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How to Paint a Steamer Trunk

Old steamer trunks provide a location for storage along with adding a touch of the past to any decor. Many steamer trunks have condition issues like rust and chipped paint. Condition issues exist on the inside of a steamer trunk such as water stains and mould. Restore an old steamer trunk by painting the exterior and interior with acrylic paint. Applying wallpaper, contact paper or fabric to the inside of a steamer trunk are alternate ideas.

Prepare the steamer trunk for paint. Sand any rust off the metal trim. Scrape any loose paint from the surface of the trunk. Wipe the trunk down with a soft cloth.

Paint a coat of acrylic primer on the metal surface. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

Paint the surface of the trunk with the desired acrylic paint colour. Paint the steamer trunk panels first if adding a different colour on the metal trim. Let the paint dry for one hour.

Paint any desired decorations or designs on the trunk after the acrylic paint has dried. Allow the paint to dry one hour.

Apply an acrylic sealer to the painted area. Apply two coats of brush-on sealer and five coats of acrylic spray. Follow the manufacturer's drying time in between coats. Place the trunk in a well ventilated area when using acrylic spray sealer.

Things You'll Need

  • Steamer trunk
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty knife
  • Soft cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Acrylic primer
  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic sealer
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."