How to Make Over a Thrifted Blanket Trunk

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Well, the last three weeks have been quite an adventure. We’ve had breakdowns, accidents, injuries, life changes, work changes and exhaustion. For awhile there, I was on a simple loop of coping and sleeping. Things seem to be getting to a state of equilibrium now, in my new normal. I’ve been wanting to show you what I’ve been up to, and I’m so thankful I have the time and space to do that again.

First up, my workshop trunk. This little trunk had been waiting for soooo long for it’s turn under the paint brush! I found it at the Goodwill years ago and I’ve been using it for storage in my workshop (i.e. office-slash-craft-room) ever since. I think it was originally a cherry-style finish, but somewhere along the way someone had attempted to paint it. It looked like part spray paint and part latex painted with a roller. Even with all the “distressing” it’s gotten over the years (read: total abuse and neglect), it just didn’t get better. It was shabby, but not in a good way.

I’ve been meaning to give it a makeover since the day I brought it home! A few weeks ago, it finally got it’s turn.

So this is what the poor thing looked like before:

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

I had originally planned to just paint it white, but for some reason I couldn’t get this vintage-y bright blue out of my mind. I went through my Sherwin-Williams fan deck several times until I found a color that was similar to what I was seeing in my mind. I didn’t realize until just yesterday that the paint color was inspired by this vintage teapot that a friend gave me. Funny how things stick in your subconscious, isn’t it?

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

I painted the base Sherwin Williams Blue Mosque (SW 6789) and the top Sherwin Williams Softer Tan (SW 6141). I always use the sample paints for doing furniture because they have such a great chalky texture that sticks to everything. And no, I didn’t prime.

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Here’s what it looked like after the first coat:

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

After I did the painting, I started to distress and started to think it would be neat to really strip most of the paint off the top and really make it rustic. I left just a little paint and stained over it with some water-based stain I had on hand to really dirty it up. This is what it looked like when I was done:

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Here’s another before and after:

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

I’m actually kind of surprised that I went for such a rustic look. I am usually all about the bright, happy, retro, vintage, shabby, fairytale look. But this is what seemed to be the right thing at the time, so I went for it:

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via

I love the vintage-y blue, and how it complements the green on my grain-sack work table. I’m not at all sure about the top. I’ll live with for awhile and see how I feel about it as the rest of the room comes together, but for now I’m happy that at least it doesn’t look sad and neglected.

What about you? Any bold colors or rustic textures making their way into your home lately?


13 responses to “How to Make Over a Thrifted Blanket Trunk”

  1. It looks amazing. You chose such a happy colour and the top is beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Magali! I do like how it turned out, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to leave it that way. I’m really learning many lessons about what I appreciate vs. what I want to live with. Not the same thing, in my case! ~Angela~

  2. Really nice, Angela! Bold colors in my house? Ha1 Remember I live with my daughter! BUT! I am getting a dresser from a friend and plan on doing something BOLD with it! Chevron stripes, maybe? We’ll see! I’m excited, though. And so happy you are back! Dona

    1. So your daughter doesn’t love bold colors, Dona? To be honest, I’m still not sure I know if I like them or not, either!! I feel guilty because I’ve spent sooo much on various sample paints, but now that I’ve tried a bunch of them I think I’m finding that I really prefer softer more muted colors. I guess it’s like trying on clothes except a lot more work! 🙂 But I will live with everything for awhile and see. It’s a process!! Your dresser project sounds fantastic. I’d love to see it! ~Angela~

  3. Very nice, Angela. LOVE the blue.I’ve used their sample paints in the jugs to paint some small pieces of furniture and it came out nice.Someday, I want to try Annie Sloan’s paint.

    1. Thanks, Sue! I am still not sure what I think about it — I’m trying it out. I don’t really know what I like yet, so I have to try everything out to see what fits! Maybe someday I’ll be one of those people who just knows, but I’m not there yet. Meanwhile, though, it would be fun to try the ASCP sometime. It’s out of my price range for now, and the sample paint works well. I’ve thought about trying some of the homemade stuff sometime — have you done that? With the plaster or grout? ~Angela~

  4. Barbara H. Avatar
    Barbara H.

    Well, the universe seems to be on full tilt lately, throwing many of us up in the air to see where and how we will land. Too much going on lately to be doing any thing in the house or yard but I always enjoy seeing what you have been up to. I think the trunk might look nice with the wood top all clear (no paint) or much more paint with maybe glaze or dark wax breaking up the solidness of the white. But hey, Angela, live with it for a while to see if it really bugs you or if inspiration will strike. In the meantime, it looks lovely between the green legs and that project is ticked off the list, at least for now.

    1. Barbara, are you having a tumultuous summer, too? I hope everything is not too rocky. It’s been quite a ride, here! After living with the trunk for a while (I painted it a few weeks ago), I’ve decided to paint the top again, so I’ll share that soon. Thanks for stopping by! ~Angela~

  5. It looks great, Angela. I love the way you let the wood show through on the top!xoClaudia

    1. Thank you, Claudia! It was an experiment that I wanted to try and I’m glad I did, though I’m pretty sure I’m not going to leave it like that. I seem to be going through an entire process of figuring out what I really like — every time I think I know, I discover that I was wrong. I’ll keep trying, though. Onward!! Thanks for stopping by, it’s always so nice to hear from you. ~Angela~

  6. Hi Angela! Have you ever considered cracking the paint? Just a thought… I’ve always wanted to do it, but never have. Maybe I will with ALL the shelfing that hubby will have to build me (lol) in my sewing room. *Anita*

    1. Oh goodness, that sounds like a HUGE project, faux finishing all the shelving. I don’t think I would be brave enough to do that! I have always been interested in the cracked paint idea, but I have never been brave enough to do it. Maybe someday! ~Angela~

  7. You’re just so god at making things fit! once you have finished they seem to have always belonged. I love that blue might try that on an old rocking chair we found.

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