Painted wood trunk DIY

3 Dec

For two years this project has been looking at me from the corner of the room, daring me to do something about it. The old black trunk sitting under the window in our living room was in bad need of some attention when we bought it two years ago, but it was a sturdy little thing with metal hardware and handles. Inside there are two lift-out trays for storing small items, with deep storage underneath. I was certain it would just take an afternoon to clean up the trunk with some paint, and make it amazing. Instead, we brought it home, placed it in the bay window, filled it with crap, and mostly forgot about it. At one point we made a cushion for the top of it, but then you know, we forgot about it.

After a recent visit to the weird and amazing California Caster on 17th, we revived our plans to update the trunk. We decided to replace our current coffee table with one on wheels, but couldn’t find something we both liked. I convinced Intern that we should try the trunk as our coffee table (the verdict is still out on whether he agrees). I found a set of red casters for our trunk, and after consulting my pantone color book, Intern and I settled on a paint color. The wood was painted a matte black, and it was also pretty scratched and dented in a few places, so we had to repair it with wood putty, and sand the trunk before we could prime and paint. All our neighbors got a good look at us over the course of three weekends worth of painting on the sidewalk in front of our house. The weather got a little iffy for a few weeks, but we finally finished painting just before I promised away our current coffee table to friends. This project should have been a breeze, but it was not.


We’re not entirely sure if the trunk will stay as our coffee table, but I like it for now. It is much smaller than our previous coffee table, but our living room feels new again. The trunk may end up going back to the bay window, if and when we find a better coffee table alternative. The casters were on sale for a little more than $2 each, and the hardware and wood mounts were just under $10. I can’t recall what we originally paid for the wood trunk, but I am guessing it was well under $20.

3 Responses to “Painted wood trunk DIY”

  1. Mark Williams December 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM #


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. booksoutsidethebox December 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM #

    Looks great, love the wheels!

  3. Kathleen Koeppel December 3, 2012 at 12:37 PM #

    You have definitely given that forgotten trunk “new life”
    Great job! I love the red casters.

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