Saturday, June 4, 2011

No Junk in This Trunk

When I was asked to makeover this trunk, I eagerly accepted the task.  It’s something a little different.  We had discussed a few options for the end result such as coffee table, casters on the bottom, etc, but she needs this specifically for storage so the inside had to be accessible.
Blue and Shiny… (*sigh*…I hate shiny)
Metal Trunk Makeover 009a
CONTINUED... (click link below)

Union Trunk & Luggage Company had some tough stickers I tell ya.
Metal Trunk Makeover 003b
The inside needs some work as well.Metal Trunk Makeover 007a
After the initial prep work I primed the entire trunk. I used Rustoleum grey primer making sure it was good to use on painted metal. I even liked the way it looked just primed.
Metal Trunk Makeover 020a
Metal Trunk Makeover 016a
My client wanted a old metal look for the trunk, so I decided on Tremclad’s Hammered Paints. I LOVED the look of this paint.
Metal Trunk Makeover 025
As I hadn’t used this hammered finish before I made sure to give it a try on a scrap piece of wood. I tried it on the wood without primer and again with the primer underneath to make sure I knew just how it would look.
metal trunk test piece
When I was sure I knew just how to apply this finish I got to work on the secondary prep work
Metal Trunk Makeover 032a
then started with the bronze color. In order to get the pitted/hammered metal look you need to apply a thicker coat.  Just be careful on the vertical bits.

Metal Trunk Makeover 042a
Metal Trunk Makeover 035b Ok.. back to the interior.  These metal trunks are plywood construction covered by … something ? I think its some sort of very thick paper or very stiff fabric. Honestly.. I don’t know. Either way, it wasn’t coming off.
I thought about wallpapering the inside, but I was afraid in the long term that adhesive would dry up and start to peel off of  “whateveritis” on this interior.  The inside was also very lumpy due to the plywood underneath, so I decided to clean it all up with what else?… paint.  Papering the inside bottom and lid with a vintage map paper added a decorative touch.
Metal Trunk Makeover inside combo
It’s so clean and fresh now, you could store just about anything in it.
Metal Trunk Makeover 044a
 Metal Trunk Makeover 051a
 Metal Trunk Makeover 057a
Metal Trunk Makeover 101a
Metal Trunk Makeover 072a
It’s very hard to capture the hammered look of this paint, but you can see a bit of it here.
Metal Trunk Makeover 076b
Metal Trunk Makeover 061a
Metal Trunk Makeover 085a
Metal Trunk Makeover 092a
Metal Trunk Makeover 095a
I think it cleaned up pretty nice.  And now it's something you can actually put in a family room.
Thanks for reading   

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  1. Don't hate me but I kinda liked the shiny blue! But I must say with the hammered finish and maps inside, totally awesome! Love your photo styling too. I'm sure your client will love it.

  2. Oh those trunks were the rage back in the 80's ~ I think my girlfriend got hers before she left for university. You sure know how to give something a facelift. I am tempted to load my old buffet onto the truck and take a road trip.... Hope you are having a great week-end Lisa!

  3. Wow Lisa! You did an amazing job! And the maps inside are just perfect too. Now I wouldn't be scared to put anything inside. ;)

  4. What a fabulous job, the 2 tone is perfect, I have never tried the hammered paint, but I have seen it and I will certainly give it a try!


  5. This is great! I just got an old trunk like this that I want to fix up and repaint and I've been looking for some ideas and maybe a little how-to's! sweet :)

  6. Way better, you did a great job. I have used that spray paint really does work. I like your combo.

  7. Gorgeous finish! Love the two toned effect. Honestly I would have overlooked that 'blue' trunk. I'm glad you didn't! What a winner!


  8. Beautiful job! I have an old trunk I picked up and have been afraid to do anything because the top has tears in it and I got so excited when you said it is very thick paper! So i still don't know how to repair this unless I cut it out and re-paper it? Anyway, loved your trunk!

  9. Lisa, that turned out great. Love the metal look.

  10. Wow! It looks fabulous. I have to admit I wasn't sure what you were going to do with the trunk. Cobalt blue is my favorite color, so I kind of liked the blue.

