If this trunk looks familiar it’s because I painted it once before! I got pretty creative the last time and painted it in ocean colors with a mermaid on the front. you can see that post here: Hannah
I put it in my booth just before the pandemic hit and then the antique mall was closed for a couple of months. After the mall reopened it still didn’t sell, even after lowering the price. Whomp whomp… ☹️
That’s the great thing about paint though, you can always change it up! It’s disappointing when you have to repaint something, especially if you really liked what you did to it the first time but I’ve found that those artsy pieces don’t sell as easily as the neutral ones that can work with pretty much any decor so I brought it home for a re-do.
Unfortunately, after sitting in my booth in the humidity all the latches got pretty rusty. I was able to get them all cleaned and moving freely again except for the front latch which ended up breaking off. When I finished painting the trunk for the second time, I glued the front latch on in a semi-open position. It can’t be used but at least it looks better than not having it there at all.
This time around I went with a neutral color palette, layering paint to create an aged finish. I left the corner bumpers and other decorative metal as it was along with the interior of the trunk. I painted the larger main panels in Taupe, blended with Java around the edges to give it that old-world look. I used black on the smaller edge panels. I painted the wood pieces with latex paint in raw wood color. Then I topped everything with antique wax to darken it up.
Hopefully, this vintage look will be more popular than the nautical theme I went with last time! This trunk would make an interesting end table or decor item and could be used as a nightstand or at the foot of the bed to store extra blankets. Below are images of the original trunk, the first transformation, and now the second. Let me know which version of this vintage trunk you like better!
- Rustoleum Chalked – Taupe
- Folk Art HD Chalk – Java
- Folk Art HD Chalk – Rich Black
- Waverly wax – Antique
One thought on “Vintage Steamer Trunk”
Gorgeous trunk! I love what you did with it. I also enjoyed the mermaid version. I almost always go for full-on color, but I really do love the neutral version you did here. It seems to be in sync with the trunk’s personality, or something. 😉 I bet it will sell quickly. I love that you share the process and include a materials list. So helpful. I always enjoy seeing your renovated pieces! -lisa
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