In this post I teach you how to distress a painted trunk to showcase all the beautiful details. Distressing paint adds depth and character to any piece of furniture
I bought this cedar chest many years ago and kept it as is for a while. I moved it from room to room when re-decorating or changing decor for the seasons. Well, after a while I decided to paint it. Have you ever painted something and just weren't happy with the outcome? Sometimes I paint things more than once……or twice. It’s okay to do that.
I didn't like how the paint makeover for the trunk turned out. I gave it a kind-of an overall white wash and I didn't do a good job of it. I freely admit that. But at the time I didn't want to repaint it. The trunk set in the master bedroom until a few months ago and was a clothes catch-all.
I found a really cool cedar chest a while ago and decided to replace the yucky looking trunk with the cedar chest. It set in the workshop for a few months until one day I was looking for something to paint and it caught my eye.....
Some of you probably will not like the fact that I painted this trunk in the first place. It was a mess to start with. The tin was torn and pulled away in places and the wood was a bit buckled. It wasn't really a candidate for refinishing. So for the paint finish I decided to go with white or I should say an off-white. I'm not really a fan of stark white.
I mixed two Behr paints together to get an off-white. Still trying to use up all that paint on the shelves. The paint doesn't look off-white until you hold something white against it and then the difference is obvious. I applied two coats of paint. (my favorite white chalk finish paint on Amazon here)
After the paint dried overnight I began the distressing process. I grabbed flexible 3M sandpaper 220 grit and started distressing the paint by hand. I find I can get a better grip on the sandpaper if I fold it double. The paint was coming off but not very much and not very fast. I changed to flexible sandpaper 100 grit. It was a bit better but I was still working too hard with little to show for it. (flexible sandpaper on Amazon here)
I changed to regular sandpaper (not flexible) 80 grit and that did the trick. It still took a bit of time and work to distress the paint on the whole trunk. I would step back, look at my distressing results, and say "not enough". I finally quit. That is the thing with distressed paint. You can distress lightly, medium, or go for the heavily distressed paint look.
The embossed tin looks so pretty distressed. I noticed when distressing the trunk that a bit of the stain or something was coming through the paint in areas. That was okay because it gave the paint a bit of an aged look.
The trunk really does look better now.....and different. The top of the trunk is slightly rounded which means it's not a candidate for a coffee table or side table. That's one reason I'm letting it go.
The trunk latches don't want to snap closed very easily either. I just leave them open.
I staged the photo with a vintage handmade quilt from my collection and a pretty turquoise straw bag I picked up at Michael's on clearance for $4. A steal.
Do you like the trunk painted or no? Won't hurt my feelings either way just be nice in your comments. Please leave a comment before heading off to see the other projects. Time to see what my favorite furniture painters have for us today. Just click those pink links below......
Repurposed Footstool Makeover - Girl In The Garage
Vintage Chest Nightstands - Prodigal Pieces
Television Cabinet Makeover - Confessions Of A Serial Diyer
Best Paint Sprayer For Furniture - Just The Woods
Duncan Phyfe Coffee Table Makeover - The Interior Frugalista
Antique Trunk Makeover - Petticoat Junktion (you are here)
As always thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com