A few months ago, a friend of mine posted a picture of a high school girl wearing a shirt that said “86” on it. My friend asked the girl what it meant and she replied that it was “vintage– you know, from 1986”. My friend had graduated from high school in 1986 and just about choked when she heard that she was “vintage”.
I love vintage things. Not 1986 vintage, but truly vintage. The stories that vintage items hold can only be imagined or, better yet, dreamed up in our minds.
I came by my love of vintage items quite naturally. My mom has some very cool items that have been passed down from her parents and grandparents. My favorite is an old steamer trunk that my papa brought with him from Ireland. I asked my moms about restoring about 20 years ago. I don’t think she believes I will ever do it. Someday I will show her. Truth is, I am a little intimidated by it. I mean, with its history so personal to me, I would not want to mess it up.
In the meantime, I picked up this beauty on which to “practice”.
The hinges worked fine. A previous owner had painted the inside, and in the process, slipped paint on the outside, which I sanded off. The clasp doesn’t work, but is intact. The straps are missing from the sides (I’ve almost never seen a trunk with the handles still attached).
I began by washing her with Murphy’s Oil soap (mostly because I was using that on another project, which I’ll show later.
She looks better already. Some trunks come with that musty, vintage smell, but this one really doesn’t. I did clean the inside really well.
Next, I began to work on the outside. I didn’t want to have a “freshly painted” look since, after all, she is an antique, so I chose an ultra flat chalky black paint for the metal parts. On the textured parts, I used a copper metallic paint which I carefully dry-brushed and wiped, just to give an “antique” appearance.
I painted the hasps and buckled gold
I stained the wooden straps with minwax fruitwood.
For the inside, I selected a wonderfully vintage fabric to Modge Podge I started with the lid.and applied a thin coat of modge lodge to the lid before laying the fabric down. I flattened out the wribkles and applied more Modge Podge on top. I let the lid dry completely before moving on to sides and bottom.
The sides and bottom were done in a similar fashion.
On Sunday, I posted the trunk for sale on the Facebook Marketplace and was almost immediately contacted by multiple people who were interested. I made arrangements to meet the first person and let the others know that i’d contact them if the pick-up fell through. Just as I was pulling in to the parking lot to meet the person, they texted and said they changed their mind. “Really?” I said, more than a little agitated. However, I went to the next in line, and he was available to meet and came right away. I am hoping that he loves the trunk – it truly is a beautiful piece. In all honesty, I’m a little sad to see it go. I believe I have the confidence to work on Papa’s trunk.