$5 Old Trunk Coffee Table (A Thrifty Makeover!)

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Old trunk coffee table? Why not?! These little guys are fairly abundant at garage sales/thrift stores and perfect for all kinds of uses!

Happy Trash to Treasure Tuesday Friends!

I’m so excited to share this little old trunk coffee table with y’all.
I’ve had the trunk in my storage unit for several years and finally pulled it out to give it a much needed makeover.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - BEFORE - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

It was in pretty sad shape but I really love giving old trunks makeovers.

Especially when you can make something that looked like that above, like this….

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - AFTER - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Paint does wonders, I tell ya.

MATERIALS LIST

 
Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

These feet had one more little “ball” on the bottom that I did not like so I cut it off.
The turned up edge of what was left looks so much better as the “bottom” of the leg. (and the scale was a bit better too)

I also decided to keep the old, worn, cracked leather handles unpainted.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Want to know about 26 other chalk style paints?
I’ve got the low down for you right here! >>> 26 Types of Chalk Style Paint For Furniture

And here’s how I turned this old trunk coffee table. :)

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

I painted 2 coats of the chalk-like paint I linked above.
And then I distressed it quite a bit after it was dry.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

I taped those handles to keep them natural, unpainted with my fave painter’s tape.

Then I printed out the graphic (also linked above :) ) using blockposters . (com).
I lined it up and transferred it using the carbon paper mentioned earlier.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

And hand painted it in. I used Chalk Paint in Graphite but you can use any black or dark gray paint.
The script liner brush is a must for this type of painting though.
Plus, another thing I always do is keep the printout that I transferred with handy so I can glance at it as I paint.

Want more tips and transfer methods? 
I created a post dedicated to just that, right here>>>“How To Transfer Graphics”

Once it was dry, I gave it a light sanding to also distress it.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Then sealed it all up with my favorite sealer, General Finishes, High Performance Top Coat. (linked above)

You know what I did next?

I stood back and took a look at my pretty new treasure.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Um, what??? Whaaaaat? Or more like, WAAAAA! (as in, I want to cry right now!!lol)
I did it upside down. All that work. Ugh.

That One Room Challenge has sucked all my brain cells apparently. ;)

So yeah, FAIL. Bummer.

But in the midst of painting shelves, sanding and staining a gazillion sample pieces of wood on Sunday (trying to figure out what I would do with the new counter top in the ORC laundry room)….I repainted this. :/

Here are a few of the samples I did for the counter top, by the way. (this is only 3, I did about 25 different variations, not kidding!)

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

You’ll have to wait until Thursday to see what I decided on! (edited! See it here!)
And so will I, since as I type this, I haven’t decided just yet. ;)
But as soon as I finish here I’m back at it.

Okay, so here’s what happened to the poor old trunk coffee table next…..

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Boohoo.

And since it was about a week in between, I inadvertently printed the graphic out a tiny bit smaller.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

I didn’t realize it until I was done and stood back to look at my work.
Oh well.
I did like the the graphic a bit larger but I’m not doing it for a 3rd time! ;)

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

And a little roughed up.

Whew! Done again. 

Oh, and here’s a peek at the inside “before”……

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Icky.
I sprayed it about 3 times with bleach to kill anything that might be trying to live in there.
Then I peeled away whatever I could of that loose paper, cleaned it up and added a bit of decorative paper….

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Now let’s see it in action. :)

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

I’m really loving it here in my family room with my white, slip covered furniture.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

By the way, this is the ONLY spot in the house that doesn’t look like a hurricane went through it.
Everything is everywhere and every blank space is a work space with the ORC going on.
So glad this is the last week! I need to get my normal back. ;)

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Those feet really make it, I think.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

 

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

I hadn’t thought I’d keep this one but I just might.

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

My cute, little model, Ryder…..

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

And then he said, that’s enough of that, Mom, I’m out! haha

Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Sweet boy. :)

So, FIVE dollars. You can’t beat that.

PIN this for ideas on old trunk coffee tables! 

