Distressed Steamer Trunk

This post is dedicated to my dad-

Myself, my dad and my sister

Myself, my dad (back when he had hair) and my sister


a) because this trunk reminds me of him- he still has the steamer trunk like this one that he got in Depot with the RCMP many, many years ago.  Every year, my sister and I (well, mostly just me) knew that we could snoop inside the big blue trunk and find our hidden Christmas presents.  (I often knew what I was getting for Christmas before Christmas morning.  I was that kind of child.  My sister wasn’t- I just forced her to tag along).

b) because my dad invested in my ‘company’ and bought me the white and green chalk paint used in this project. He’s always believed in me and supported me well.

c) because we are all in a process of restoration, just like this trunk.  As you will see below, this project was difficult, stressful and frustrating at times, but I did the hard work, endured to the end and the result is beautiful, as restoration always is.  Remember what a mess I once was compared to where I am today, Dad? Let’s keep pressing forward.  The best is yet to come.

SO- 18 hours later, I have finally completed this trunk.

Here is what it looked like when we first picked it up:

Outside of trunk before

Outside of trunk before

Inside of trunk before

Inside of trunk before

After a few hours of cleaning, scraping and sanding, it looked like this- getting better, right?

Scraped clean

Scraped clean

Inside of trunk, stripped

Inside of trunk, stripped

A few more hours later, it was sealed and primed and looked like this:

Sealed, primed and ready!

Sealed, primed and ready!

Then, my dad bought me some new paint to choose from and I decided to be adventurous and try an ombre look, from Emerald City green at it’s darkest, to a pale mint green at it’s lightest.

three shades of Emerald City paint

three shades of Emerald City paint

I usually enjoy creating my furniture projects, but painting an ombre looked was more frustrating than I’d expected.  Putting on a solid colour is simple and there is minimal room for error, but doing an ombre look could have turned out disastrous. It was tricky to keep each layer wet so that I could properly blend the shades without looking streaky.  However, I love how it turned out, although I wish I had done four shades instead of three.  Too late now! Here it is before distressing:

Finnegan was never far away during this process... his painted tail is proof!

Finnegan was never far away during this process… his painted tail is proof!

painted not distressed

Home stretch- ready to finish. *finally*

I started distressing and found that it was so difficult to sand through the paint and primer by hand that my husband insisted on buying me a power sander!  Yay!

I finished distressing, waxed everything with clear beeswax polish and added finishing details with the dark beeswax polish.  Then, Nick meticulously measured and lined the inside with a roll of wall paper that was gifted to us at a paint store and just happened to be the perfect match (Coincidence? I think not).

So, after all of that…

Here it is. (Click on the gallery to scroll through the photos).  A steamer trunk that can be used as storage, as a coffee table or (imagine!) luggage!

What do you think?

For purchase inquiries, email me at sapphirerestorationdecor@gmail.com

This trunk was primed with Bullseye 1-2-3 Primer/Sealer and painted with FAT chalk paint in Emerald City and Warm White.  The ombre look was achieved by using full strength Emerald City on the bottom, 2 parts Emerald City to one part Warm White in the middle and 2 parts Warm White with 1 part Emerald City.  The trim was painted with Warm White.  The interior was lined with a marble wallpaper with hints of white and green.  


Trunk- part 2

Every spare second I get, I am working on my Sapphire projects.  I don’t have anything new to show for it yet because this trunk is taking so. much. work- scraping, sanding, tweezing, cleaning, disinfecting, gluing, hammering, and finishing with a double coat of primer/sealer.  The trunk is now positively pristine.  Take a look at my progression by clicking on the first picture in the gallery and scrolling through.

It is now ready for its real transformation.  I just bought three new cans of paint colour and am still deciding which one to use (although, I am strongly leaning toward a certain colour…).  Take a look and let me know what your vote is! (left to right: Buttercup, Warm White, Caribbean Blue, Emerald City and Indigo)

Hmm...which to choose?

Hmm…which to choose?