In my Best of 2016 post, I mentioned how much I wanted to do another steamer trunk. One of my favorite clients read that post and enlisted me to makeover this old beauty she had been given from a family member.
I love to think about where these trunks have traveled in their lifetime. Now it's needed to hold some blankets, so time for a makeover.
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Here's how the trunk started.
First things first, I cut off all the oil cloth. I just used a straight edge razor and cut it off in sections.
It's a messy process.
Once the cloth is all gone, I scrubbed the wood with a scotch-brite pad and some warm water. The water and scrubbing dissolves the glue and cleans the old wood underneath. I kept changing the water to get it as clean as I could.
The metal hardware was in great shape, but just to make it stand out a little more, I painted it all in Lamp Black Milk Paint with a small brush. It's a little tedious, but with a good podcast on in the background, it goes pretty quick.
See what a difference a little black paint makes?
General Finishes Milk Paint is great for metal. It sticks well, and is very durable.
While the outside was drying, I started on the inside...
The insides of these are usually pretty musty, sometimes they are covered in paper, sometimes fabric. I pulled off as much of the fabric (in this case) as I could - the more you can remove the more the smell goes away. I did find the coolest label inside. I love seeing the old advertisements.
Cut your fabric to size, and apply a generous layer of the Mod-Podge. This seals in any left over smells and give the fabric a good surface to stick to.
Apply the fabric to the wet Mod-Podge and then I use a plastic wall scrapper to smooth the fabric out. Some wrinkles happen, but the all-over pattern hides it well.
Back to the outside...
I decided to stain the wood straps to add a little more contrast - they were a little beat up. I just used a quick coat of Espresso Wood Stain applied with a small brush, wiped off the excess with a cotton rag and let it dry.
Tucker decided he must get in the photo. He has a way of being right in the way :)
Here's the trunk all finished up! What a difference!!
I added new leather handles to this trunk. I found a great source for all the old trunk parts - they seem to have all the old pieces. Check out Brettun's Village if you are missing a piece.
See how fresh and clean the inside looks... I even re-glued the label. It was too good to get rid of.
Oh how I love a good steamer trunk makeover - this one is all cleaned up and ready to be used again!
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