Sunday, 1 December 2013

Shoe valet

Fashionisto Jason bought some new shoes the other day and expressed an interest in storage for his growing shoe care accoutrements... Did you know that storage for the tins of nugget and kiwi polish, shoe brushes and polishing cloths is called a shoe valet? Very laa dee daa.

(When we were kids we had a crappy old timber tool box which we stored in a cupboard near the back door - we'd polish our school shoes on the back steps.)

Anyway, we bought a couple of old 'shoe valets' from a friend who no longer needed them. One of the timber boxes was particularly beautiful and had a very ornate chip carved lid with floral and leaf motifs...but it was in a sad state and there are splits in the timber lid. It wasn't until I started cleaning it that I realised it was made out of cedar.

Chip carved cedar box before sanding it back

To restore the old cedar box, Jason hand-sanded it, inside and out, with a medium grit sand paper to remove all the bits of paint and years of grime - just to bring back the deep rich colour of the wood. For the carved top he used steel wool to bring it back to life.

applying a natural finish onto the box
After dusting it off, we applied a natural finish with a clean cotton cloth to restore and rejuvenate the wood. We let that dry for half an hour and then Jason applied a coat of liquid beeswax and buffed it off with a soft cloth.

the completed box ready for use as a shoe valet

It came up beautifully - it seems kind of wrong using if for storing shoe polish and other shoe accessories...but as someone said to me, why can't utilitarian things be beautiful? It is much nicer than the plastic utility tray we used to have for the shoe accessories.

Ta da! A lovely shoe valet worthy of fashionisto Jason and can be stored away in his wardrobe

Lucky Jason owning such lovely storage!

So what do you use for shoe polish/accessory storage? Or do people still polish their shoes?


  1. We have a nasty plastic box for our shoe bits and bobs. This gorgeous old wooden box is just beautiful and perfect, functional and beautiful is the way to go. mel x

    1. Our old one was nasty too Mel. It was happily discarded when we finished this small project. Xx

  2. Wow! I'm impressed at the way Jason looks after his shoes particularly the shoe trees!!!

    1. He loves his shoes. He's also buying better quality shoes and looks after them...he gets them re-heeled and re-soled too. xx

  3. Oh wow!!! What a joy to reach for this beautiful box whenever your shoes need a bit of grooming, I'm all for adding a bit of beauty to utilitarian things, that brightens the day! There's nothing like gorgeous grooming kits, especially the wooden ones, like old shaving kits and hairbrushes. The very word 'shoe valet' has such a wonderful ring to it. Very english heritage!xx

  4. It's lovely! My parents also had an old tool box type shoe shine kit. The "handle" was flat and wide, to put your foot on as you polished your shoes. Brings back memories.

  5. That's beautiful, puts my plastic box to shame! With the absurd price of good shoes in Australia we should take more care of them and repair rather than just replace.

  6. That turned out beautifully! My dad had a wooden box to store his shoeshine items. That would make me want to polish my shoes. I've always used a huge Tupperware container...not so classy or motivating. :)


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