How To Chalk Paint A Trunk/ Army Trunk Redo

My brother-in-law gave me his fathers’ old army trunk and I decided to give it a new life! In this DIY I will show how to chalk paint a trunk.

chalk painted trunk

chalk paint army trunk

The story of this particular trunk began in the 60’s during the Vietnam War. It belonged to my brother-in-law after he inherited it from his father who served in the war. This trunk was used to carry the electrical components needed to fix army radios. My brother-in-law had no use for it and told me I could have it! I have wanted a trunk like this forever and was so excited to give it a new life. I knew I wanted to lighten it up and make it match the style of my home. Below I will show you the steps I took and exactly how to chalk paint a trunk.

The trunk was extremely dirty and needed a lot of TLC. I started by spraying it with a mixture of bleach and water to get rid of the old mildew smell that had built up from years of being stored in a basement. I was a little concerned about the smell but felt certain that the bleach and coating of chalk paint would seal the smell. Thankful I was right and it is now odor free! After wiping the trunk down I took a trip to the hardware store to choose my paint color.

Farmhouse White Chalk Paint

I decided to go with Behr Brand Chalk Paint from The Home Depot. To see the full color range click HERE. They offer several colors to choose from and in the end I decided to go with “Farmhouse White”. It is a very creamy warm white and works perfectly in my living room.

farmhouse white chalk paint

In most of my other chalk paint projects I have used the recommended round chalk paint brush but for this project I decided to use one of my favorite sash brushes. Its the “Shortcut” brush by Wooster available HERE. I like this brush because it is easy to hold and the soft rubber handle is very comfortable.

chalk painted army trunk finished

This project only used half a pint of chalk paint to complete. First, I applied a coat of paint with my sash brush to the inside of the trunk. Second, I moved onto the outside. After the paint had dried I moved on to distressing it. Finally I used a rag to create a look of natural wear. I focused on the metal edges and corners, exposing the detail of the rivets. This trunk redo only took a couple of hours to complete and looks great as my new coffee table.

Overall I feel that this project was much easier than I first anticipated. I completed it in one afternoon! If you have an old army trunk stored away I highly recommend giving it a new life and trying this chalk paint project! If you liked this DIY, check out my thrifted chalk paint mirror HERE!

trunk pin

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