Dome Top Steamer Trunk Repair

Before and After 2

First, let me start by saying, “What a lot of work!” Especially compared to the first trunk I refinished. Secondly, I am so excited to write this post. I’ve had this thing for months and I’ve only been able to work on it a little bit at a time. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? You can see the original in the before and after picture. Apparently someone thought they would try their hand at refinishing it by painting those awful green stripes and white accents. First I tried to see if I could get the paint off by sanding, scraping and paint thinner…

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After a good hour of that nonsense, I gave up and decided that painting over it would be the next best option. In the picture above, you can see I’d already given up on getting the green off and started filling in holes and taping off the wood areas. That pretty much covers the next step in the refinishing. I used regular spackling past to fill the holes and larger dents. I left the old leather on the trunk until after I painted it and covered the areas where it had already crumbled off with newspaper and tape. This part was the most tedious. Not only does it take a long time, but it doesn’t get any prettier while you’re doing it…

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Things started looking up after the first coat of spray paint, though…

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Finally, no more ugly green…

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Few things are more satisfying than peeling back clean paint lines. Look at that, what an improvement already. The paper peeled off really easily, but I had to use a box cutter and screw driver to get the leather off. There was also some glue residue left, but a little sanding and scrubbing with a wire brush took it off pretty easily.

Next came the stain. Minwax, Colonial Maple…

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Even better, but it needed more shine. I found a gallon of polyurethane for floors at the Home Depot in the secret little scratch and dent section in the back for $9. I googled as much as I could about it, and I couldn’t find anything about using floor polyurethane on projects other than floors. I figured, “What’s the worst that could happen?” It could look absolutely fantastic, that’s what!

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After the first coat, some of the edges and knots soaked up the shine, but the second coat took care of that. The last thing that needed to be fixed on the exterior was the feet. I got a 50 cent piece of wood from the scrap section in Home depot and some furniture sliders.

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I also used more power tools on this project than I ever have before. First it was my miter saw to cut the scrap wood down to the right size, then electric drills to attach the wood and sliders to the bottom of the trunk. I was pretty proud of myself…

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The reason I had to make a new base was because one of the metal feet was missing and I have no clue at this point about how to replace it…

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Also, I can’t imagine the trunk sliding around on those metal knobs would be good for anyone’s floors. I thought about adding wheels instead of sliders, but they were all ugly. It seemed like it would just look awkward. This covers everything that I did to the outside. I have some ideas for the inside that I’m really excited about, but that’s for another post…

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What project isn’t complete without some help from the cat…

Bathroom Facelift

I’ve expressed my feelings before about the unfortunate peachy two-toned tiles in my bathroom. It’s too much of an undertaking to replace it right now, so I’ve been left to try about 5 different paint colors in an attempt to find a color that makes the tiles tolerable. My last color was a step in the right direction, but it ended up being way to dark. The whole room felt closed and tiny…

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I also learned the value in sampling the paint before painting. I always pick up any good paints I find in the oops paint section of home depot, so I had plenty of options already in the garage. The light in my bathroom is apparently very bizarre though, because none of the paint looked like it should have once it was on the walls…

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The two samples at the end were supposed to be grey, not brown and the one that looks grey was supposed to be light blue. So… test your colors. Anyway, I chose the second color from the right, which was the color left over from my bedroom. I was impressed, as I normally am with Behr, at how outstanding the coverage was. It only took two coats of Behr paint to cover up the really dark teal color..

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The left side is two coats and the right is after one. Another problem I had, that you can see from the picture above, is the paint lines. After so many coats of paint, the paint lines are just ridiculously bad regardless of the use of painters tape and edging tools.

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You can see the lighter color, the old teal color and even some of the dark green from two colors ago. My mother had the perfect solution, as mothers often do. Turns out a little line of caulk fixed everything…

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Tada!! I hope the tip about the caulk lines was helpful. That is certainly going to make my life easier in the future! Thanks, Mom.

If You Lack The Hospitality Gene Like I Do…

In my post about traveling with only a carry-on, I mentioned packing hotel toiletries instead of buying them at your destination or packing full size bottles. Another great use for them is in your guest bathroom…

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I keep a jar filled with all kinds of hotel goodies and disposable razors, in case I have friends or family over and they have forgotten something. It’s convenient for them because they don’t have to ask for anything or waste ten minutes in the shower (while the hot water runs out) trying to squeeze the last few drops out of a shampoo bottle that I keep forgetting to replace. Cold, half-washed guests are much less cheerful, I’ve found.

I don’t get credit for this idea, though. I stayed with my cousin in her student flat and when I went to use the shower she said, “Here is my shampoo and if you need anything else, you can probably find it in here.” Then she opened a little jar filled with an assortment of whatever toiletries anyone could ever need. Brilliant! She’s a smart one, that cousin of mine. There are a lot of benefits to doing this.. It makes you seem like a much better host than you might actually be. It gives a purpose to any empty jars lying around your house. Most importantly though, it dresses up your horrendously peachy, 1960’s style bathroom… OK, maybe those three things are directed mostly at me and my hospitality ineptness, obsession for ground glass jars and my out-dated bathroom… but you get the idea…

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I’m still looking for the best way to dress this bathroom up and the jars are a good start. If anyone else has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Take your dog to the Keys they said..

It will be fun they said…

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My parents have taken our dog, Keen, to the Keys several times and it really is a lot of fun having him there. So much fun in fact that I decided to go with them on their next trip. Instead of us all cramming in one room or spending a ton of money on an extra hotel room, we decided to look for a rental house or condo. It started off so well! We found plenty of houses that accepted pets and had really good prices. I e-mailed my favorites so that I could verify availability and book. Easy, right? Not. At. All. There are so many restrictions on dogs! I had no idea it would be so complicated!

Our first choice wouldn’t allow huskies because of the insurance. I work in insurance and I know how the insurance companies can be, so it was hard to argue that one. No problem because I had several back-ups! Then the next place wouldn’t accept dogs that were over 25 lbs, then another place had a 30lb limit. After that it was no fluffy dogs. UGH! I finally found one place that was all the way out on Cudjoe Key, which is about 23mi from Key West, that was available and didn’t hold grudges against 50lb, fluffy puppies.

That was just too far, so after spending a few days feeling like a hamster running in a wheel, we finally ended back at the original plan. They’re going to stay at the same hotel that they always use and I’m going to book a place for myself. All that effort for nothing! So for anyone out there that’s wondering, if you’re traveling with a dog that’s larger or hairier than a chihuahua, it might be hard to find a place to stay, apart from the large hotel chains. You should also be prepared to pay extra pet fees, regardless of your dog breed.

If anyone has any recommendations or alternative options, I would love to hear them!