Asked on Jul 15, 2013

Antique Trunk/Coffee Table with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I have been asking about readers opinions about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint lately. I am not a huge fan of chalk paint but the reason is because I don't find it a good paint to do "fine" painting in. By "fine" painting, I mean a smooth finish with an even sheen and minimal brush marks. However, rather than sound like a hater of Annie Sloan, I decided I would do a piece with her red emperor's silk. I tinted the clear wax with my own tints to get it the exact colour I wanted. And, yes, I really did obsessively paint around all that brass hardware. The legs are painted black with my custom red glaze on them. Hubbie says its finished and to leave it alone. I'm not so sure. The only question I have is: should I add brass or bronze paint to the bottom of the feet to tie them in with the top? Or would you leave it as is?
  91 answers
  • Z Z on Jul 15, 2013
    My first thought was to leave it alone. Though I like your idea, I personally don't think it's necessary. That being said, I rarely take advise from anyone when I have a gut feeling that something more needs to be done to a piece I'm working on. I may however walk away from it for a day or two and see if I still feel the same way when I next see it. Do you have a before photo? I'd love to see it if you do. It sure is gorgeous now.
  • I love that! Funny, I just wrote a post about vintage suitcases. It goes live tomorrow morning!
  • Paula Skulina Paula Skulina on Jul 16, 2013
    I like the contrast of the wood with the red paint.
  • Sandra Fiffy Sandra Fiffy on Jul 16, 2013
    Oh definitely leave it!! I Also love the contrast. Beautiful job
  • Looks great - love the Emperor Red and your application. I have taken classes with Annie Sloan - and Chalk Paint is not meant to be glossy or smooth. Inherently it is not uniform. In fact, she applied some of her projects with a pounching motion to add even more uneven coverage. This is just the way she does it - and since she designed the paint - it is standard on her pieces. However, there were some people that used chalk paint for fine canvas work! So, there you go. Either way is fine, but you will have a harder time hoping it will behave like a artist's oil or acrylic paint, when it doesn't have that leveling effect naturally.
  • Janet Gorman Schiesl Janet Gorman Schiesl on Jul 17, 2013
    Love this. I going to pull out my old college trunk and give it new life.
  • wow! great job detailing all that hardware! i like the idea of antiqued brass feet. i feel it would give it a finished look (although your hub's is right - it really does look great just as you have it). so pretty!
  • Refined Vintage Refined Vintage on Jul 17, 2013
    don't change the feet, they add a nice contrast.
  • Sewtam Sewtam on Jul 17, 2013
    Leave the feet ~ it will be too fussy with gold/brass. It is wonderful as it is, I love the repurposing of lovely vintage pieces, if I were to do anything to the legs, I would consider a bit of distressing. You have done a splendid job! (...and this coming from someone who has the Peanuts Christmas nativity for a profile picture ~ you may not want to consider my thoughts after all.)
  • Terri Simandl Terri Simandl on Jul 17, 2013
    I have several old trucks that I am going to put feet on. I LOVE Annies paint!!!
  • PATTY PATTY on Jul 17, 2013
    Very nice piece! To answer your conundrum, I would leave the feet as is. However, I may have painted the hardware the same as the feet, glaze and all and then lightly distress the hardware letting the brass peak out just a bit. I've been playing with ASCP for some time. I've used it thick, letting it sit out in the air to thicken, and I've also thinned it with water for a smooth, even buttery finish, creating a perfect base for decorative/fine painting. Great Job!
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 17, 2013
    Hi Patty, I tried a sample of the Annie Sloan paint on the hardware to glaze it and it didn't stick. I know it says you can paint metal with it but I beg to differ. It won't stand up to heavy use such as opening and closing. I could have sanded it and gave it an oil glaze but I decided to leave it. Thanks for your kind feedback!
  • Nancy G Nancy G on Jul 17, 2013
