Neglected Steamer Trunk Makeover

I've always had an affinity for trunks.  I can still remember my first coffee table, it was a wicker trunk.  I don't know what it is I like so much about trunks.  Maybe the idea of travel or the past?  I'm not sure, but I really do love them.  When we moved we realized our coffee table was way too big for our new family room so the Hubby and I decided we wanted to have a steamer trunk as a coffee table.  Try as we might we couldn't find one anywhere that wasn't crazy expensive or a brand new trunk trying to be an old trunk.  I knew I wanted an OLD trunk with history and character.  We went to antique store after antique store and we didn't find a thing.  It wasn't meant to be.  It worked out perfect for us because as I wrote  in a previous post I had a very generous friend give me a beautiful coffee table to redo.  Problem solved!

Of course when I wasn't looking for a  trunk anymore....I found one!  It wasn't in very good condition, but I knew I could do something great with it so I bought it.  It's been sitting in the garage for a month or so waiting for some attention.  Finally I got around to it this week.

Here's what it looked like before I got too far along.  I have to get better at remembering to take pictures before I start!

Here you can see the hardware is a mess.  Completely rusted brass plate....nothing I could do to make it prettier.  The main lock is also broken.

On the far left you can see just how rusted this thing was.  

Then there are the leather handles that literally disintegrate in your hands when you try to use them.

You can see all the gouges and scratches in the body of the chest as well. 

Then there's the inside....YIKES.  Febreeze was my BFF on this one :-)

I'm definitely not storing anything in this trunk.  Febreeze really did take all the smells away! observant are you?  Did you see that in the last 2 pictures the trunk is PAINTED???

This is how it looked with 2 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  This paint really does stick to anything!  It went on quite well on the metal parts as well as the body of the trunk.

2 coats of paint and a coat of clear Annie Sloan wax and I was ready for another step.  One side note on the waxing process for anyone thinking of doing this.  Put the wax on with a wax brush and really work it into the paint, but in small sections.  This protects the paint and gives it a nice sheen.

Yep...I even painted the disintegrating leather handles!

 Then I used some sand paper and gave it some of it's character back.  I wanted it to look it's it's been around the world many times.

Here is the end result.....YIPPEE I'm super happy with how it turned out.  I love it!  I didn't know if I had a place for it, but I found one.  I thought I was going to have to sell this one, but I just couldn't do let it go.

I adore how the painted hardware turned out.

I'm also super excited about how the top turned out.  It looks like it's been well-used and loved over the years.

This just goes to show that no matter how ugly a piece of furniture might look....there's always something that can be done to bring it back to life and make it pretty again.  When my Hubby saw this piece at the store he really didn't see what I could do to it.   I worked on it while he was away on a business trip.  When he got back and saw the trunk painted, before all the distressing, he couldn't believe the transformation.  That's the best compliment a girl can get!!

******LImking to Shades of Amber Chalk Paint Link Party
and to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday

I'm Crazy In Love With Lilacs

Ever since I can remember I wanted a lilac bush in my yard.  At our last home we had plans to plant one, but the property was already landscaped and there wasn't much room with the pool.  It seems no matter what house we lived in it just didn't work.  I'm a big lilac lover!  Funny story, when my Husband and I were first married and living in Canada we were living in an area where a lot of the houses had lilac bushes, but not ours.  One night after it got dark I told him I wanted to go cut some flowers off the neighbors tree.  Yes, I suppose that's trespassing AND stealing, but it was only a few little purple flowers!  Anyway, we went out with our scissors in hand to covertly acquire some lilacs.  Once we got there, my Husband cut a few then I heard a noise and said, "I can't do this!" and ran off leaving him standing in the neighbors yard holding scissors and some flowers.  What can I say?  I just can't break the law...I'm a huge chicken.  So to say I love lilacs is an understatement :-)

After we came home from vacation on the  weekend I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see a very nice lilac bush!  It was in our yard and I was so excited I even did a happy dance!   Even though it was pouring rain, I went out with my umbrella and cut a few flowers off the bush and put them in a milk glass vase.  They made the house smell so amazing and spring-like!  Today when i got home I realized the flowers I had cut were done so I went out and cut some more.  Those tiny, little, purpley pink flowers have me hooked and I just can't get enough.  Today I cut enough for 3 vases worth and my house smells like spring.

I thought I'd share a few pictures of my little beauties......

I put the flowers in a little Ball jar I had and then put the jar in this watering can.  The watering can was from Target in their dollar area and I paid $2.50 for it.  It was galvanized metal, but I put a coat of matte black spray paint on it and I think it's so cute!  

How can you not smile when you see these little flowers?

