Painting a Footlocker Trunk with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I love my Mom.  Totally adore her.  She really is one of the sweetest people ever created and she believes I can pretty much do anything.  So when she borrowed my favorite book, Country Living’s Decorating with White and left a sticky note with an arrow pointing to the footlocker trunk that read, “You can do this, right?” I literally laughed out loud.  I don’t see these old trunks in my price range.  They’re not in the old barns or junky warehouses I shop at.  They’re usually in antique stores because someone else has been lucky enough to scoop them up.  As luck would have it, a few weeks later I happened upon a footlocker steamer trunk and decided surprise her with it.


The trunk I found has a lot of great details like leather trim and brass tacks.


The inside is just as cool.  Take a look at that herringbone pattern, swoon.


The hardware is a little rusted but it’s in an “I’ve been on lots of adventures” rusted kind of way.


I started out by taping off the trim and detail pieces with the Frog Tape we were given in our “swag bags” at the Haven conference.


Next, I primed the body using two coats of Zinsser primer.


After the primer was dry, I used two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White allowing for adequate drying time in between coats.  When the Chalk Paint had dried, I used 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the body of the trunk.  Then I coated with clear paste wax but you could also use polyacrylic as well.


I gave the leather trim a little oil rub because it was looking pretty thirsty.


I surprised my Mom last Friday with the trunk and she was super excited.  I can’t wait to show you guys what room we decided to use it in!


Many blessings,





  1. Renee @ The Refined Relic says

    I love this before and after. Your mom has a great eye to want this trunk in her space and a talented daughter who helped tranform it into something beautiful. Great job.

  2. says

    WOWSER! I see these a lot while thrifting but they usually look completely wrong for my space. WHO KNEW YOU COULD PAIN THEM??? I’m so excited now. 🙂

    PS: what oil rib do you use for the leather??? I need to do this to some purse straps but don’t want to ruin them.


    • CoCo says

      I was a little worried to paint this one to be honest. I wasn’t really sure how the paint would take to the leather but I think she’s really excited about the way it all came together. I will send you an email of the recipe I use for the leather.

  3. says

    Coco, SWOON is right. Wow I haven’t found one either so what a great find that was!! It looks soooo good. Thanks for the great tutorial on what to use. I need to be on the hunt for one too. Looks Fab and I bet your mom is stoked!! xo Lisa

  4. says

    I just love old trunks. I have one in my living room that I found at a thrift store and haven’t been able to part with it. I was going to list it for sale but decided it should stay 🙂 Just too good of a find to sell. Yours is great – I’m sure your mom will love it.