    I love love this piece! don't change a thing! I have a question though? How did you attach the feet to the trunk? I have a trunk & have been planning to do this project but am not sure how to attach the feet? Any answers would be great! thanks
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 17, 2013
    Hi Nancy, we always use a thick wood board in the interior to ensure that it's stable. We cut the wood to size, wrap it in batten and then staple a nice material to it so it looks finished. Then we drill holes to attach leg plates into the wood. Most furniture legs are too long to fit in the leg plates so we cut the screws on them and then file back the threads so they'll screw in nicely. We strip, prime and paint the interior too. Here is the interior of a metal trunk that we did so you have a better idea.
  • Colleen Colleen on Jul 17, 2013
    Beautiful as is....
  • Devon Cretella Devon Cretella on Jul 17, 2013
    I agree with most of the other commenters, it looks great as is. Now I might just have to pull an old trunk out of my basement too...
  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Jul 17, 2013
    Love it as is. That said, I always take everything into consideration, it does help with the decision
  • Jenny Jenny on Jul 17, 2013
    go with your gut!
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 17, 2013
    I have so many hours into it that I'm not feeling like working on it anymore. Maybe the best thing to do is to leave it as is for now and see if something strikes me in the future. The legs are easily removed to work on. I will have to post a before and after pic of them and the trunk. The wooden legs were chewed to bits.
  • Grannygunson Grannygunson on Jul 17, 2013
    Your chest is absolutely beautiful, but to address your initial concern about chalk paint, no it is not really ideal for fine painting or achieving a smooth looking finish. The main benefits of chalk paint are in it's abilities for distressing and layering of colours to make a piece appear aged.
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 17, 2013
    Hi Grannygunson, I've used it a few times now and I like it ok for the application it's made for. I don't ever think I will be a huge fan since I find it quite limiting but it has it's purpose. I was also unhappy with the coverage for this piece. It took almost 5 coats over brown! I could have gotten opaque coverage using paint by the Canadian company Sico and a Benjamin Moore red that would definitely cover in 3 coats, possibly 2 coats over brown. I did not have the Annie Sloan watered down either. It would have been much quicker to do in a different acrylic paint with an oil poly over it. The waxing was pretty time-consuming and I'm not looking forward to doing it again for this piece. All that being said, it was an easy paint to use and great for beginners to get nice antiqued effects. To each their own!
  • Judy Judy on Jul 17, 2013
    I think it looks fine, might have been able to eliminate a couple of coats had you used a flat primer on the trunk...but the idea of chalk paint is to look rustic and old, the trunk looks great as is..
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Jul 17, 2013
    @Porta Verde Studio Nice job! I like someone who is as obsessive as I am LOL! I'd do what Becky suggested-Follow your gut. ;) If it were my gut, I'd leave the feet just as they are. Please show the before pic? I'd love to see what you started with. xo
  • LaVerne DeHart LaVerne DeHart on Jul 20, 2013
    I think your chest coffee table is extraordinary. Such a great idea to add the legs. It looks great the way it is but I personally would like a little of the brass tint to the legs to tie it all in. If you did not like it, you could always paint over in black once again!
  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Jul 21, 2013
    Hi Jacqui, did you do anything to the brass? I have a trunk but the brass has quite a bit of rust and I'm not sure how to handle that. Any advice?
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 21, 2013
    Hi Frankie, I didn't do anything to the brass other than clean it up a bit. If you have rust on your brass, then it's probably brass plate over another metal like tin. Use some WD-40 to spray it with, let it sit awhile, then while it's still wet, use super fine steel wool and gently rub it to remove the rust. Do this before you paint and then neutralize the WD-40 with some mineral spirits to make sure that it doesn't resist the paint. Good luck!
