Trunk Rehab

Nina Rose Kenney Day
by Nina Rose Kenney Day
1 Material
9 Hours
I was given a foot locker trunk that belonged to a WWII U.S.Marine. I wanted to honor his service, as well as make a statement coffee table for my living room.
This is how the trunk looked when I received it. Dusty and smelling musty, but also having LOTS of potential!
It still had the original military paper lining, but since that's what was smelling musty, it had to go. Sixty years worth of storage - if only the paper could tell the stories of what it had seen.
Some vinegar water and a plastic scraper did the trick.
The leather straps are beat up, but still intact, so I decided to keep them. I may have to replace them with pieces of a leather belt some day, but today they stay.
All of the paper lining came out, but still smelling a little musty, so I went looking for my TeaTree Oil - it kills fungus.
All out of TeeTree Oil, so made do with Eucalyptus. They're cousins, right?

And it smells wonderful!
Next: taping off for painting.
I watered down some of our interior wall paint, so keep an antique look. I don't like it, but it gave a good base coat.
I used an interior paint we had on hand - Walmart ColorPlace Interior Latex Wall and Trim Paint in Red Delicious, but decided it was too pink. Second coat was more of what I had on hand -20501E Apple Barrel Bright Red Matte Acrylic Craft Paint.
The lid is Apple Barrel 21484E Admiral Blue Matte Acrylic Craft Paint. It is quick drying, and two coats looked good.
A few minor touchups needed, but taping the white basecoat to paint the red first, then taping the red to paint the white worked really well - nice, crisp lines. I used more Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Craft Paint in 20403E White.
I hot-glued a wooden craft star to the end of a pencil to create a stamp.
The stamp didn't work so well, so I hand-painted to fill out the gaps.
I used AB Matte Acrylic Craft Paint in 20404E Black on the hinges and metal edges.
Last step was to use a Acrylic Sealer with a gloss finish, inside and out. Now the metal looks new, and I know the trunk will last for years!
Suggested materials:
  • I was given the trunk, and had all of the other materials on hand.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments