July 12, 2011

Steamer Trunk Makeover

I have had this old wooden steamer trunk sitting in my upstairs craft room (which is a hot MESS, by the way), and I just kept filling it with fabrics and extra glue sticks, etc. I liked how the trunk looked; it had been painted blue before and then stripped, so you could see some of the blue paint peeking through. Buuuuuut, I thought that it was a little dark. It had such beautiful lines and leather straps, and you couldn't see them through all of the dark wood.

So, I decided to paint it. But, I didn't want to paint the whole thing, so I taped off every leather strap and every wooden cross beam. Ho.lee.crap. It took me forever. And it took an entire roll of painters tape.

I began to paint inside the wooden cross beams with white paint. What I thought was raw wood was actually wood that was covered with a light canvas fabric. The trunk wasn't in that great of shape, and the white paint really highlighted the roughness of the piece (which I wasn't sure if I liked at first).

So, m after I painted (it took me for-EHHHH-ver---quick, name that movie!), I lightly ran over the white paint with a sanding block.

aaaand, I loved the look! It highlighted the texture of the canvas below, and made the whole thing look aged. In this picture, the top white section has been sanded, and the bottom white section has not been sanded. See the difference?

Here is the finished product!

I stack of old books that I ripped the covers off of and tied with twine.

Love the end result! This is going in my booth at the Depot....I think it will be hard to part with it, and I've only been finished with it a day!


  1. Love this! SO modern and vintage all in one! Just visiting from Perfectly Imperfect link party.

  2. I love the contrast on this - beautiful! Now I want to go out and find myself a cool trunk.

    P.S. - is the movie The Sandlot? :)

  3. i also love the contrast! it has a graphic feel but is also rustic! very cool!

  4. Amazing job, have a few of these think I will try it?

  5. this turned out so well. it looks really good.

  6. I love all the different textures and colors! So chic. I have one of these but mine is not wood so I have been back and forth about painting it. But after seeing this, I really want it to be white!!

  7. I like it! I feel inspired to do something with my trunk

  8. OMG! amazing, what kind of white paint did you use?

  9. Hi I really love what you have done with this. I have been looking up what people have done with these old trunks as I just got one for $10 at at yardsale. I want to use it as a coffee table but it need alot of TLC! I have been considering painting it a cream colour (right now it is fire-engine red) and your projects gives me a better idea of what it would look like.

  10. Beautiful change! Now it looks so light and bright!

  11. Very cute! I have an old trunk that I have been trying to figure out what to do with it. Thanks! (PS- we are new follower!)

  12. I love this! I'm doing something similar with an old chest and turning it into my toolbox. Very cute!

    Love your blog!

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