Junk off my trunk

Since I'm too busy (aka lazy) to do any projects on my list right now, I decided instead to post one from about 5 years ago.
This was one of my first real projects and one that I have a LOT of elbow grease in. 
I was looking for a big trunk to use as a coffee table. My mom (always the bargain finder) discovered this gem at a yardsale for $5.

It ALMOST just needed to be thrown away. All the metal was rusted. It was covered in old, gross canvas that was dry rotted and the wood just looked like it would never recover. I worked on it at her house with brass bristled brushes. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and could BARELY see metal through the rust on about an inch of the entire trunk. I had days' and weeks' worth of scrubbing invested. I worked for about a month on it. Then, my husband, then new boyfriend told me that I should take it to his parents' house where his air compressor and air tools were. I was ready to marry him then. :) In about a week, I had the metal stripped down to actual metal and had the wood cleaned off and ready to go. It was actually a bit SHINY!

All cleaned up
I also removed all the canvas. It was just nasty. It pretty much fell apart. Then, I took tweezers and pulled out all the little fibers that were under the metal. Then, I was ready to paint....

I also got to use Dustin's mechanic tools there... so I had a "lift" and a stool. It was the perfect setup!

The lock on the front is brass, so it didn't get painted-- just cleaned up.
I didn't want to stain it. We had done a lot of research along the way and decided that tung oil was the way to go.

We also lined the bottom with cedar planks. It needed to be reinforced and since we keep blankets inside, they always stay fresh and bug free. 
This never made it as a coffee table. It is a bit too tall for that. But, since completion it has been a part of our living room. It has been an end table and just a trunk in the corner with photos on top of it.
I LOVE to redo furniture. I learned a lot working on this piece. #1 power tools can be your best friend!
Here are two pics side by side... one from the first time I saw it and the other from the finished product.

I must admit--I'm very proud of our trunk! Who would have ever guessed that this was what we would find underneath all that nasty!

This post is linked with Nesting Place's Link Party and at Miss Mustardseed's.


  1. Thanks! I'm pretty proud of this one!

  2. great job! good for you! it looks great!

  3. Wow! That looks like it took some work. Really turned out great.

  4. That is a big wow from me! I think I would've chucked that trunk or painted it. You brought it back to life as it should be. Beautiful job!

  5. What a wonderful job you did here on this trunk...it looks outstanding...you should be very proud.


  6. Amazing job on the trunk transformation! It's beautiful!


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