Steamer Trunk Up-cycle

2 Days
We had this old steamer trunk that for several years simply stored Christmas decorations. I have always been in love with this trunk and wanted to do something special with it but was never sure what, so I let it go on living as a storage trunk.
I had an old salvaged door that we got for free because we hauled off an old building that someone had torn down. It had about 4 layers of paint on it but it was solid and I knew that it had to live again. I also have a stash of old windows that my Grandfather had forever ago and when he died I inherited them. So using these three simple items we created a set that looks like it has always lived together.
We cut the door down to fit along the back of the trunk for the bench back. Then we took some old salvaged wood that we got from a dumpster at a local grocery store that was doing renovations and made the seat. I was lucky enough to have a dark stain that matched the trunk's existing color perfectly! The arm "rails" are two windows that we cut in half. These are very old windows and believe it or not they still had the glass in them. I painstakingly took out the glass which I am sure we will use for another project. I didn't really didn't do anything to the existing trunk bottom. I just cleaned it up and re-stained the part where the fabric had been taken off (on the front).
For the table, we took the remaining portions of the door and windows and framed them in. Then we attached the top of the trunk with bolts. Again not doing anything to the existing trunk top.
I could not get all the paint off the door and frankly didn't want to. I scrapped off any loose pieces and then did something I didn't know you could do...stained over paint! A couple of my DIY buddies told me it would be fine but I was skeptical. I am so glad that I listened to them!
The cost of this project for us was minimal since we already had the trunk and windows, got the door and wood for the seat for free because we salvaged it and already had a stash of stain. The only cost was the screws and bolts to put it all together.
Crystal Creation
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Brandi Brandi on Aug 12, 2019

    This is exactly what I'm trying to build!! But I'm building from scratch including the trunk unfortunately I can't Amy blueprints per say for this exact replica can anyone help me please!??! Thank you

  • Kary West Kary West on Nov 27, 2020

    What is the value of it

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3 of 39 comments
  • Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson on Oct 13, 2014
    I am torn on this one- it is cool, and I could never do that to my trunk. But it isn't mine, so GOOD JOB!!!

    • Bleu Pom Bleu Pom on Oct 13, 2014
      @Wendy Johnson Example: Kindly expressing your opinion without being nasty to the original poster. Thank you, Wendy, for putting a positive in with your disagreement. Its so easy to do and it isn't hurtful.

  • Betty Albright-Bistrow Betty Albright-Bistrow on Jul 25, 2018

    You did a wonderful job on your trunk. I know you will enjoy it for years to come.