before and after

before and after: shirin’s trunk

by Grace Bonney

it’s always nice to see how a bold coat of paint can liven up an older piece of furniture. d*s reader shirin painted this vintage trunk a gorgeous bright red and it now brings just the right pop of color to her room. thanks for sharing shirin!

[stay tuned for a new diy project at 1!]


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  • I love the DIY repainting jobs, but can you please have the contributors specify if they used sandpaper or sand belts to strip paint down? I’d do so many more repainting projects if I didn’t think I had to invest in appliances…

  • So simple and effective! I love this, b/c anyone could do it with anything in their home, basically. I should probably go invest in a can of paint of a color I really like…

  • this is really cool. the red brings out the charm of the hardware and locks even more than before!! now to find an antique trunk to paint . . .

  • Thanks everyone! You can read more about this project at my blog:


    Jessica- I didn’t need to sand it because the trunk was made of old pressed paper.

    Marieke- We made the limon lettering with cardboard that I spray painted white, it actually spells “limonana” but it wouldn’t all fit on the trunk! :o)

  • This is really nice, I didn’t even ever think of painting the many trunks we have, but now I see how cool it can look.

    The detailing stands out right away, does not dissapear as in the original.


  • love what you did with the letters. i got a great vintage letter by convincing some workmen on the street who were taking it down to give it to me. but i’ve been trying on ebay to buy more to spell something out in my kitchen. but they’re so incredibly overpriced now. the best alternative seems to be to buy the fiberboard and wooden letters now being sold at michaels and distress/paint them yourself. they have pretty great typefaces and a great range of sizes.

  • wow looks great ! is the trunk wooden ? I’m wondering what type of surface it would need to be to take the paint ? Also what type of paint would you recommend ?

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