I’d been on a suitcase kick and I wanted to try a trunk. As it happened, there was one waiting for me at a thrift store! I decided on a fantasy excursion to the birthplace of the Beatles.
I gave the whole trunk a light sanding and filled in some nicks with spackle.
I used a foam brush to apply black gel stain to the trim and hardware, and while I was at it, I went ahead and coated the whole exterior. Gel stain doesn’t cover metal completely. It leaves a bit of a distressed finished that I like. The trick always, when using gel stain, is to give it plenty of time to dry.
On Pinterest, I found a guide to painting the Union Jack.
To prevent painting over my treated trim and hardware, I had to tape it. I used an exacto knife to trim the tape so that the tape only covered the metal. This had to be done in two steps: once for the lid, and then again for the base.
I started with a coat of Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue on the lid. For the red and white stripes, I chose Emperor’s Silk and Old Ochre.
It sure was easier pulling the tape off the trim than it had been applying it. And that was just for the lid. I still had to tape up the trim before I painted the base!
When the trim on the base had been taped, I continued the stripes down the front, back and sides, even painting the front handle.
I decided on bun feet for my British box. I purchased the mounting plates and the feet at a home improvement store. The mounting plates are designed to be used with different styles of “quick mount” feet or table legs.
Since the wood bottom of the trunk wasn’t thick enough to hold the mounting plates, I cut triangles of scrap wood and glued them to the corners with wood glue. (The paint cans pressed the wood together while the glue dried.)
From the bottom, I screwed the mounting plates into the trunk and through the wood triangles glued inside the bottom.
I gave the bun feet two coats of Emperor’s silk and screwed them into the plates.
I coated all of the painted surfaces on the outside with clear wax. The Emperor’s Silk on the interior pressboard didn’t need a sealer.
Closed, the trunk is a fun coffee table or linen chest.
Open, it’s a display and storage piece for an entryway or mudroom. Either way, it’s a treat for anyone who loves Great Britain or the Beatles!
From New York to London, “With Love From Me to You.”