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!!

The “Wing It” Bench

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I came across this bench at an estate sale a WHILE ago. It looked like a disaster, but it was such a sturdy little thing I couldn’t pass it up. It came home with me and there it sat for months, like over 12 of them. Finally a few weeks ago I started on the sanding process. It was definitely a process.

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It was surprising how easily the stain and the majority of the ugly blotches came out. It was a terrible stain job too, sloppy and so thick you couldn’t see any of the wood grain. After I finished the sanding, it sat in the garage for a few more weeks because I still had no clue what to do with it.

Inspiration came from digging through all of the random paint and stain cans that I’ve acquired from the Home Depot Oops Paint section.

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I had some reddish weatherproofing wood treatment that I’d been wanting to use. Ironic since I hated the red that was on the bench originally. It would have been too gaudy to make the whole thing red, so I went with just the legs. There was also a new stencil that hadn’t been used yet, so now was as good a time as any…

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A little distressing, some regular polyurethane and it was finished. It was fun to go into a project and just wing it.

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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…

Vintage Phone Table Redo

So I found this little table by the side of the road. IDespite my mom’s objections, I picked it up. I thought with a little TLC it could be adorable. As you’ll see from the pictures, it was covered in about 25 different layers and colors of paint. It was wobbly and it was sad.

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The first picture shows it in all of its peely glory. In the second one, I had already painted the legs with a brown base boat and peeled off A LOT of the paint already. What’s left is what I couldn’t get off aka it was too much work.

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Ignore my feet please!

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I glued the joints to make it a bit more sturdy, and because I didn’t have clamps at the time,  I used bungees. Yay for improvising.

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So my laziness cost me in the long run. After the base coat, you could still clearly see the chunky old paint showing through. So I had to go back and peel it off and paint over it again. Don’t cut corners!

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It was my plan to distress it when I was done, so I thought it might be kinda cool to add some gold between the brown and blue to add a little sparkly effect. There wasn’t a science to it, just slapped some on there before the blue coat.

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Once I finished with the final blue layer and the distressing, I wasn’t really satisfied. It needed a little something else. I’ve been in love with this stencil table over at Domestic Imperfection and it gave me an idea…

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Tada! A few coats of polycrylic and it was finished.

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I think it’s perfect! I use it as a little hallway table with candles and a picture. The lighting is terrible though, so getting a good picture is near impossible. That’s what’s great about blogs, you see other people’s great ideas and make them your own!

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