I don’t know about you, but I think cruising the Facebook marketplace every now and again is a must. I’m assuming you’re like me in that you want beautiful décor at budget-friendly prices and you’re excited about the challenge of making a piece your own. I’ve found some real gems in the marketplace. When this trunk came across my feed with a $20 price tag, I was immediately sold. Follow along as I convert this bedraggled vintage trunk to a beautiful shabby chic coffee table on wheels.
Vintage Trunk: Starting Condition
In addition to peeling canvas, there were some signature cracks in the top of this trunk. It was a bit sunken in as well.
Fixing those Cracks
I settled on using some quarter board I had on hand to solve the sunken crack issue. I cut it to size and screwed it to the top with 1/4″ long screws to level out the cracks. It worked like a charm. From there, I peeled the canvas off the outside from most spots. I left a few panels that were intact.
I used wood filler to fill the cracks and level out some of the few remaining low lying spots. After a good bit of sanding to get it completely smooth, I was ready to paint.
Fusion Paint for the Win
I had some Inglenook Fusion Mineral Paint from Vintage Finishes from a recent armoire project. It paired well with the wood and metal colors of this vintage trunk. Green painters tape kept them free of paint. I used a paint brush I also purchased from Vintage Finishes for the majority of the painting, but needed to use some small brushes to get the corners and spots around the locks. It was a fairly quick step. I debated doing just one coat but ended up touching it up with a second coat.
Vintage Trunk in need of paint aging
I had thought the paint would look completely nice as is with the wood, but I ended up feeling it was missing something. It sat for a night and then I decided to use some dark wax I had to age the paint. It could have been accomplished by sanding the paint in areas but with the difference of the canvas in some spots, wood in others, and wood filler in others, I didn’t feel it was an adequate option. For this vintage trunk look, the wax gave it just the right touch.
Inside this Vintage Trunk
The inside of this trunk was not as easy to scrape clean as the outside was to peel off in long strips. I used some special cleaner purchased from door to door sales gals. This stuff has worked some magic on grease and cars. Anyway, I did my best to scrap all the loose bits off to ensure maximum sticking. It’s also important to rub off all the dirt as best you can. There can definitely be a smell, so jump on over to my other post on trunk refinishing for some other tips.
On my previous trunk project, I used a cotton material with glue and Mod Podge. Initially, I thought I would do the same with this vintage trunk, but then, I thought about the recent project I’d done with peel and stick wallpaper. I was sold on the idea of peeling a sticking. After looking at the options, I was fairly certain I would do a flower pattern. Just as I was about to place the order, I found this mandalla like one which really spoke to me for this vintage trunk. I was sad it didn’t have the measurement lines on the back like the last wallpaper I’d used, but I was alright without it. The hardest part was that it was slightly wider and stiffer than needed, so it required some finessing. A long scraper helped with smoothing it out. I did some of this while watching Bride of Boogedy with my kids for Halloween. A childhood favorite movie I couldn’t wait to show my girls. They were annoyed with the sound of the scraping, so I had to put a pause on the progress. I’m pretty smitten with how it turned out!
Easiest Part of the Project
I did a fair bit of searching for vintage wheels that were appealing and affordable. As usual, I landed back on Amazon, where I found these vintage wheels. They came with the screws the perfect length for my project and a screwdriver. I probably could have just screwed them in without drilling a hole but I didn’t. I decided to make my life easier by drilling the holes. In case you would like a tip for this type of thing, use a pencil to mark the holes. Then, remove the wheel to drill the holes. Using a drill to screw in the screws, tighten one screw 3/4 of the way and continue with the rest to ensure they all fit into the holes. Once the screws are all in, tighten them up. Presto! The 5-minute step was done.
Vintage Trunk Ready for Display
I hope you enjoyed the fairly easy project run down. With some muscle put in scraping and some budget friendly purchases, this bedraggled vintage trunk turned into a shabby chic coffee table showcase.
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