  • Eleanor G Eleanor G on Jul 21, 2013
    I love the way it looks! You did a fantastic job! So glad you didn't distress it! As for the hinges, etc. it looks great this way but if you feel you'd like them repainted, do it! It would look awesome that way also. Sometimes,on wooden feet on a piece, if they'e not too bad, I just polish them with OLD ENGLISH Dark Furniture Polish and the results are great! Just a thought.....thanks for sharing this, grat job!
  • Sherry M Sherry M on Jul 29, 2013
    I would paint them the same brass colour as the pieces to bring it all together. You did a great job. I also have an ugly green beat up trunk that I'm going to redo. My plan is to put wheels on the bottom and decoupage the inside for interest. The outside is still forming in my mind. I'm turnig it into a coffee table which will have storage. I'm even considering putting a removable shelf in it. I love what you did. It looks great! I keep hearing about milk paint, but I'm not sure what it is and what's the big deal about it? Can anyone explain it to me?
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 29, 2013
    Hi Sherry, it's actually chalk paint but I've painted plenty of these trunks with oil and acrylic. With a quick sanding and a coat of primer, both of these paints will do a great job. Decoupage sounds like a great idea. If you want to put casters on the bottom, make sure that the bottom of the trunk is thick enough to support them. If not, you can add a plywood board to screw the casters through. Please post pics and if you have any questions, let me know.
    • Sherry M Sherry M on Aug 07, 2013
      @Porta Verde Studio Thanks for the tips. I hadn't thought about supporting the bottom for the castors.
  • Alexa Draper Alexa Draper on Aug 02, 2013
    I love this as is.
  • Eleanor G Eleanor G on Aug 05, 2013
    Now I know what I'll do with an old trunk I've had for ages! Never could decide what to do with it. Thanks for the info!
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Aug 06, 2013
    No worries! Good luck Eleanor.
  • Jo Anne Jo Anne on Sep 04, 2013
    I'm trying to locate Antique Annie. Does anybody have any information on how to locate her? Thank you so much----
  • Jo Anne Jo Anne on Sep 04, 2013
    I have an antique table and sewing machine that I would like her to look at and give me a ballpark figure of their value
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    • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Sep 07, 2013
      @Frankie Laney Thanks Frankie. I also sell them if your interested!
  • Marie Marie on Oct 04, 2013
    oops sorry I see now where you already explained about the legs. thank you
  • Gilda Marconi Gilda Marconi on Apr 19, 2014
    love it just the way it is. Good work
  • Andi Cacciatore Andi Cacciatore on May 24, 2014
    I love the way the red turned out and I think you made the legs just right by adding that tint of red to them. Hubbie's right - it's done!
  • Shannon Huber Shannon Huber on May 24, 2014
    This is a fabulous piece. If I had done this, I would have left the trim on the trunk original or used a brown paint to match the legs.
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    • Sandra Sandra on Nov 06, 2014
      @Porta Verde Studio I don't think @Shannon was referring to the brass hardware when she suggested you paint the trim to match the legs. It is a good suggestion. I love the red.
  • I have a trunk just like this up in my attic! Bought it in the 80's. Now I know what to do with it!
  • Anna Erishkigal Anna Erishkigal on Jul 02, 2014
    Just a safety tip on these ... I converted one into a coffee table ... and then heard screams one day when my daughter locked her little brother into it and couldn't figure out how to get him out. I had to break the lock to get him out and ended up getting rid of it as I wasn't positive it wouldn't happen again. Some time later I heard something similar had happened where two children crawled into one of these to play, got locked in, and suffocated to death. Please disable the lock so a tragedy doesn't happen.
  • Cyndie S Cyndie S on Jul 02, 2014
    Drill air holes in the bottom for safety, too.
  • Vicki Vicki on Jul 02, 2014
