Welcome to restore antique trunks. I have always wanted to have an antique steamer trunk. And I saw some in the antique shops for anywhere from $500 – $900! But I am just a little too tight to pay that kind of money. LOL
So lucky for me I had a nice antique shop down the road that sells antique trunks in need of restoration at more reasonable prices. So I bought one and refinished it myself with a little help from the antique dealer and the internet. It actually turned out pretty good and I was hooked. I now have 5 in my house, have given two as gifts, and I have two in my shop awaiting resurrection.
I have gotten them from several different places at various prices ranging from free to around $60. You may not be that lucky where you live, but if you keep your eyes open the bargains are out there.
So what is restore antique trunks all about? Well I had a hard time finding information so I thought that I would lend a helping hand and built this web site. I will share experiences, sources for trunks and trunk parts, and even an exchange of ideas. If there is enough interest I will start a forum.
My first order of business will be to actually restore an antique trunk right on this site. I will share the steps that I took and some things that you should and should not do. And the trunk that I am working on is the biggest disaster and challenge for me so far. So this will be a good one to share with you. If you want to follow along got to this post: The Project Trunk and when you are finished got to the next link from the choices at the bottom. So the next one to read will be Day 1 and then Day 2, etc.
Update: I have started a second project trunk. It will be laid out like the first project, so that it will be easy to follow. Just start here: Vintage Trunk Number 10 and follow the link at the bottom of each post.
Now I am not by any means an expert and I am always open to new and helpful ideas. So please leave your comments.
And when I say restore antique trunks, I am not talking about restoring them back to their original condition. That would be a lot of work and expense. And to tell you the truth I like the way that they look when you take them down to the wood finish and finish them that way. They just show a lot of character. And my favorite part is that they do not have to be perfect! If they are a little rough it shows the age better.
And one thing that we need to remember is that these trunks were never meant to be pieces of furniture. The quality of wood that you find under the original coating may not be the best. I really don’t think that anyone thought at the time that it would be uncovered and left to be seen.
I have found several uses for them and have done some unique things that I will also share with you. The antique trunk in my office serves as a filing cabinet. I got a hanging folder frame and put it in there and I hang files in there. And there is extra room for storage as well. I have one that I use as a toy box for the grandchildren. They love it. They think that it is a treasure chest! I also put a collage in the inside of the lid on that one.
So if you would like to restore antique trunks, let’s get started!