SO Easy!! $5 Old Trunk Coffee Table , a THRIFY Makeover! - artsychicksrule.com #trunkcoffeetable #oldtrunkmakeover #frenchgraphics #cottagedecor #repurposedtrunk

Wait! Don’t run off just yet! ;)
Let’s see what kind of treasures my friends made out of these this month:

  1. Bless’er House
  2. Prodigal Pieces
  3. Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer
  4. Girl in the Garage

 

You can see even more Trash to Treasure Transformations right >>> here.

I’ll be back on Thursday with my One Room Challenge finale! The big reveal. (I hope! ;) )
Plus some outdoor decorating inspiration for Spring.

And don’t miss my latest furniture makeover too!! (this turned into a fun “activity” table ;) )

UPDATE!!! See it now, here!!

xo

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74 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, girl, this might just be one of my favorite projects of yours ever!! Didn’t I say that about the last trunk you redid lol? That really stinks about the graphics, but you are a perfectionist just like me, and I would have had to redo it too. Love love love it. I hope you do keep it! XOXO

    1. Haha thanks Christy! You might have! :) I know, no way I could have left it like that!! It would’ve made me crazy!! lol xoxo

  2. But the graphic was right side up when you open the top. I think that might have been my reasoning, Nancy! Either way, it turned out wonderfully. Those feet are pretty great and the lining is beautiful.

  3. Nancy, I have a question. How do you lightly sand over your black graphic without black paint dust getting over into the white paint? I’ve tried this 2-3 times & the black dust has always discolored the lighter paint. Thx. BTW—LOVE this makeover.

    1. Hi Linda,
      The dust does get over it but I just wipe it away. As long as it’s all dry, it doesn’t hurt anything. Be sure to wipe away with a dry cloth. I’m not sure why the dust may have done that on yours unless there was some dampness somewhere. I can’t think of any other reason it might do that. (although if you were using latex, it tends to be more “sticky” in general, so that could be the problem) And thank you much! :) xoxo

  4. I love this! I do have a question though. What did you use the brackets for (from your materials list)? I’m wondering if they were reinforcing the leg mounts?

  5. Oh No! You must’ve put your head down on the top of that trunk and had a good cry. If it makes you feel any better, that is totally something I would do (not having ORC under my belt). I have a similar trunk in my basement storage room that I’ve had since I was 16 (my “Hope Chest” – remember those). I just love what you did with your chest – so pretty and functional. You’ve inspired me to put some hope into my Hope Chest!

  6. It looks beautiful, Nancy! I know you about died when you noticed that the graphic was upside down. Your hard work was well worth the effort. This trunk looks great in your living room!

    1. Thank you Paula! Yes, I was not a happy camper when I realized that! I was trying to work on the ORC and feeling stress from that so this was not helpful at all!! lol

  7. Oh my gosh girl, I feel so bad for you! That had to be such an awful feeling when you realized it was upside down. Extra kudos to you for diving in and redoing it. It really is a gorgeous makeover, love the black and white with the distressing and the graphic! Perfection. :)

    1. Thanks Jen! It was pretty awful but I didn’t dwell too long, just right back at it! The only way to make me feel better was to get it done..again! ;) xo

  8. This is WONDERFUL, Nancy. Anything to add extra storage, AND look beautiful, huh? I like BOTH sizes of the graphic, can’t decide which is better. :-)

    Oh, when you have to re-do… it’s the worst!

  9. I love this trunk..it’s sooo pretty. I think you had it right the first time. Face the handle out toward the room for interest when people come into the room – then the graphic is for interest while seated, where you have ample time to enjoy ! Either way it is a winner, but don’t be so quick to redo the next time – ask us for our ideas and see if you are saved additional work lol. Thanks for sharing.

