12 In Decor/ Life/ Projects

DIY: Guilded Upcycled Trunk

I have been waiting sooo long to do this post…and I don’t mean like a few weeks long or since my accident long…I mean like a year. I’m probably the slowest DIYer on the planet…but I refuse to put deadlines on anything other than client work or you know, feeding my kids, so I plod along as I find the time. Looking back for my before pictures I realized I started this project around September of last year so I’m happy to finally have it completed.

Upcycled Trunk

This trunk belonged to my father’s parents. When they passed away we packed up some of their things in a couple of trunks for me to have. I ended up taking this one to school with me. So it definitely has some sentimental value.


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At some point in my college career I decided it would super cool if I decoupaged photographs on the lid. Ahem.

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The lid was pretty badly dented because sometimes I’d use it as seating. Whoops. Then it spend the rest of it’s life in our basement housing old art supplies.

We had a couch in the office that was about 9000 lbs and I figured I’d slipcover it and use the trunk as a small coffee table so the couch wouldn’t look so out of place.

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I choose some wooden feet from Home Depot and screwed the plates into a couple of pieces of wood I placed inside the bottom (since the sides were pretty thin). I spray painted them gold to match before I attached them.

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I sprayed the bottom of the trunk black since I just wanted to cover the green and I didn’t want to waste my precious gold (my precious…). 🙂

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Then we moved and it sat around for a long time till I finally decided to finish spraypainting it.

I had my father in law cut a board to match the top so if someone did sit on it they wouldn’t fall through. I added some foam and upholstered it with some white duck cloth left over from my pillow case and watercolor projects.

I added the faux nailhead (Dollar Store pushpins) to give it a more finished look. I made a few throw pillows using the same techniques I did here and here.


So glad it’s no longer an eyesore. I think my grandmother would think it is just fabulous.


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  • Reply
    August 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Spectacular transformation! Your grandmother would be proud! I am

  • Reply
    Sarah B
    January 5, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    It looks fabulous! I would love to know how the spray paint held up on the trunk? I have an old trunk in my basement that I want to give new life. Trying to decide the best painting method for it!

    • Reply
      January 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      The paint help up pretty well. I need to give it another coat because my kids mess with it and it seems that their fingerprints have broken down the color over time.

      • Reply
        Kiara G
        April 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm

        Hi! What paint brand and color did you use or would you recommend?

  • Reply
    March 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Hi! Is it still holding up? WHERE OH WHERE did you get that magnificent elephant?

    • Reply
      May 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      It was a gift from a former co-worker. I spraypainted it gold!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Love it, awesome job!! Can you tell me what brand/color the spray paint was? Need that exact color for another project and am only finding metallic gold =\

  • Reply
    June 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I second what Tarrah said. What brand and color spray paint did you use?

  • Reply
    August 8, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Hey! Beautiful trunk! I’m currently working on the same project. How did you get the board to sit flat on top of the trunk? Did you drill it in from the inside?

    • Reply
      August 14, 2017 at 6:59 am

      Mine just sits flat on the top edge. I need to actually screw it or E6000 it on!

  • Reply
    Sue Sorce
    July 30, 2020 at 9:36 am

    You never answered what spray paint you used? I would love to know too? I have the exact same trunk that I am trying to decide what to do with it. I have made several other trunks into coffee tables.

  • Reply
    Sue Sorce
    July 30, 2020 at 9:38 am

    I have another question, how did you hide all of those areas where you removed the pieces of paper that were glued on? Did you just sand over them. I tried that and the finish becomes sort of feathery?

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