How to Get the Smell out of an Old Steamer Trunk?

The blog post I get contacted about the most is the one where I wrote about beginning to restore my Granna’s old steamer trunk. And I can see why – there’s just not a lot of information out there. In fact, when you Google “how to restore a steamer trunk” my little blog comes in in the top 5 results (which I think is hilarious). I started this project in 2014 and – to be honest – have made very little progress with it since I wrote my first post.

Why? Well, I have had a lot of trouble getting all the musty odor out and I ended up tucking it away in the basement for another day year. Getting the smell out is a priority, because if I can’t resolve that there’s no point in trying to refinish the rest of it.

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Before & After: An Old Painted Dresser

First – Happy Saturday! We’ve had several men working on our house for the last two weeks residing our house. (!!) The¬† old siding was rotted and peeling beyond repair. We also were able to knock out that awkward window in our shower and side right over it! All this to say, they are working right outside of the window I’m sitting in front of and I feel a little rude. So this post will be short today.

Refinishing an old painted dresser

Earlier this spring I posted another dresser that I was tackling – my mom’s dresser that she had when she was a kid.

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Spastic Curb Hunters Unite!

My name is Kat and I have a problem.

I am normally a safe driver. I’ve never gotten pulled over. I pay attention to drivers around me. I passed Driver’s Ed with flying colors. But, when a lonely piece of furniture on the side of the road enters my peripheral vision, forget about it.

“What is that!? Ahhh!”

“Do I need one? Can I fix it? Is someone else about to swoop out of nowhere and grab it from me?”

“Can I pull over here? Is that hardwood? Is there anyone driving behind me?”

Yep, that’s what was running through my brain when I found this bad boy.

I know, I know. She’s not pretty. I almost left her there in the sprinkling rainstorm. But, underneath the big crack, the scribbles and rough spots she was sturdy. I threw her in the trunk and stuck her in the basement for a month or two before she resurfaced to my memory.

Then one beautiful Saturday afternoon I was inspired. I filled in the crack on the front drawer and sanded her down (and then sanded her some more even though I’m impatient about things like that).

I used a Killz oil-based primer (Peeyeww!) to make sure the paint would hold tight. Then I used two coats of white latex paint (Behr). After that was totally dry, I put on two thin coats on Minwax water-based poly.

I think she looks pretty good. : )

For now I’ve kept the original brass hardware (which I cleaned with warm water and vinegar). But maybe the next time I’m at Home Depot another handle will strike my fancy.

I like the classic lines and clean white color of this piece. I was tempted to paint it sky blue or clover green, but I ended up picking white. Now I can find a bright-colored table lamp to use on top of it.

Store furniture is nice, but I like pieces I can fix up myself better.

Plus the price was right. $8 for the primer and $5 for the poly. Bringing my total to $13. But since I can use the materials for many other projects to come, I’m going to take that down to about $5 and one long afternoon in the sun.

: )

Are you a maniac like me? Or do you drive right by like a sane person?

Kelly Green Happiness for a Buck

Sometimes all you need is a fresh coat of paint in a fun color. : ) My friend Jill found this chair for free and decided to bring it on over to my house! (Thanks Jill!)

I was at Home Depot and perusing through the “Oops Section” (my favorite area! they have all kinds of mis-tints and returns cans for really cheap prices.) I bought a pint of this pretty Kelly Green for $1.00. You can’t get better than that.




I sanded down the rough spots and painted a few coats over the scratched up red paint. It’s now a lovely chair in our bedroom for Moose to tie his shoes.