Friday, September 9, 2011

Turnin' Yella Ain't Always a Bad Thing

I bought this wooden trunk at half price for $45 about 9 years ago.  It has served various purposes over the years, but for the last 3 it's been used as our coffee table.  At first glance you might think it doesn't look too bad with the old, white chippy look, which is what orginally drew me to it.

BUT......after many years of staring at it, it's flaws became more glaring and I decided to redo it.

From what I can tell, it was originally wood with a typical finish.  Then someone came along and painted it brown...a terrible shade of brown, without removing the finish first.  So eventually these lovely little knot holes began to eat through the paint all over the trunk.


Then someone else came along and tried to salvage it by white-washing it (without removing the hardware first) and I'm assuming added a coat of poly that eventually turned yellow.

Drippy poly that aged to an awful, bodily function color of yellow.

I also didn't care for the cross pieces on the top.  They add some character and visual interest to it, but I found it really difficult to decorate because it seemed too sectioned off, and nothing could ever sit flat.  Plus, the wood pieces weren't spatially even and that drove me nuts.

See how this is the only side that goes all the way to the edge?  Why?  Again....drove me nuts!

So, my hubster helped me out by removing the cross pieces (they drove him crazy, too, because whenever he put his feet up on it to relax, they were always in the way).

Here it is all stripped down, sanded, and ready for primer.  Removing the extra wood pieces left some pretty deep gouges, a little more "character" than I wanted, so I filled those in with wood putty before I sanded it down.

(The wood looked kind of pretty and we considered not painting it, but in the end I decided it would have needed a lot more sanding/stripping for that and that was more work than I wanted.)

I gave it two coats of Krylon primer to help seal in those knot holes and cover up the bits of remaining paint that wouldn't budge.

I bought a quart of paint at the Restore that I thought was going to be the perfect shade of yellow,  but when I tried it out on a test piece it literally looked pukey.  I didn't feel like spending money on more paint, so I mixed my own and hoped for the best.

I used Krylon Satin White as the base and dumped in a few partial containers of yellow craft paint and a bit of brown to warm it up.

After two coats of yellow I began to glaze it..........and it was a disaster.  Looked awful!  Thankfully I still had enough paint left to give the whole thing another light coat of yellow so I could try again.  Later I figured out my rag to remove the glaze should have been damp...what a difference that made!

I bet you didn't even notice the carved details in the before pictures, did ya?

I love how the antiquing picked up all the imperfections.

I had to buy a new latch, the old one got all bent of shape (literally) during the removal of the top pieces.  It was bright shiny, gold brass.  So I sprayed it, and the hinges, with Oil  Rubbed Bronze and touched up the edges with Rub-n-Buff Spanish Copper to give it a more aged look. 

I think the Rub-n-Buff added just the right touch, I love it!

I've always loved the combination of farmhouse red/sage green/ and butter yellow.  It just appeals to my sense of comfort.  So I am loving the extra touch of color!

So here it is again......



It was a lot more work and time consuming than I had anticipated, but isn't everything in life?  It ain't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it.

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  1. OH MY!!!! How many times have I sat by this trunk!!??? My first thought was NO! It was so pretty the way it was....Then photo, by photo your changes occurred and it is LOVELY!!! You are absolutely right, in that I had NEVER noticed the carved details! Turned out just gorgeous! Way better than before!

  2. Girl, you are amazing. You and your brother should do a tv show. Seriously.

  3. It looks like a completely different piece! and SO much better! Love the carving too!

  4. What a makeover! First, if you don't succeed...and hon you did it!I love it! Just found your blog and now a new follower. Come on over and visit us, we would love having you follow us! Hugs! Loretta

  5. Are you kidding me?! It is the transformation of the year! The prize goes to you girlfriend. Just removing the cross pieces completely changed it and made it look more elegant, but still country. You did a really great job. Lisa~

  6. I love your end result! I redid a chest (in white) this summer for my sister but it would have been the mellow cream I painted the wardrobe if I'd been keeping it. I love color! Come by if you get a chance and see my "do-overs".

  7. you don't know who i am but i follow your blog everytime i get on love your style and your ideas....thanks for being willing to share your life with all of us....and by the way...i LOVE the trunk!!!!

    shelley hatfield

  8. it looks so cute. and i have to tell you those pretty details were totally lost on it before- they look gorgeous now!

  9. Wow this transformation is specfabulous!

  10. B.e.a.utiful! I too love the classic color trio of green, yellow, and red -- my forever home decor colors. So glad you removed the cross pieces...I've seen paneled doors used as kit. islands and thought it ridiculously unfunctionable. Great job!

  11. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the hottest virtual strippers on my desktop.


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