    But, you proved me wrong. I love the metal choice you made.


  11. That's a huge improvement! I'll have to check out the hammered paint. It looks like it gives a fairly realistic finish.

    Very cool!

  12. Great Job! I use the Hammered look for my metal patio furniture. It just gives it such a authentic look.

    Love the detailing with the two-tone and the interior.

    Lucky 7 Design

  13. Hmmm, I couldn't handle that blue shiny either. I love this look! The two tone is especially nice and the interior is so pretty. You did a fabulous job with this!


  14. Hmmm, I couldn't handle that blue shiny either. I love this look! The two tone is especially nice and the interior is so pretty. You did a fabulous job with this!


  15. Gorgeous!! I also love the hammered look. Perfect 2-tone design. Lucky Duck clinet!

  16. Fabulous job!! I really love the two-tone hammered metals, and the vintage map inside - an added bonus, imo! You are amazing - and quite the inspiration!!

  17. I have been so tempted but shy about tackling something like this... WOW! Thanks to you I might just go for it!

  18. I love what you did with this trunk! I think we have one of these in my attict! Going to look for it soon. Can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing at Crafty Catwalk!

  19. who would think that that blue, shiny trunk could turn into that ....very nice .... always loved that hammered paint .... used it on kitchen cabinet handles....alida :)

  20. How funny that I clicked on your picture in a blog hop. I already follow you and again you still amaze me.

  21. What a beautiful transformation! You did such a great job! Thanks for sharing

  22. gorgeous transformation! love your work!! you have tons of posts that would be great at my new weekly party "from trash to treasure" I'd love it if you joined in!

  23. awesome job dresses the room up well come visit me at

  24. I think I have just a little junk in the trunk lol!

    So beutiful. I want this in my home.

    Would love to see you link up at my new party that will run through Sunday!

  25. So many I have passed up. I thought nothing could fix them. I was wrong.
    WOW! Lisa

  26. What an amazing transformation! Love it! Mary

  27. This was the perfect thing to run across on Chic on a Shoestring tonight! I just picked up a really beat up metal trunk at a thrift store today for $5!! It needs a LOT of love and I'm glad that I can just prime and paint over the scratched up ugly red exterior! I love the old map inside yours too! Thanks :)

  28. Hi Lisa - Such a great transformation - the trunk looks sooo good! You could see just what it needed!!

  29. Lovely tips! The trunk looks gorgeous! Have a delightful day, Kellie xx

  30. This looks great. And I love the map on the inside - perfect touch!

    Just disovered your blog and now I'm pouring over it!

  31. Just found the same trunk at value village! It needs some work but is in decent shape. Did yours come with a key? Mine is locked and I can't seem to get it open. Wondering if there is a trick to it that i'm missing.

    1. Hi There
      No it didn't come with any key at all. Not even sure it was able to lock. A butter-knife is my quick fix for all thing Good luck with it.

  32. I just picked up one of these and was wondering if I'd be able to paint the metal -- can't wait to get at it! Just wondering how much you sanded/what type of sandpaper used to prep before priming?

    1. sorry, just realized I didn't leave my email address -- you can reach me at -- thanks!:)

  33. I have an old trunk that I want to fix up, and expected to spend a large chunk of time finding ideas I could use. I type "refurbish metal trunk" in Google, yours is the second link I open, and it's perfect! It's the exact horrid blue trunk with "paper" lined interior that I have (granted, in better shape), and now I know exactly what to do. Thanks so much!!

  34. Hi i just purchased the same trunk but didn't realize till i got home the it has a serious rust problem on the bottom. any tips of clearing away the rust?

    1. Hello. Here are a few tips to remove rust. once it is removed use a good primer and a couple of coats of paint. It should all be good after that

      Personally I have used the baking soda method. Make a paste out of baking soda and water and use a scrubbing pad to scrub away the rust.

      Hopefully the rust isn't too bad that you'll need a sander or grinder! Good luck!


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