Master Bedroom Re-do: Project #4 – Steamer Trunk Re-do

This steamer trunk has seen a lot of changes. It belonged to my grandmother during her Navy days, stayed with my grandparents through their many moves, and eventually made its way to me. By that time it was lime green (it matched the bookcase) so I painted it white. It served as my coffee table until I got married, and ended up in the window alcove in our master bedroom. By now it had taken even more wear and tear, and the paint was definitely in need of refreshing.

I chose to repaint it the same pale gray color as the bookcase (guess these two furniture items are destined to match). I also decided to finally refinished the hardware. The first time I painted the trunk my dad removed all the hardware so I could clean it, but I never got around to re-attaching it. Ten years later I guess it’s time. πŸ™‚ I thought about leaving it the original brass, since it had lots of patina. But I decided it wasn’t nicely distressed, it was just dirty looking.

I chose gunmetal gray spray paint and gave it a few light coats. I painted the screw heads too, since I wanted a uniform look, by jamming the screws into the cardboard I’d laid the rest of the hardware on.

It worked great! I love how the trunk turned out. The hardware is small, but putting it back on definitely gives it a more finished look.

The inside of the trunk was lined in this green patterned wallpaper. Again I considered keeping it for the vintage feel, but decided it was old and dirty and contributing to the musty smell that clung to everything I stored inside.

I was afraid it would be really hard to remove, but to my delight it mostly peeled right off in long strips. I say mostly…there was a section on the lid that was very stubborn, but I sprayed it down with vinegar water and thanks to a paint scraper and some elbow grease I got it off too.

The bare wood underneath was also in pretty sad shape, so I decided to re-line the trunk with some striped wrapping paper. It was a pain, and required way to much math to cut the pieces correctly. I used spray adhesive to stick it on, but I don’t know how well it will hold up. It may be a temporary (and very imperfect) solution, but it works for now.

At least my linens no longer smell like an old attic (they now smell like vinegar and spray adhesive instead). πŸ™‚ I’m still deciding how I want to style the trunk, but I’m so happy with how it looks. I love how it adds character to our bedroom, and cherish all the memories surrounding it.

Do you like to decorate with vintage pieces, or do you prefer shiny and new?
Master Bedroom Re-do Projects:
painted bookcase DIY
reupholstered headboard
Choosing new wall paint


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