A New Twist on a Trunk Table. Monster Makeover

This was actually a huge makeover. I don't know if I can get all the steps in here or not. But.... I do a lot of repurposing. A LOT. ( if you follow me on Facebook you know!) And I love trunks. LOVE! I do quite a few trunks as coffee tables. A different look and finish each time. But this time I wanted to challenge myself. Go big or go home! So, I decided, this baby wasn't getting painted or anything -she was getting stripped and added to!
She was covered in mildew, inside and out. Covered in a mold filled canvas on the outside. So finding this natural beautiful wood underneath was awesome!
It took a LOT of work to get it back to this shape. I had to remove the canvas, the paper lining inside, then scrub her down hard! I used TSP and the mop bucket was black after three wipes. ICK!
After she dried, I put on a nice wood conditioner and then a simple clear coat. I chose to stain the accent wood pieces darker though. I did the same steps on the inside then stepped back and thought - it's nice. But it's missing something.
My Spin! So my spin on it is - if it's going to be a functional coffee table, it needs easier access for often used items like remotes and coasters.
I cut her open and installed pine shelving on the lower part. The pine boards are removable so you can use the "basement" of it as hidden storage for money, Christmas stuff... or ... whatever you want hidden ;)
Then I added another shelf over top of the cut out - for games, blankets etc, things not often sought after. It is a bit of a pain having to clear off the trunk everytime you need to get in and out of it. So - upper shelf - not often used items. Lower shelf - quick access items - hidden area - for whatever you please! I had over 170 pictures of this baby - during progress and after shots, so there is no way to share them all here.... but feel free to check out the album I am about to post of her work on Facebook. Gypsy Barn is me :) www.facebook.com/gypsybarn. Cheers!
The finished photo
The sort of before. I had already removed the paper lining in this shot, but you can see the icky canvas and super rusty bits
The hidden secret lower compartment
The before shot of the rusty bits.. see next photo for the after
The rust and naked wood all cleaned up and finished. I love the patina the cleaned rust left behind
Staining the inner shelves
loook at that wretched mess! Took forever to clean, byt a little TSP goes a LONG way!
Removing the canvas. Another long tedious task
All done
The inside after the lower shelf was installed
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Cfr2230743 Cfr2230743 on Aug 05, 2016
    Did you do anything besides sanding the edges of the rust? Looks really flat and smooth. No bent, sharp edges. It looks so good!

  • Lori Silva Lori Silva on Sep 09, 2017
    how to get rid of MOTHBALL SMELL in my old trunk & paint it with chalk paint

  • Jennifer Ivie Jennifer Ivie on Nov 25, 2018

    Did you put another bottom to your trunk so you can till have storage and a shelf under it

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  • Barbara Kaiser Barbara Kaiser on Nov 27, 2019

    Tried to find your FB page to no avail. Unless you are the Gypsy barn that has now merged with Gypsy fish!???

  • Barb C Barb C on Jan 25, 2020

    It is super pain to clear off top to get to 'stuff' inside; been there done that. This is genius!