Old Trunk makeover

At the beginning of the summer yard sale season I happened upon this great old trunk that I shared with you here. I couldn't believe the cost was only $15. It took me awhile to get going with this project, but now it is mostly complete and I am loving it.

At first I thought it would make a great coffee table for in front of the sectional couch in our basement. However, as I was painting it, I really felt more and more like it belonged in my sun room. And I couldn't be happier!!

Here is the state of the trunk when I purchased it. To most people it was disgusting, but I knew there was a treasure under all of that dust, cobwebs, chipping paint, and mold. Mold? Yes, that's correct. And it smelled soooo musty!

I wasn't thrillled with all of the dirt, and stank mold. But look how cute it is inside. The shelf on the top slides back and forth for easy access to whatever is stored in the bottom. If you look at the photo above on the top, left inside the door, you will notice a name written in there. It says "Dr. R. H. Selby". So this must have been a doctor's chest.

I first started out by using a paint scraper to get at all of the loose paint. All 4 sides of the trunk had flaking and peeling paint, so I made sure to really get anything that was loose.
Then I began scrubbing this thing up and down, inside and out. I used warm to hot water with a mild soap. I really needed to get into all of the nooks and crannies inside since it was a bit moldy.
Once I was satisfied that the trunk was free of dirt and chipping paint, the next step was to prime it.

I primed it both inside and outside with "Kilz Interior/Exterior White Primer/Sealer". Kilz generally does a good job of sealing in any mold or bad odor that might be lingering in the wood.

Once the trunk was primed I waited at least a day or two and then painted it on the outside. I decided on black and I bought a quart of Glidden Interior Semi-Gloss in "Onyx Black".
Don't you just love it? I know I do!!
My favorite part is the texture. You can really see the years of layered paint being applied and scraped off again. Under the green paint was also layers of white and gold. The trunk seemed to be homemade, so I really don't know how long it has been around. However, based on the handles, hinges, and corner hardware, my guess would be from the 1950's or earlier.

Here it is in the sunroom. You can really see the texture of the trunk in the photo below:

I purchased a couple of house plants at Home Depot. I replanted the small one on the left in a ceramic pot that I showed you here. It was originally black and pink with polka dots when I got it for 50 cents at a yard sale. I spray painted the pot with Antique White.

Pretty much everything on the top of the trunk I have purchased at yard sales or estate sales over the years.

Today I am linking up to Kimba's DIY party. Clink her button to join in the fun.

I thought I would leave you today with what I look at all day while at work in my home office.

Ozzy is such a brat. Lucky for him he is cute too.


  1. Love the picture of your cat - mine do the same thing! Your trunk redo is AWESOME! That texture is to die for!! Your arrangement on the trunk is very nice ... love the colors. Great job!

  2. stunning I love it

    and the top looks great too - you should put it in betweennapsontheporch tablescape event this week...


  3. What a transformation!

    Love the black...


  4. You are a brave woman to take on that project! It totally paid off. It looks great!

  5. I love your trunk ! I have two black ones and they are great for storage too ! Mine are not done on the inside - so yours is way better !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

  6. Your cat matches your trunk! I got the Onyx Black as my freebie in the big paint giveaway, now I have an idea for it. This was a great tutorial! Visiting from Kimba's party. :)

  7. Great job on that trunk! Makes me want to go find an old beat up trunk and make it "new".

  8. I'd never have even taken a second look at that trunk in its original state. Great eye!

  9. Very nice! That looked like quite a job but your patience paid off - it looks great! I love the texture too!

  10. Love it! It looks great!

    Feel free to check out my blog, it's brand new and still in the making...But, the link is http://oopsicraftmypants.blogspot.com

  11. Good job! It looks great!

    Greetings from Italy,

  12. Great trunk, looks fabulous in black!

  13. I am so impressed. I would not have seen the great potential in that trunk. Way to go!

  14. Your trunk redo is amazing. And I love where you have it and all your colors. Your curtains, their style, your wall color. We could get into trouble if we were next door neighbors. Our poor husbands would come home every day to a new look :) Beautiful!!

  15. Love it! Amazing! Love how it looks with your display on top, love the pops of green! Your kitty is to cute!

  16. Hi Stephanie. Thanks for stopping by yesterday. I'm still trying to play catch up. Love what you did with the old trunk. It sure looks like it was a lot of work, but the payoff was well worth it.

  17. You did a fantastic job on that trunk! Love it!


  18. Very Very Cute.

    This is my first time to your blog and once I am done I will click follower and add you to my blog roll. Come on over for a visit I have a give away going on.

    Its So Very Cheri

  19. Wonderful transformation. When I see old trunks I have to wonder what personal treasures that person must have kept in it.

  20. You did a fantastic job at giving that trunk a new and better life!

  21. Great makeover. The trunk looks beautiful in your sunroom.

  22. Hi,
    I just had to comment even tho I realize I'm enjoying an old post. Your trunk looks beautiful - I especially love how you used the green and white accents! Thought I'd tell you that my guess is that you have an old "tack trunk" used by riders to take their gear (tack) to horse shows or fox-hunts. I'm redoing an old one of mine by wrapping it with the new beadboard wallpaper everyone's blogging about... Found your post and then your entire blog - great ideas, THANKS!