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! gorgeous work. Can’t wait to try all of your methods. thank you for sharing and giving such detailed info on how to DIY. you rock. Would you please tell me, about how long does it typically take to completely transfer an image….how many hours of work can I expect to put in on a graphic about the size of what you have done with this project?
    Thank you and please continue to grace us with your creative genius!
    Best, LJ

    1. Aw thanks so much! :) It really depends on the size and intricacy of the piece…and also the way I choose to transfer it. Some are quicker than others. But for something like this, I think it took me about an hour from start to finish. It doesn’t take that long once you get going. I’m going to try to get a video of how I do this soon, so stay tuned! :) xo

    1. Hi Carrie! They were just little feet I found at Lowe’s or The Home Depot. Take a look in the wood trim section and you should find them! (and many others!) :) xo

  11. Nancy I love this trunk makeover. There are 2 of these at this thrift store I visit weekly and I really want to try it. Any extra tips you can give me? I will try it and send you a picture. Were the feet difficult to put on?

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! And oh yes, go grab em up! :) No, the feet were not difficult at all. But that may vary depending on the material of the trunks you find. Have fun!! xoxo

  12. Way to go Nancy! You really nailed it! Wonderful white (love it) and the graphic is so pretty. Sorry you had that issue… meh, water under the bridge because it is so cute now. Ryder clearly approves. :)
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks, Christina!! Ryder is such a good boy! ;) And yes, I barely even remember having to do it twice now! So happy with how this old thing turned out. Happy week to you! xoxo

  13. Ok, so I read this and busted out laughing! Ah, but I thought you meant you made the trunk upside down until I read the comments! That’s more what I would do. I passed up a trunk yesterday at Goodwill and now regret it. If I had seen this I would have gotten it! Maybe it’ll be there when I go back (maybe half price!) Have a great Easter! XOXO

    1. Haha! Silly me!! ;) Never know what I will come up with around here…or do!! hee hee And oh no, go back and get it! Thank you, Cecelia! It was a lovely day spent with my family, I hope you had a blessed one as well. xoxo

  14. Q: How what kind of decorative fabric/paper did you use. Contact, modge podge or something else? It looks great. I have four to do. two are wood and two are like yours but a bit large. Chalk paint will be my go to. What is a good and easily available non-yellowing clear coat? thanks. love your inspiration to me!

    1. Hi Connie! The adhesive and paper I used are linked in my post under “materials list”. I love the High Performance Top Coat (also linked, it’s in the gray box). It can yellow if you apply it too thickly or too many coats but I’ve found it’s one of the ones that yellows the least that I’ve used. :) Have fun with your makeovers!! xoxo

  15. I just have to comment on this! FANTASTIC! KEEP IT! keep it! DAMN IT, KEEP IT!!!! lol I am sooooo jealous!

    1. Awww, haha, thank you Linda! :) I have kept this one! It’s in my storage unit. I don’t know where I’ll end up using it but I loved it too much to let it go! xoxo

  16. I have that exact same trunk, bought it about 20 years ago and have wanted to redo it. I love yours now. One of my leather handles has dry rotted and broken off. What would work as a replacement and look great? Thanks for sharing all your beautiful work!

    1. Oh yay! Yes, give it a brand new look and brand new life! I wonder if you could put a rope handle were the leather one was? You may even be able to find an old leather belt and cut it to fit also. If not leather, a canvas style belt in a neutral color would probably work too. You could glue it in with something like E6000 (but obvi couldn’t “use” the handle). It would look good as new! Have fun with it. :) xoxo

  17. Okay Miss Nancy , I’m just now seeing the trunk makeover.. It is so cute. I’m wondering if you kept it or sold it? The transfer and feet are perfect. Perfect for storage too!

  18. LOVE this trunk makeover! I really feel your pain over the upside-down graphic and agree that it’s best to repaint it quickly before you settle into the pit of despair. I have 2 of these sitting in my basement awaiting the right idea (this!) How exactly did you attach the feet? I’m having difficulty picturing the attachment. Thanks so much for sharing!

      1. I love, love, love the trunk!!! I also love your rug….may I ask where you got it? Fringed sisal/jute rugs are very hard to find….

  19. Love your stuff!! The trunk turned great. I love it! Where do you find the Decals for the top of the trunk?

    1. Aw, thanks, Donnita! Oh these are not decals, just graphics that I downloaded, then transferred to the trunk…then painted it in. Decals would be easier! ;) xo

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