How to Paint a Footlocker

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Things You'll Need

  • Sander

  • Towel

  • Washcloth

  • Newspapers or dropcloth

  • Painter's tape

  • Primer

  • Paint brushes

  • Paint

Refurbish your old chest by giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Is there an old, worn footlocker hidden in your attic? Is a footlocker presenting a design challenge as you redecorate a room? Instead of buying a new chest or hiring someone to fix it up, give your footlocker a fresh coat of paint. By refurbishing the chest yourself, you can save money. Customizing your footlocker will allow it to look great in any room.


Step 1

Determine what type of material is used for the outside of your footlocker. Traditional and older types of footlockers are made of wood or plywood, but other styles have a vinyl or plastic covering. It is important to know what your footlocker is made of so that you purchase the correct type of primer and paint. Plastic surfaces need paints that are specifically made to adhere to plastic. Wood surfaces will keep a rustic feel with low gloss brands of paint. Buy paint and primer that are specific to the type of material that your footlocker is made of and ask a store employee if you are not sure what type of paint that you need.


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Step 2

Sand your footlocker if it is made of wood. You need to remove the finish so that the primer and paint will take. Be mindful if your footlocker is older -- you could damage your chest. Use a towel to clean the chest off after you are finished sanding.

Step 3

Wipe down a plastic or vinyl footlocker with a washcloth. Soak the washcloth in warm water and lightly scrub away any dirt spots or substances that might be stuck on the outside of your chest.


Step 4

Prepare for painting. Place newspapers or a dropcloth under and around your footlocker so you do not damage your floors. If your chest has metal corners you might want to place painter's tape along the edges so that you do not get paint on the metal.

Step 5

Apply a coat of primer to your chest. Your first coat should be brushed on very thin.


Step 6

Allow time for the primer to dry and add one or two more coats. Drying time will vary according to brand (15 minutes to an hour) so follow the directions on the can's label. Check your primer periodically.

Step 7

Stir the paint and apply a coat to your footlocker. Use long, even brush strokes to give your chest the best finish. Continue to stir the paint periodically while you are working.


Step 8

Wait for the paint to dry and apply another coat if necessary. Follow the instructions on the can to approximate how long you will need to wait for the paint to dry completely.

Step 9

Remove the painter's tape, touch up any spots that you may have missed and pick up the newspapers or dropcloth to finish the job.


Always work in a well-ventilated area.


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