Restoration Hardware Inspired Restored Trunk

I am shouting out loud. From the rooftops! (Okay, not really) However, a few months ago, I was doing a happy dance, jumping up and down, screaming hysterically like a straight up lunatic in a rage of happy hysteria in my living room when I was contacted by Melody from My Passion for Decor asking if I would like to join a monthly themed furniture group.  I had to think about it for like a nano-second. Ummm, YES!

Here is the first post! This month’s theme was based on “Inspired By” …

(You can see all of the other bloggers creations at the end of my post so make sure you stay for awhile!!)

restoration hardware inspired restored trunk by Renovar Design

This is the inspiration piece from Restoration Hardware. As you can see, my piece took on a totally different look. Quiet the opposite actually. Why is that?  I like to say that the pieces “talk to me” as I work with them. This is what I had planned for my trunk when I had started. . .Richards' Trunk Tall Coffee Table

It began looking quite pitiful actually. It had seen better days. I had bought the metallic paint and knew I could bring it back to a new glorious, fabulous RH look similar to what you see above.Trunk before Renovar Design

trunk before 1

I started out with one of my favorite paint stripping products. This is the StripFast Power Stripper from Zinsser. This formula has a consistency best used for hand wiping. If you have a sprayer, Zinsser makes this formula for you. (Click to view our Disclosure and Affiliate Policies)

strip-fast zinsser stripper renovar design

I started to apply the stripper and within seconds it started to react.

stripping process

During the stripping process is when the speaking began. I stripped. It spoke.

speaking to me 2

As you can see, the piece began to reveal its original beauty.

speaking to me

This is also my first restoration piece. Possibly my last?  It took a lot of time, effort and attention to detail.  I didn’t really mind though with this particular piece. Except for the fact that I wasn’t planning on the mess and 12 hours spent on it.  It definitely took me outside of my comfort zone. I am learning a lot of life lessons these past few weeks and this piece is a metaphor for me. Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone – can be okay and maybe even a good thing. (Lol, there I go again, I digress.)

After stripping the piece, I spent a lot of time on the metal corners with steal wool in 0, 00, and 000 (Click to view) working on the metal edging along with Iron-Out spray (Click to view) to bring the steal back to its former glory.  I would say that it is worth it!!  My shoulders and upper arms got a tremendous work out!

metal corners

metal corners 2

metal corners 3


I did some light sanding on the wood with 60, 150, 220 then 320 sandpaper before wiping it down and applying a coat of polyurethane.  What you see is what I got from stripping the wood.  I really wasn’t going for perfection as I was going for the aged beauty of the piece.  I don’t know the history, but I am guessing it is a war era foot locker?

wood details

On the inside, I first tried the stripper and got some awful toxic fumes.  I rinsed it out and realized I was dealing with wallpaper.  WALLPAPER?  WTH?

working on the inside

I used warm water and downy in a spray bottle and let it sit.  Using a scraper it came off fairly easily.  It also took away the musty smell as well.  I washed it out and took off the glue residue.  Not much time or effort with the inside and I just left it as is.  I am glad that this method worked so well and thankfully killed the musty odor too.  That was much easier than I had expected which was a relief because I was exhausted.

spraying the inside

As far as the hardware?  I have someone interested in the piece and will coordinate with that person to see what their preference is before I place the order.

needs hardware

So, while the plans were for me to faux finish the wood to look like metal and the metal to look like leather, I think restoring it to its original beauty looks sooo much better!  Don’t you??  Sometimes, bringing a piece back to life is worth the effort.

renovar design restoration hardware inspired restored trunk

Without further ado… let’s check out what all the other fabulous bloggers have been inspired by…shall we??  Personally, I can’t wait!

furniture refresh 1

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Thanks so much for reading my little blog.  Please feel free to comment.  Also, remember that sharing is caring and is always appreciated!

Until next time my friends,



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