|Vintage Suitcase Coffee Table|
I have loved old chests and trunks since my childhood. Now that I qualify as vintage myself, I take an even greater delight in finding, and transforming, items that have a story older than my own. Perhaps it is nostalgia. Whatever it is, I am always on the lookout for something with an interesting history.
|These metal trunks were in use during the 1940s and 1950s.|
|Top of Trunk - Mostly Surface Scratches in the Paint|
|Bottom of Trunk Had Seen Better Days|
|Inside of Case - Paper Lining - Perfume Spills|
|Removing Rust - Power Drill Abrasive Pad|
|Dremel Abrasive Buff - Perfect in Tight Spots|
|Trunk Lid Primed With Spray Paint|
|New Liner - Tissue Paper Decoupage|
In determining a decorative finish for the interior, I considered several options: stenciling a design, applying a decoupage treatment, lining with fabric, using decorative stick-on tiles, or inserting a thin cork liner. I decided to go with a lovely tissue paper decoupage (using a matte Mod Podge finish).
Towards the end of the project, I changed my mind about the exterior finish. Originally, my intent was to simply sand the finish and leave it with a wire brushed finish. That would have worked for my rustic cabin decor. However, once I decided to sell this piece, I felt a freshly painted finish would be more appealing to potential buyers. I used Rust-Oleum Chalked Spray Paint (in a neutral linen white) and then gave the trim a light distressing with fine grit sand paper.
|After Pic - Suitcase Coffee Table Transformation|
I could see the finish line in sight as I attached four hairpin legs to the bottom of the trunk. Because the metal skin on the case is very thin, I reinforced the bottom interior of the trunk (essentially creating a false bottom). This provided the added stability and thickness needed to bolt the legs securely to the case.
Would I tackle a project like this again? Absolutely! It's not easy to walk away from a vintage item needing some TLC. Besides, these chests are iconic and incredibly versatile. Not only will someone gain a unique conversational piece, but this suitcase is a great place to store things like remote controls, or dreams of future travel.
This coffee table and I now share our own unique story. Sometimes, in quiet moments, I feel transported as I imagine where it has previously been, what it carried, and who might have packed and unpacked it time and time again. I find myself composing little vignettes about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Case. Pretty good entertainment for the price of a five-dollar admission.
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