If you saw yesterday’s post, then you saw that Gwyneth and I have given ourselves a design challenge for the month of May – to create our “Dream DIY Blogger’s Office.” And today, we’re excited to share the first DIY project for the room – our new DIY Union Jack Trunk! (One project down, several to go!)
Like our DIY Painted Interior Door, this project is super easy if you have the right supplies on hand, a little time and a mild case of OCD. We’ll share the how-to with you here, but first a few shots of the finished product in its new (work-in-progress) environment:
We shopped at Home Depot for all our supplies, and the staff working in the paint department was absolutely amazing at helping us with our colors. We wanted to use the same pink that we had on our Pink Door, and they were able to look up and match the Benjamin Moore color from 2011 perfectly. Once we had our pink settled, they helped us find an orange that coordinated.
If you want to make a Union Jack Trunk for yourself, you will need:
- A trunk or footlocker (Gwyneth and I discovered my old Camp Seafarer footlocker in the attic last week. She was quite the beauty, don’t you think?)
- A quart of primer (We used Behr’s Latex Indoor Primer)
- A quart of white paint (We used Behr’s Ultra Latex Semi Gloss)
- A tester sized colored paint (We used the color Home Depot whipped up with Behr’s Semi Gloss to match Benjamin Moore’s Potpourri)
- Another colored paint (We used Behr’s Electric Orange)
- 1 roll of thick and 1 roll of thin painter’s tape
- A measuring tape
- A fine artist’s paint brush
You’ll see in the following pictures that we finally have a garage workshop to use for our projects. It’s definitely easier to DIY when you don’t have to use your kitchen counter! On the flip side, you get to see all kinds of garage goodness and a few other DIYs we have started in the background of these shots!
So here’s how we did it. First, removed the stickers that had been on the trunk and the 20-year-old residue with a razor blade and some warm, soapy water to give our trunk the smoothest surface possible. (Unlike our Pink Door, this old trunk was never going to be a perfectly smooth surface after removing all the stickers. But we found a way to compensate for that. Keep reading…)
Then we gave our trunk two coats of primer on all six sides and let dry.
Once the primer had dried, we added two coats of our white paint and let dry overnight.
Here’s where the project started to feel a lot like our Pink Door – we did a lot of measuring, taping and remeasuring before adding color. First, we made our guides. We used our thick painter’s tape to make a horizontal open stripe, measuring to be sure the open space was centered vertically.
As we put the tape down the length of the trunk, we kept measuring the distance between the two pieces of tape every few inches to make sure our lines were straight.
Then we repeated the process to make a vertical stripe. (You’ll know you measured correctly when the tiny square in the middle is a true square with all four sides being equal – It might take you a try to two like it did for us!)
Then we set a piece of the thick painter’s tape down on the outside of our guides – along both parts of each of the four corners. Here, we used scissors to cut the tape, so our corners were precise.
Once we did all four sides of the cross, the top of our trunk looked like this:
Then we removed the guides, and our trunk looked like this:
Next, we used the same “guide” technique with the angled part of the design. First, we added a thin strip of painter’s tape, going through the center of the thick blue tape at 45 degrees.
Then we added a thin strip of painter’s tape in the middle (between the first thin strip on top) and a thick strip of painter’s tape on the bottom.
Then we removed the middle piece of tape that was working as a guide and made sure the tape was flush with all the edges to minimize the bleed.
Finally ready to add some color to the top of the trunk, we painted Behr’s Orange on the part of the Union Jack that’s traditionally red.
Then we added our pink to the part of the flag that is traditionally blue.
We continued the taping and painting for the sides and back of the trunk, leaving the front for last – we knew it would require the most detail with all its hardware.
With the front still left to finish, we held our breath as we took off all the tape. As you can see, because the surface of the trunk was not completely smooth, there was some bleed. If this happens to you, don’t panic! You can fix it at the end like we did.
When the back was completely dry, we flipped the trunk on it’s back and got to work on the front.
Once the front was complete, we went through each panel with a fine art brush to fix any areas that the paint had bled.
This was the longest and most meticulous part of the job, but thankfully Dad was ready when we called in for back up.
Gwyneth was particularly thankful for her Grandpa’s help – detailing all of the lines went into the wee hours of the morning, and after all her the supervising, this is how Little G felt about our project:
The next morning we found a home for the trunk in our new office space. As soon as it was placed, Gwyneth posed for a photo and then went straight to her dog bed for an extra long nap.
mk & Gwynnie