Saturday, March 8, 2014

Waxing & Steamer Trunk Coffee Table Reveal

Dear Marleigh,

I'm back sooner than expected on this project, I just couldn't wait to finish it! It turned out better than I expected and of course, Scott told me how awesome it is and sorry that he doubted me. :P

I went and picked up all I needed to finish the project, Menards is my go-to spot for stuff like this because they always seem to have exactly what I need where as Home Depot and Lowes lack sometimes. 

I got:
16oz Johnson's Paste Wax (In the cleaning section)
Packet (4 Yards) of Cheesecloth
6 Pack of Medium Grit Angled Sanding Sponges
Rubber Gloves & Face Mask
4 6in table legs
Drill Bit 1/4 smaller than the table legs screws

The waxing process:

After I finished distressing and sanding down the trunk really well (I really had to put my back into this) I of course washed the trunk a couple times to get rid of the dust, and decided to jump right in.
I was super scared of the waxing process, other blogs made it seem like this huge chore you could mess up at the drop of a hat. I'm not sure if I did it wrong and thats why it ended up being easy for me or what. It looks good a feels protected so I don't really care I suppose. 

After putting on my gloves and face mask (The Johnson's Paste Wax is awful smelling) I cut a decent size of cheesecloth and just started rubbing small amounts (thin layer) into the trunk, working in small sections. I used a old cut up t-shirt of Scotts to wipe away the excess as I went. WARNING: Heavy buffing or wiping as you wipe the excess will cause more distressing, so if your piece is exactly how you want it, make sure you don't press too hard until after it has dried a bit.

I would let it dry for 20-30 mins or so (the more time you wait is better I heard) and really buffed it in with a new piece of cheesecloth. I let it sit overnight and buffed it again in the morning to really shine it up. I did 3 coats because of the extra wear and tear this piece will get. 

Johnson's paste wax is super easy to work with, my apartment is quite warm, so it was pretty soft and easy to rub in. If yours isn't soft you can put some in a microwave safe container and nuke it for 20-30 seconds and it will soften right up. After other blogs I have read and the easy time I had with this wax I believe Johnson's Paste Wax will always be my go-to wax. It's Cheap too.

At Menards they have the table legs with screws already in them. Scott bought a drill bit 1/4 in smaller than the screws, drilled the holes where we wanted them and was able to easily tread them into the holes. I painted them with the same color chalk paint.

Ready for the Reveal? *Drumroll*


& After:

I'm super happy with it, it looks much better in person because you can really see all the distressing and how lovely it is. 

Project Cost Breakdown:
Steamer Trunk - $30
Gallon of Paint (with tons left over) - $14
Plaster of Paris (tons left over) - $6
Painting Supplies - $5
Johnson's Paste Wax - $6
Waxing Supplies - $6
Table Legs - $12
Sanding Sponges - $5
TOTAL: $84 

Most of the stuff I can use for other upcoming projects, I think this is a steal considering I still find some original steamer trunks on craigslist for $100-$200!


  1. What a neat project! Love the after. :)

  2. Thank you Morgan, it is holding up very nicely! I'm getting ready to do another project with gold leaf rub n buff and I think I'm going to use that on the legs to throw some contrast in there (: