Wardrobe Trunk Transformation

Wardrobe trunk transformation makeoverNo one wanted this trunk and I really could not blame them. When my hubby and I pulled up around 2 pm at the garage sale, I saw so much stuff and then…as we walked up the driveway we spotted it. On its side, laying there with a price tag of $10!

wardrobe trunk

The finds of the day stacked in the Expedition

$10? We could not believe it and as we opened it…the smell of old about knocked us over! It was horrible and we both looked at each other but as we opened the trunk more we saw the drawers… I knew I had to have it!wardrobe trunk, Hartmann wardrobe trunk transformation

It took months. Literally months of trying every trick I could think of to get the smell out. It sunbathed for weeks. It sat outside under my gazebo (for rain protection) because when I tried to air it out in the garage the smell was just too much! I even put it in my garden shed but I could not stand the smell. So the trunk sat until December under my gazebo on the deck…wardrobe trunk, fabric storage

I sprayed vinegar, sat vinegar dish closed up in it for weeks, tried Febreeze, the sun, kept it open for the last 3 1/2 months. It helped but the musty odor of old stank up the garage. So there was only one thing to do…wardrobe trunk transformation,

wardrobe trunk transformation

I ended up sanding off fabric on 2 drawers with a sanding block

I stripped all the fabric out of it and knew I would have to paint the inside to seal the smell forever. I had to use my hobby knife set to cut the fabric around the handles, metal hinges, and brackets cause they were riveted in the wood and I did not want to ruin them. I also knew spray paint is a great way to seal in the odor but make sure the piece is dry and free of any mold or rot. This trunk was stored in a basement and attic for years so it had minimal moisture damage. I knew I wanted to ‘restore’ if you would the trunk to a vintage feel so I hunted for the fabric and the other day at JoAnn’s Fabric I found it. I searched each bolt and each aisle looking for a travel type theme and the color purple.wardrobe trunk transformationwardrobe trunk transformation, makeover trunk

wardrobe trunk transformation, makeover trunk

Taped off all the metal. I initially spray primed and painted but did not like the result

Wardrobe trunk makeover transformation

Covered all metal with painters tape before spraying the drawers

I know you are probably thinking PURPLE? I love purple and have for 40 years…

Rustoleum 2x spray, trunk makeover, wardrobe trunk transformationwardrobe trunk transformation

plus I knew that this trunk was going to be used for fabric storage in my craft room (and I had a can of Rustoleum 2x spray in purple). Crazy right? Grown woman who would paint an antique Hartmann wardrobe trunk purple. However, I did not paint the inside purple because I envisioned more of a metal type look but that did not work. So I covered up the spray paint with the rest of my Prairie Colors Weather Fence Chalk paint which happened to match one of the colors in the fabric perfectly. As trunk was drying on the dining room table I finished up the drawers.

Prairie Color Sealer, trunk transformation, wardrobe trunk

Old socks and Prairie color sealer

I used fabric I found at JoAnn’s Fabric store. I love that store and the selections of fabrics are awesome and I perused the aisles and bolts looking for a vintage, travel themed fabric that I could Mod Podge on the drawer fronts. I had to carefully work around the handles and brackets but taking off the rivets was not an option. Working with fabric and Mod Podge you have some room for error. Having sharp blades on my hobby knife set that I had won from DIY Lifestyles Magazine, I knew that I could gently cut around the metal. Wardrobe trunk makeoverJoAnn's Fabric, trunk makeover, wardrobe trunk makeover transformationtrunk transformation makeover

Mod Podge, trunk makeover, wardrobe trunk makeover

Mod Podge and fabric drawer fronts

I was getting excited once I had ModgePodged the drawer fronts because it seemed that this project was taking me forever. I also measured and used my scrap fabric to sew drawer liners because I did not reline the drawers with fabric after I spray painted. I was trying to keep this makeover under $20 which I did!

wardrobe trunk makeover transformation

Fabric drawer liner

fabric drawer liner, trunk transformation makeover

Drawer liner

There are a couple more tweaks to do to enhance my storage on the hanging side. For now I am using wire hangers for the larger cuts of fabric but I am envisioning a better and prettier hanging solution.

wardrobe trunk makeover

Princess hanger

For the outside of the trunk I decided I liked the vintage, worn look. The trunk is also trimmed in leather, so I used Prairie Colors Tuff Coat Lo-Gloss Sealer to give a sheen to the worn trunk. Using an old sock it took me a couple hours to finish the outside and then decided to seal the inside where I had painted it with the Prairie Colors Weathered Fence chalk paint. wardrobe trunk makeover

What is fun and a bit crazy about this trunk is that they sell for close to $500 on EBay and I just ripped out the original fabric and painted it. Oh well, you cannot sell a stinky antique for that much money and I am a DIYer who is still learning. I love the fabric and the idea of having a $10 garage sale find no one wanted and my hubby teasing me that I just cost us $500 Ebay sale for spray painting the inside and ripping out the fabric. Some day I may sell it but for today I am happily storing my fabric in a pretty little trunk I will always remember as the smelly $10 garage sale find.wardrobe trunk makeover

I hope you love this makeover as much I do.wardrobe trunk transformation makeover

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

DIY Lifestyle Magazine, trunk makeover, wardrobe trunk transformation

used sharp hobby knife to careful cut the excess fabric

wardrobe trunk makeover transformation, DIY Lifestyle Magazine gift

Hobby knife set courtesy of DIY Lifestyle Magazine when I won it on Twitter

2015 Copyright C Renee Fuller

5 thoughts on “Wardrobe Trunk Transformation

  1. Wow that is one total transformation for sure. I can’t believe what a makeover it received. LOVE it. That’s a lot of love there and I love how you used purple. My daughter’s favorite color too. Thanks so much for linking up to our Something to Talk About Link Party again and have a great week, xo Lisa at Concord Cottage.

  2. Oh my goodness Renee, I love this! The work and care you put into this old trunk has totally paid off ~ it’s fabulous 🙂 The vintage travel pattern fabric is so cute, and I know you love using it for your craft storage. Such a fun piece ~ thanks for linking up today! Bwg ~~~

  3. Hi thank you again for linking up your beautiful trunk and we’d love for you to link up again tomorrow (Monday) morning at 6 am est to our Something to Talk About Link Party. Hope you had a great weekend, Lisa at Concord Cottage.

  4. I bought a truck just like this one about 10 years ago for $40. Hauled it home to Arizona from Colorado and realized it had the same problem regarding the odor. I too have tried and failed many times to rid it of the offensive smell and it ended up stashed in my garage (closed shut of course). I didn’t want to eliminate the original lining and the drawers still have the travel straps inside, but it isn’t doing me any good in the garage either. Thank you for sharing as now I won’t feel so bad about ripping out the linings and painting the inside. I plan to use it as storage for my craft supplies and I love things like this unless you know someone who will give me the $500 for it!

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