preference.  If you think it looks to grainy, give it another soft coat of the vanilla paint and then repeat the graining with less color in the glaze.

Finishing coat

This part is optional, but once the graining step is complete and dry, you can apply several coats of decoupage to the entire inside and outside of the box and lid with a sponge roller.  The decoupage medium not only covers the glaze finish, but it also seals the cardboard and adds durability to the strength of the cardboard.

Measure and mark

Add handles

To add twine handles, measure and make two marks a distance of about 3-1/2  inches apart on 2 sides of the box.

Poke hole with awl
Insert twine

Poke holes with either a scissors or an awl.   Insert the twine and tie on the inside of the box.

wood look - storage box with lid

Storage box with lid and faux wood grain look

Thank you for checking this out.

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3 Responses to Faux Wood Grain Storage Box with Lid

  1. Ann February 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Amy, yet another smart and beautiful idea for storage boxes. Holy cow. I’m going to get one of those wood graining tools and try it out. I’m wondering how it would look in shades of white and grey with maybe a faded grey graphic on one side? Your boxes look great!


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