DIY Antique Trunk Restoration 2018-02-28T11:45:15+00:00

A complete guide to restoring an antique trunk

This guide will take you through the entire process. Below this you will find a number of other guides on specific restoration topics like lining the inside and replacing handles.

Trunk Restoration Tips

These are just a few things that will make your life easier and help make your trunk look that much better. If you have not read our How to Restore an Antique Trunk Guide you may want to start there first before reading this.

How to replace leather trunk handles

Most trunk handles were made over 100 years ago and the they are either now missing or broken. There is no way to restore or save handles on most trunks because of the age of the leather. Find out how to replace them here.

Interior paper removal

Removing the paper from the inside of an antique trunk is very easy but messy. It is best to wear a pair of gloves to protect your hands while removing the paper. Learn how to get that old smelly paper out of your trunk.

Interior Trunk Lining

Lining the inside of your trunk can be done in one of two ways, either with paper or fabric. Both are period correct but I highly suggest using fabric. When you line a trunk with fabric it not only looks very nice but is also durable and easier to clean when compared to paper lining.

Painting your old trunk

Surface Preparation is key to a quality paint job. The metal surface on your old trunk must be properly prepared to accept the new coat of primer, paint and clear coat. You must also be very patient when working with spray paints. Ample drying times and cure times must always be followed or extended depending on condition.

Odor Removal

One of the most common questions I receive is how to remove odors from the inside of an antique steamer trunk. Many of you want to store blankets and other objects in your old trunk but also want a sanitary and odor free environment. There is nothing worse than having your good blankets smell must and dirty.

How to replace damaged metal

Often times I receive a trunk that has either a severe dent or tear in the sheet metal that must be repaired. There are several ways to repair torn or damaged metal on an antique trunk.

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