Display case Makeover

Updated: Apr 23

Recently a friend and I started an estate sale business. As we are building our business, we are acquiring things to use during estate sales. I came across this large wooden display case at the Shipshewana Auction Barn a few weeks ago. I like the size because it had plenty of room to display small treasures. I didn't particularly like the color of the wood or the existing lining. I knew I could change both of those. So for a mere $20 it became mine.

I knew I wanted to paint it and distress it. I couldn't remove the glass in the lid so I masked it with Frog Painter's tape.

I cleaned the wood with Krud Cutter in preparation for paint.

Then I sprayed it with Rustoleum Chalked Spray Paint in the Charcoal color. I love the coverage I get on this paint, particularly the charcoal color.


After it was dry, I removed the painter's tape and distressed the paint a bit.

I put the hinges back on the case.

And I added a knob to the top to help lift the lid. I really like this one and it was really inexpensive. I thought it matched the case really well.

Next, I needed to add lining to make the treasures "pop."

I used a piece of foamcore, cutting it to the size of the case. Then I added some cotton batting and a new piece of black velvet. I secured the fabric to the back of the foam core with shipping tape and inserted the liner into the case.


I cleaned the glass on the case and now it is ready to use.

This is now the perfect showcase for our small, unique items we will have at our estate sales. '

I used a few of my vintage souvenir collection pieces for the photograph. The piece in the upper right hand corner is a coin purse from O'Hare International airport. The pink and blue items are makeup compacts. One is from New York City and the other is from Washington D.C. The small cylinder is from Rock City. It is actually a small telescope. The two bottom pieces are paperweights from Roanoke, Virginia and Cheyenne, Wyoming. None are for sale. :)

This case will serve us well in our estate sale business. In addition to the original cost of the case ($20), I spent about seven dollars on paint, eight dollars on velvet, two dollars on foam core and two dollars on the knob. So all in all, the case ended up costing about $39.


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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.