How to transform a Wicker Trunk – Step 1 – Painting

I had a wicker trunk that was a little less fab than I wanted for some time.  I have also been playing with the idea of changing some things around the flat, and add shoe storage.  One of my nifty thrifty colleagues gave me a great idea. Why not revamp the wicker trunk into shoe storage? So that is exactly what I did. (duh)

Seeing I have never upholstered anything in my life before, I did some research on Pinterest and Google (yes I googled it – don`t hold it against me!)  and found several very handy step by step tutorials which only encouraged me to try my latest how to.

This is what you need:

  • one wicker trunk
  • paint to paint the trunk, colour of your choice plus a good paint brush
  • fabric for upholstering.  You need twice the size of the lid to cover both the inside and the outside, and a bit of extra to tuck in your edges neatly (more details below)
  • superglue or all purpose glue – I used this as the lid of the trunk was not thick enough for staples
  • foam or towel or fabric you don’t use for filling. I used old towels too ratty for normal use, but which could be repurposed for this project.
  • pair of sharp scissors
  • a large piece of cloth or cut open garbage bag to protect your floor or work surface from any spilled glue


it started with something like this

How you make it:

Step 1: cleaning and painting the wicker.

I started with placing an open cut large garbage bag on the floor near my balcony window to protect the floor.  On top of this, I put the trunk which I cleaned to get rid of excess dust by hoovering it.  This got any excess dust out of the nooks and crannies of the trunk before it got mixed in with the paint.  Seeing we’re painting we need to make sure to ventilate properly so we don’t breathe in too much of the paint vapours.

Next I took my paint and paintbrush and gave the trunk a brand new white look.  (I’ve discovered I really have a thing for painting, not sure why?)

Alternatively to painting the trunk by hand, you can also use spray paint, but my intent was more a shabby chic look then an even glossy white coat of paint.

At first, I was tempted to add quite a lot of paint on the brush, but quickly noticed the excess drops of paint would form mini ‘pools’ of paint which I didn’t really want.  So like a mad woman, I ended up brushing the excess pools of paint out over the wicker.  The best technique I found was a little paint and a back and forth movement to get in all those nooks and crannies.  I also looked at the wicker from different angles to see what spots I had missed.  Once I got the look that I wanted, I let the paint dry properly overnight.  You can see the result below.

You can find Step 2 in which we add the fabric stuffed cushioning on top right here



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