    awesome. I love it with legs. I had it for years from university. good idea to use it as coffee table with storage like blankets, pillows for bed sofa, recliners, etc...... ty for sharing.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Aug 23, 2014
    It turned out beautiful as usual with your projects. I believe different paints for different pieces. And I always go the grunt work before in use any paint because it helps ensure a prefect finish. But in this case this is beautiful and prefect!
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 24, 2014
    Let it be. It is finished.
  • Marianne Marianne on Aug 24, 2014
    It's Done. Love it.
  • Tes630555 Tes630555 on Oct 07, 2014
    I have one like this... I like to give some of this look. How did you paint it? can I get the steps to do it myself ? Your looks lovely!!!
    • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Oct 22, 2014
      @Teso yes, you can do it yourself. Tape around all the hardware on the trunk or handpaint around them and then just roll or brush out the chalk paint. It took several coats of red though so be patient ;)
  • Shaun Shaun on Oct 17, 2014
    Beautiful! I have one to do as well. What should you do if the brass is rusty??
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    • Nita Chicit-Up Nita Chicit-Up on Feb 09, 2015
      @ @ I would leave it rusty. Rust adds character. Here is the one I painted. It is a matter of preference.
  • Mariae Acosta Westbrook Mariae Acosta Westbrook on Oct 23, 2014
    What type of paint did you used? Is it chalk paint?
    • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Oct 26, 2014
      @Mariae Acosta Westbrook Yes, its Annie Sloan Emporer's Silk. I was very disappointed with the coverage. It took me 5 coats over dark brown!
  • Stormie Remus Stormie Remus on Nov 08, 2014
    My Father was in WW11 and I have had his trunk since he passed. It is out in the brooder house because It is not @ all attractive, but couldn't part with it because it was my dads'. I'm so thrilled to see what can be done. They are beautiful. Thank you all for sharing :)
  • Liz Liz on Jan 07, 2015
    I'd love to see the legs bronzed or burnished in some way. I have an old trunk like this one, inherited from by great grandparents, to my grandmother to my mother to me. I didn't know what to do with it since it has to be in the house, so I used black shoe polish on the body and brown shoe polish on the trim pieces. It turned out so much better than it was, but yours is truly lovely. Gives me ideas for one more life for the old trunk.
  • Kim Lesher Kim Lesher on Jan 12, 2015
    I'm painting one this weekend... Do you have a paint that you would suggest? I'm going from a Blue trunk to an espresso.
    • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jan 13, 2015
      @Kim Lesher I tend to like oil or good quality latex. Benjamin Moores new Advance paint is very good and has a longer drying to so there are not so many brush marks.
  • Kimberly Bowie Kimberly Bowie on Jan 13, 2015
    Where do you buy Annie Sloan paints I'm having trouble finding them
  • Kathy Kathy on Jan 24, 2015
    I love the color of the legs. They look stained rather than painted. What is the glaze?
  • DeMarie I DeMarie I on Feb 09, 2015
    Wonderful job. I love it. To answer your question, yes, I would tie the legs to the trunk. Perhaps in the grooves of the legs I'd experiment with painting a bronze or just a hint of gilding, to "connect" the legs to trunk's brass hardware.
  • Linda M Linda M on Feb 10, 2015
    How do you make your custom red glaze? Mine would be fir personal use only. Thanks
  • Lorry V Lorry V on May 18, 2015
    I think it's beautiful, as is :)
  • Daisy'smum Daisy'smum on May 31, 2015
    Lovely, how about black feet? Just a thought.
  • Elizabeth Butterfield Elizabeth Butterfield on Jun 02, 2015
    No it is beautiful as is, great job. Do you have any idea how to get paint off of alligator hide. My trunk has it on top and sides in 10 or 12'' strip.
  • Stormie Remus Stormie Remus on Jun 02, 2015
    Does anyone know where I can buy these legs?
  • Stormie Remus Stormie Remus on Jun 02, 2015
    Thank you
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jun 09, 2015
    Stormie, I got these legs off an old chair and repaired them.
  • Charlotte Wood Eckel Charlotte Wood Eckel on Jun 10, 2015
    Your trunk is beautiful the way it is. I wouldn't do one thing more to it!
  • Truly Musgrove Truly Musgrove on Jun 13, 2015
