How To Remove Paper From Inside an Antique Trunk (Video)

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. In this how to video we cover the basics of common restoration techniques including;

  • How to remove the lid from your antique trunk
  • How to remove the paper from inside your trunk
  • How to finish the inside of your trunk

How To Remove Paper From Inside an Antique Trunk


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More Trunk Restoration Information

Recommended Restoration Tools – Wonderful tools that can make a restoration much easier

Pictures of Restored Trunk – See some of the work we have done

Trunk Restoration Tips – Useful tips tp help refinish your trunk

How To Replace Trunk Handles (Video) – Easy to follow video about handle replacement

How to Clean Out The Inside Of A Trunk (Video) – How to remove paper and refinish the inside of your trunk

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13 thoughts to “How To Remove Paper From Inside an Antique Trunk (Video)”

  1. I have an antique, domed-lid trunk. I want to remove the paper inside (because I was told on-line that you should) but I think there is a thick cardboard-like material under the lid-paper. Do I still need to remove the paper – and if so – how? do I take off that 1/4″ thick cardboard, as well? is it possible to leave it all as-is on the inside lid and simply shelac it instead? Or will that stink? (I would still remove paper in body of trunk and either refinish or do a fabric covering.)

    THank you!

  2. I have removed the paper lining from my trunk and have sanded it down. Unfortunately it still smells very strongly of mothballs. Any suggestions on getting rid of the smell?

    1. try a bowl of white vinegar left in the closed trunk for a couple days. If that doesn’t work, some say to light a candle inside and leave the lid open to burn and let air get in. Other things to try:
      open bag of kitty litter, box of activated charcoal (from pet store), fresh ground coffee in a container left in for some days.

  3. Hello!! I just attempted to remove the nails from my trunk, but the nails are too big for the tack puller and too small for the back of a hammer. What do you suggest? The lining on the lid is a cardboard/paper combo that’s pretty hard to remove, otherwise I’d give it a go with the lid still attached. Thank you!

  4. I have a steamer trunk that had wallpaper inside. There was a small 3″x 3″ picture on the wallpaper. It pictures two women and a man. Their dresses & hairstyles and the surroundings suggest the era of Napoleon. I think it is a print. Any added value with this painting?

  5. Hello, Need some help. I have an 1870’s trunk. She’s perfect on the inside, except some water stains. How would I remove those stains? Also wondering about the bottom draw. There’s a white hat like thing nailed into the back of the draw. Almost like a hat thing. What do you think?

  6. I recently bought a wardrobe trunk that someone put contact shelf liner over the original fabric. Some of the shelf liner is coming up. How do I remove the rest without destroying the beautiful fabric underneath?

  7. Matt, I was wondering when you might possibly be adding Part 3 video of working with the outside of the box… sanding, painting etc? Really enjoy all of your videos, they are so helpful and informative. I know you are gaining in popularity and possibly overwhelmed, but I am very interested in your work and enjoy your videos. I am currently working on a flat top trunk I recently acquired and need your helpful hints, as this is my first! 🙂 Thanks & hope to see new videos soon 🙂
    Thanks so much!
    Respectfully, Terry 🙂

  8. Thanks for the great video! My trunk has a layer of thick paper/cardboard between the thin paper and the wood. Should I soak through that layer with the water as well, or is there anything I should do differently?

  9. Fantastic tutorial! Your directions and explanation of steps are awesome, I not only know what to do, but why I should do it a certain way. I’ve never felt confident to refinish a trunk until I found your tutorials!
    Many Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for the compliments Amanda. Please feel free to email anytime if you have specific questions or run into a problem. Wish you all the best.

  10. Your demonstration on how to remove the lid of a trunk and remove the paper inside was outstanding. Thank you so much. I look forward to refinishing my trunks using your videos.

    1. Thank you for the nice complements. Good luck with the refinishing and email me if you run into any problems or have questions.

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