Painted Trunk

 We saw this old trunk at a garage sale down the street from us.  There was so much rust that it was starting to fleck off so I didn’t want it in the house with the kids. Painting it would seal all of the rust.

Before old trunk

 I almost forgot to take a ‘before’ photo when I started painting so these are the only shots I have of it. Please excuse the painter’s tape.

Before old trunk

I just used whatever leftover latex paint I had in the house. I primed it first then added three coats of a light grey color, Stonington Grey by Benjamin Moore

Painted Trunk

I decided to leave the natural wood to give it some contrast. I had to decide on the top where to stop with the paint. You can see I painted some of the rusty ringes and stopped when I hit a natural curve in the design. I used a small painter’s brush for this detail {okay, really I just used my preschooler’s plastic paintbrush!}.

Painted Trunk

 Painting this trunk four coats sealed in the rust! I was impressed! I decided to paint the hardware as they were beyond saving and they’re now smooth to the touch for my kids.

Painted Trunk

I have it stocked with old books. It’s a great storage place in our hallway.

Painted Trunk

Painted Trunk

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  1. Your trunk looks great.

    I had a similar one that we sold when we downsized. I sometimes wish I still had it and especially when I see what a little paint might have done to improve it.

  2. What a beautiful makeover and a wonderful garage sale find! I love that you kept some of the natural wood peeking through.

  3. You did a beautiful job on this trunk, Jamie! I like it with the wood unpainted too!

    Thanks for sharing at my A New Creation link party!

  4. Kudos to your hubby for seeing some beauty in a dilapitated old trunk and you did a marvelous job of cosmetically bringing out her beauty. ☺ -Brenda-

  5. I love old trunks so your project definitely caught my eye! I never would have thought to leave the wood as is, but it is such a cool idea and your trunk looks fabulous! Pinning.

    Have a great day!


  6. It looks wonderful and I love that you left the wood unpainted. So pretty! Thanks so much for coming out to the party at Clean and Scentsible. I will be featuring this on Sunday. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Jenn 🙂

  7. Love how that looks! I love old steamer trunks like that. The white contrasts nicely with the wood planks on it. Love the cute “To the Moon” pillow too. I’ve got one on order and waiting to get it! It’s good to see what it looks like in someone elses home.

  8. I love what you did with your trunk. I have a huge one that I want to do something with soon. After the 47 other projects I’ve started. 😉
    Looks wonderful! New follower.
    Enjoy your evening!

  9. What a fabulous trunk!! Love the color you chose. Wondering where you got your Love you to the Moon pillow?? Would love to get one too!

  10. Jamie this trunk is amazing!! Such a good reminder to go back at the end of the day, sometimes the best deals are yet to be had. You are featured tonight on Pretty Things too 🙂

    xoxo, Tanya

  11. Jamie, it’s perfect! So nice of you to give this old trunk new life! Garage sales are the best! Thanks so much for linking up to Every Day is an Occasion! SMiles, Jill

  12. I love this, Jamie! The white really brings out all the pretty details and leaving the natural wood keeps the cool aged look. I’m working on doing…something (??) with an antique steamer trunk I’ve had for several years. Wish me luck!

    Jeanette @ Creating a Life

  13. Oh, I wish I could find a trunk like this!! Yours is beautiful and definitely my style!! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing… I found you through the Everyday is an Occasion Linky Party and am happy to be your newest follower!! Hope you’ll come visit me too 🙂

    Amy 🙂 at

  14. HellO!!! Beautiful job on the trunk!!! I was wondering if you you used oil based paint or water based?? thanks so much,I have a few trunks waiting for makeovers and I love what you did.

    1. Hi Melissa!
      Thanks for stopping by! I just used paint that I had leftover from my house so it’s definitely latex. I did three coats though and the primer I used was Zinsser 1-2-3 so that really sealed all the rust.

    1. Oh no! Do you remember where it was located? I’ve been having difficulties with one in my footer. Was that the one? The actual ads change all the time so I’m not sure which one you are referring to. I didn’t put it there so I’m trying to change it. It should be resolved soon 😉

  15. I love this trunk so much that it inspired me to do something similar with my grandmother’s trunk…I used an off white paint and am debating whether to paint the hardware and metal as well or leave it as is. Thanks for the inspiration! Skooby45

  16. I just stumbled across this post and LOVE the trunk. I have a fairly run down trunk that’s been sitting in the garage for 3 years (ugh wow, I didn’t realize how long until just now). I’m very curious what you did with the inside of the trunk? The main issue with my trunk is that the inside. Thanks for the inspiration, it may have kickstarted my project back to life!

  17. I had a bobby pin in my hair today too, in the same exact place as yours, but in the midst of the rain, it shifted to the side and without me noticing when I got home half of my bangs were out of it. I cancelled my flight to the south of France 🙁 Have a good night! I love your home by the way!! Just beautiful!

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