Wednesday, October 3, 2012

decor: trunk rehab

Several months ago, I saw a post on Freecycle for a wood trunk, and I'm a firm believer that when it comes to decor and storage in small spaces, you can never have too many trunks. The woman who was giving the trunk away acknowledged in her Freecycle post that it needed a little TLC. In fact, the trunk was hideous. It was dirty and bright blue with chipped paint. Tony picked it up for me and didn't even want to bring it in our house because he hated it so much.

But the trunk also had dovetail joints and rustic hardware. It was sturdy and large and full of character. I had big plans for this trunk.

My big plans were to clean the thing like crazy, then restore the natural wood, and then stain it a nice dark brown. When my parents came to visit last month, I asked my dad to strip the blue paint for me. First he tried a chemical stripper, which wasn't powerful enough to eat through the paint. Then he took a power sander to it, which did a good job at removing most of the paint. But we ran into trouble because the wood had so many nicks where the paint seeped in. The power sander couldn't get in those crevices, and it would've been a nightmare to sand it out by hand.

I experimented with staining over the blue spots, but the blue showed through the stain. So I decided to take an unconventional approach to the refinishing job: paint, then stain. The paint gave the trunk a good foundation color, and the stain highlighted the grain of the wood.

For the paint, I chose chocolate candy brown, a Benjamin Moore color from Frager's.

I put on two coats of paint, and once it was dry, I rubbed on dark walnut stain by Minwax. And I am so, so, so happy with how the trunk turned out. So happy. It's not how I originally envisioned it, but sometimes you've got to improvise.

Are you ready for the big unveil?

Ta da!

I have the trunk in the corner of my bedroom, and I'm using it to store photo albums.

Tony, by the way, has since changed his mind about the trunk. He loves it, too.

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