Thursday, 20 August 2015

Refinished Trunk

***We interrupt this deluge of quilting projects with a woodworking project***

For the past couple weeks or so, I traded in my fabric and rotary cutter for wood and an orbital sander. I've been working on refinishing a few pieces of old furniture we had stored around the house. 

First, I'd like to share my trunk makeover. My parents picked up two old trunks while riding their bikes past a yard sale a few years ago. We aired them out on the porch for a while and never got around to doing anything else with them. I hope to buy a house sometime soon and thought I'd take advantage of my free time in the summer to work on some projects. So I started looking up ideas on Pinterest. I mostly followed instructions from this blog



Someone had already done a bit of work on them and stripped the thick paper off of the top and sides.  I cleaned up the edges, took off stray bits of paper and sanded the wood with a palm sander. I used a water, vinegar and soap mixture to spray the inside and scraped the wallpaper off. Then it got a good scrub and rinse and sat out in the sun to dry for the day.

Once it was cleaned up, I stained the wood with Miniwax stain in Early American and coated it with Varathane. I coated the inside with shellac, then painted the inside of the lid with some leftover white paint-and-primer-in-one we had on hand.

For the lining of the trunk, we cut some 1/4" plywood slightly smaller than each of the four sides and bottom. I covered them with a layer of batting and cotton fabric, pulled around and tacked to the back. We ended up cutting them a bit smaller than planned, as we had almost enough scrap wood on hand. They are secured at the top with a bit of two-sided tape and they're easy to take out if I want to change it up.  

I covered the bottom of the trunk with a piece of thick fleece so that the slight metal feet and nail heads on the bottom wouldn't scrape against the floor.

So there was some fabric involved after all. I haven't replaced the leather handles yet and might just leave them. I also left the hardware and most of the scratches and imperfections. I figure they add character. 

I love how the trunk turned out and I look forward to using it one day. 


  1. Very nice Brianna! Looking forward to seeing more of your repurposing/woodwork. What are you going to use the trunk for?

  2. Love this one too!! You are very talented! It looks great!