    I agree it is lovely the way it is.The hardware gives it character.The only thing i would change is from the spot you have it now to my porch in fl.Is it for sale?
  • Katherine Katherine on Jul 13, 2015
    Leave it like it is! It's perfection! You've further inspired me to paint an almost identical chest for my daughter's dorm room at college. I may even decoupage it here and there after being inspired by your stereo cabinet!
  • Sharon Doyle Sharon Doyle on Jul 26, 2015
    I'd paint it to match the brass hardware.
  • Mary M. Prinzavalli Mary M. Prinzavalli on Aug 09, 2015
    The only problem with painting the legs brass is they would be too shinny for the other brass. But you could dry brush them with bronze glaze and then it would look more like the rest of the lock and corner pieces. I wallpapered in between my cabinets with paper that looked like tin squares, then painted them with brass then dry brushed them with bronze glaze. It was very pretty. I love the trunk and you do what you like for the legs. It is so cute and I would like to do something like that for my daughter.
  • Lori Lori on Aug 15, 2015
    I think you should do something to the feet, even just the bottoms, they are so different from anything else they really stand out and it sounds like they are bothering you too. :)
  • Lori Lori on Aug 15, 2015
    I forgot to tell you I also think that trunk is totally awesome. I wish I had it for my sunroom.
  • Donna Stowers Donna Stowers on Oct 07, 2015
    NO! Don't touch it! Love it! Looks fantastic the way it is!
  • Jessica Jessica on Nov 07, 2015
    Love this, have a old trunk I am getting ready to paint now I know hat I am doing....Thanks for your awesome post.
  • Michele Casey Michele Casey on Jan 04, 2016
    why not change the feet to brass rollers
  • Men3891891 Men3891891 on Jan 12, 2016
    How did you clean the hardware and how in the world did you do such a perfect job of painting around it?
  • Mary  Law Mary Law on Feb 07, 2016
  • Annette Pace Annette Pace on Mar 11, 2016
    What kind of paint used &how did you do the corners so Good without getting paint on them ?
  • Linda Butler Linda Butler on Apr 11, 2016
    How did you not get paint on everything
  • Shaun Shaun on Apr 12, 2016
    How can we 'Mark as Helpful' when not one question has been answered?! :/
  • Mother Mother on May 23, 2016
    If you haven't yet painted those legs - leave them alone. Hubbie is so right. They look fabulous as they are, and to paint them with brass or even bronze would, so far from 'finishing' them, make them look over-processed. As it is, they subtly blend in and make it look a million dollars.
  • Linda Linda on May 29, 2016
    Love it - I have a trunk in the basement, had it for years, this really is a great idea!
  • Jlk6212054 Jlk6212054 on Aug 13, 2016
    How do you paint this without getting paint on hardware. I love this idea
  • Mary Mary on Sep 07, 2016
    i would have the legs gold but really they look great, you did an incredible job, inspires me to do one, I have 3 trunks I got dumpster diving!
  • Lisa Mastrogiovanni Lisa Mastrogiovanni on Oct 06, 2017

    I would leave it as is. Looks more authentic that way

  • 25354019 25354019 on Oct 06, 2017

    Try Fusion Mineral Paint. It costs significantly less than AS and it is NOT a chalk paint. The coverage is exceptional along with its durability.

  • Maureen McAteer Vasily Maureen McAteer Vasily on Feb 11, 2018

    What a beautiful job! I would add a bronze or gold-toned paint on the legs too.

  • Linda Linda on Feb 13, 2018

    This is beautiful. I have an old trunk, it's not vintage, but maybe I could fix it up and make something useful out of it. Great job!

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Feb 13, 2018

    This is a great trunk! Wonderful job as is!

  • Vat34390020 Vat34390020 on Jan 10, 2019

    I love it but I sure would like to see you paint all the chrome edges. Just wondering what it would do to the look. But I am by far no expert.

  • Carol Carol on Apr 05, 2020

    Beautiful!! I have a similar trunk but it has a silver paint or something that is coming off one side. I may try something like you did but first I have to decide what to do about the peeling silver stuff. Any suggestions?

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Aug 31, 2020

    Beautiful job on this! I love it.