Map Trunk Refurbish pt. 1

Map Trunk Before and After

I found this trunk at the usual place, an estate sale. It looked pretty terrible, but it was really sound structurally. It was sturdy, the latches worked really well and lined up perfectly. Excellent candidate for a project. First, to prep the trunk, was the usual sanding process. You can see the difference here, from where the top is sanded and the bottom wasn’t..

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Then the whole thing. The interior panels were just plywood, so not really worth sanding down.

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When I was re-doing the Dome Top Steamer Trunk, I was thinking of different ways I could re-finish its interior. Ultimately, leaving the bare wood the way it was won out on that trunk, but one of the ideas I came up with was using some of these maps I had as a covering. These maps weren’t super old and full of character. They were from the era just before GPS and Google maps, so they were kind of ugly and obnoxious. I used some different stains and paint on a test piece to see what I could come up with. Two different stains and some dark brownish paint later, and this was the result…

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I was pretty excited with how it turned out! It kind of had an old leather map look. Huge improvement! The next step was to cut the map pieces down to size.

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I ALMOST cut the piece too small because I didn’t take into account that I was going to scrunch it up for texture. That shrunk it down quite a bit, but thankfully it still worked out. Next, I tried to stick the map to the trunk using 3M Spray adhesive. As soon as I applied the stain to the paper, it completely detached from the wood. Time to break out the Mod Podge! Worked like a charm.

I applied the lighter stain to the whole map…

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Then I worked the darker stain around the outside and then lightly through the middle. The final touch was the dark brown paint only around the edges. I used the same old rag that applied the stain to blend in the edges of the paint with the stain.

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Tada!! Lastly was a coat of polyurethane and it was finished! My favorite part about the maps is that both sections have locations in them that have been major parts of my life.

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I’m still toying with the idea of using something to line the map and make the edges cleaner, but we’ll see. There are also big plans for the interior, but they’re still in progress. I’ll keep you posted!!

Dome Top Steamer Trunk Repair

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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…

An Excuse for the Beach…

There are two benefits from thrifting for beach equipment. 1. What house doesn’t have a few things that were bought for a family beach trip, used only one time and then stored in the garage for the next however many years? This means you can buy those things, barely used, and at a fraction of a cost. 2. Once you have it, you have the perfect excuse to go to the beach!

For example:

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$2 for both of those watermelon umbrellas. They aren’t just regular “Stick them in the ground and hope they stay put” umbrellas.  They’ve got nice clamps on the end, so you can attach them to your beach tables or chairs.

$1.50 for the beach blanket / tablecloth. Much nicer than a towel because you’ll have room too move around and set down your things without covering them in sand.

In the event that the weather turns gloomy while you’re out at the beach, as it did with me, don’t worry. That’ll just give you time to check some of the local thrift stores where you’ll find things like super groovy cowgirl boots…

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A large, shaggy, pleather jacket…

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Or a nice straw hat for your next beach trip…

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Happy Summer!

Nashville Farmers Market

We found the Nashville Farmers’ Market by accident while we were driving around the city and we were not disappointed by our decision to stop. They had plenty of BEAUTIFULLY ripe fruits and vegetables..

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Local honey..

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Jams and pickled things…

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Inside, they had several small booths selling different beauty products and candles etc…

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This candle booth had candles that smelled like everything from fresh linen to fruit loops to leather. I was boring and just went with “Breeze.”

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There is also a nice cafeteria…

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…with everything from Indian food…

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… to BBQ..

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You know you are in the south when there is an entire menu section dedicated to varieties of Grits!

My favorite was probably the kettle corn place.

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I have never seen so many varieties of kettle corn! We sampled many of them, and they were all fantastic!

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Of all the food we tried in Nashville, this was probably the best. I have to recommend that you go there and buy a couple of bags. I can’t believe I never noticed the White Cheddar Jalapeno and the Dill Pickle! That’s it! Time to go back!

Tiny Fancy Lady… Thrifties

Saturday I went to an Estate Sale that had three different closets filled with clothes from one tiny fancy lady. The absolute best find at the whole sale was this dress. FIERCE!

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If only I were a size 4.. This lady also had a thing for leather. There were probably 10 different leather jackets in various colors, leather dress suits, biker vests and a GORGEOUS trench coat…

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My tiny mother found a lot of nice things, and Linda found the coziest cashmere sweater. There was also this jumpsuit lacy thing.. Imagine what kind of woman it would take to rock this outfit!

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The only other real find from the day was this dart board. Only $5. It’s in fantastic shape and excellent quality.

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Now who’s going to hang it for me??? Calling all handymen…