For years and years, I've pined for a steamer trunk. I just love the look of a big, clunky old trunk in a living room, all worn-out looking with lots of rusty metal pieces. And I wanted one. I wanted one bad. And (joy of joys!) for Christmas two years ago, guess what I got? (No, not a puppy, although I did ask for one.) The steamer trunk I've always wanted! Jeff found a great one at a thrift store for me and snatched it up. But there was only one problem . . .
(Pardon the baby in the before shot . . . he knows it's his toy box and oh, the treasures hidden inside!)
It was a wee bit ugly. I don't know what color it originally was, but Jeff thought that this brown would match our living room well (which it did), and painted it. It was a lovely thought, and really a fantastic gift that he put a lot of time into, but I never cared much for the color.
And in light of my recent epiphany that a rental home does not have to mean an undecorated, impersonal home, I decided that what our living room really needed was some color. I love color, and I've always wanted to live in a space that's bright and cheerful and full of beautiful color, but I guess I've been waiting to own a home that I could paint, because our apartments have always been brown, brown, and more brown. How boring.
No more, I say!
It was really time to bring in some color, and I sure do love yellow. Don't you think yellow is the happiest color? So I took my beloved ugly duckling trunk and gave it a facelift. What do you think of its cheerful makeover?
It was very easy to do, although time-consuming, and I am wildly impatient, so it was a bit of a struggle. As you can see, I got the trunk of my dreams--it's just covered with curvy old brass hardware, which really gives it that antique look I wanted, but was a complete nightmare to tape up before painting.
After about three coats of spray paint, I let it dry for a few hours and then started distressing it with sandpaper.
Have you always thought distressing was easy? I mean, you just kind of bang your furniture up and rub it with sandpaper, right? How hard could that be? I was really surprised at how difficult it was . . . I didn't really know where to begin (I walked in circles around my trunk for probably a good 5 minutes before finally just picking a spot entirely at random and attacking it), and I was shocked at how hard it was to make any progress. It would probably help to use a palm sander (but heaven knows I try to avoid spending much money on projects, so I did it the old-fashioned way), and I think I didn't let it dry long enough before sanding, because nothing was really happening except for the occasional little gloop of paint rolling up. I finally started making progress when I stabbed at the paint job a few times with a screwdriver, which I think gave the sandpaper something to hang on to. After a light coat of wood glaze to bring out the distressing job and give it a top coat, it was complete.
(Hideous lining inside, right? And it really smells like pee, although I febreze the heck out of it. I should probably just re-line it, but . . . meh. Who ever sees the inside? Except for, right now, all of you . . . )
It makes a great coffee table/toy box and brings such a great punch of color into the room, and as you can see, Forrest thinks it's his personal playground. I'd show you more of the living room, but it's undergoing a decor overhaul at the moment in my attempt to bring in more color, and is a bit of a disaster area right now. I'm in the midst of another furniture makeover and holy moly it is kicking my pants. Cross your fingers that I emerge victorious with a great new piece in the room. Although if you don't hear from me in a few days, you can probably assume that my project ate me alive. It's been nice knowing you.
I'll be sharing this project at some parties! Check 'em out!