I have no idea how long lilacs bloom or are in season and I don't even want to think about it.  I'm enjoying these little bits of spring in the house.  Although my Son told me he couldn't believe I would hurt nature like that.  I told him I don't stand outside all day staring at the flowers so I needed to bring some inside.  He said, "Maybe you should put some in your car then."  Hmmmmm now there's an idea!

A Walk Down Memory Lane.....My Childhood Cabinet Redo

WOW it seems like forever since I've posted a blog!  It's been a couple of weeks and during that time I've been busy.  First we went to Jamaica for 9 days during spring break and we had an incredible time.  Second I started getting things ready to start my own, VERY, VERY small business and third I started and finished a special project.  

This is how my project looked before I started......

Now before you see anymore before pictures I need to tell you a little story.  If you read my blog you'll understand how I love to tell a story!  Anyhooooo.....This cabinet is special to me.  Reason being it was purchased by my parents at an auction about 34 years ago.  For the first 8 years my Dad used it in the garage for storing stuff.  Then one summer after I came back from sleep away camp for a week I returned to a brand new bedroom.  While I was away my parents had painted my room, given me a new bed, dresser and this cabinet.  Everything they put in my room was antique and my Dad refinished it all.  It meant so much to me that they went to all this work so I could have a new 'grown-up' room.  For the last 27 years I haven't changed a thing about this cabinet.  I had thought many times about painting it or refinishing it, but I never did.

As you can see it's old and was needing a bit of TLC

And as much as I love to wear pink I'm not a fan of it in my decor

Yes at one time this beauty's shelves were lined in tacky yellow contact paper and pieces of it were still stuck to the shelves.

The inside always bothered me because it was so rough and looked unfinished.

More pink!!

I guess in it's previous life this cabinet was part of a kitchen.  When my Dad brought it home it was a dark, nasty stain with the 'lovely' yellow contact paper over all the shelves and in the drawers.  

While I was away on vacation I decided I was going to tackle the project when I got home.  Instead of unpacking I painted!  I realized it was time to do something to this cabinet to help it live an even longer life and also to make it a bit prettier.  

I decided on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint of course because it's my favorite paint ever.  I had some colors I hadn't really used a lot so I decided to use those.  I went with Coco for the outside and Louis Blue for the inside and drawers.

This is how it looked after and ENTIRE can of Louis Blue went on.  I learned a very valuable lesson.  This paint is not inexpensive so I learned it's important  to prime bare wood before you paint.  The wood inside had never been stained or painted so it was thirsty!  Next time I will prime any bare wood before I use the ASCP.

You can see the paint isn't quite dry yet.  Another lesson learned....Don't paint when it's pouring rain and super damp out.  Took a very long time for the paint to dry and usually this paint dries in about 15 minutes.  Could also be the fact it had an entire can of paint on it too!

This job turned out to be a lot more work than I had thought.  I started on Sunday and didn't finish until Tuesday.  I got so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn't take anymore progress pictures.  I put two coats of paint on the entire cabinet, inside and out.  Then waxed the outside with clear and dark wax.  I only lightly clear waxed the inside because I wanted it to be bright.  Then I sanded it down to make it look it's age.

Here she is all spruced up and ready for the next 20 or so years :-)

I say this every time, but I love, love, love how it turned out.  I feel like the character and imperfections show up better now.

This made me laugh....look at the drawer pulls.  Notice anything?!  Well in the entire time I've had this cabinet I have NEVER noticed the fact that the pulls are off.  One is higher than the other!  I thought I was observant!

I kept the same hardware, except the drawer pulls.  I love these old closures.  I thought they were brass, but when I took them off to clean them I realized they might have been brass plated.  I liked the imperfections and patina so I didn't paint them.

Finally the inside of the cabinet and it's rough wood show up now!  I love how all the texture of the wood shows through.

SWOON.....I'm in love!

I really distressed this thing!  I wanted the old wood to show through and look it's age.

I haven't painted the inside of drawers before so I gave it a shot.   I like how it turned out and I might have to do it again on my next project.

NO MORE PINK!!!  The whole things is fresh, clean and like new.

Even though this turned out to be a bit more time consuming than I had originally thought I really enjoyed doing this.  As I was working I was reminded of the cabinet's history.  It make me wonder who had this in their home and what it looked like in their kitchen.  I thought of all the love and time my Dad put into refinishing it.  I'm hoping he likes it when he sees it!  I'm hoping that one day my Son will want this cabinet in his then who knows what it will look like or what color it might be.  I think it would be great in a nursery....OH that's a long way off considering he's six and I'm not going to let him get married until he's about 40!

I hope you like this as much as I do.  Let me know what you think!

****Linking this post to for her Furniture Feature Friday, Funky Junks Saturday Night Special and Piece of Work Wednesday Twice Owned Tuesday Before and After Party