I found this steamer trunk at an estate sale a few months ago. I really liked the dark green and brass colors, but it had this big glob of tape residue on the top and a water ring.
I thought I could get the white stuff of with some Goo Be Gone, but apparently the tape residue was as vintage as the trunk and it would not come off. It didn’t even think about coming off. It was pretty discouraging, actually. I didn’t originally want to sand it, because I was worried about messing up the finish that was still good. At this point though, the rest of the finish didn’t matter if there was a huge white chunk of ugly on the top. I had pretty much given up on restoring it, so the whole thing turned into more of an experiment. After a lot of sanding and scraping most of it was gone and the top was still really smooth. Unfortunately I slacked on taking a picture of this step. I found a paint color at Home Depot that was almost an exact match to the green, so painting was the next step. I wanted to paint the bottom side of the trunk first, so I could see how close of a match it actually was and if I would still like it.
The bottom had some wear too, so I sanded it a bit and then painted. I thought the color was great, so I set about doing the most annoying part of this whole project, taping off EVERYTHING. UGH! So tedious.
This is the bottom again. I used a little bit of filler to get rid of a few scratches and dents. Again, it’s always best to experiment on the side where no one will see it if you’re displaying it in your house. I did this same thing on my dresser though, so I figured it would turn out fine.
Much better right? I intentionally didn’t want the paint to be 100% perfect, because I like the worn look. After I repeated this whole process 5 MORE TIMES, to finish all the other sides, It was a huge improvement. Something was still missing for me though. I decided to try something I’ve seen on Domestic Imperfection, she calls it the “Dirty Cowboy Treatment.” Basically, you just add some stain or glaze to it, to give it the nice worn look. I put it across all of the painted surfaces, with extra in the edges and corners. I think it’s perfect now!
Somehow I wrote this whole post without noticing the cat in the picture below… it’s so nice to have company when I’m working outside! You can also see Keen ears poking up on the right side of the box… silly animals…
Right now it’s just stacked in my room as a make shift end table. I’m not sure where it will end up, or if I’ll even keep it, but it was a good learning experience!