I have stained the trunk. I used a light oak stain. They always seem to darken it up quite a bit.
I also came back after it was dry and hit a couple of places with a second coat to even the finish out.
I remember this stain in the bottom. It is not quite as noticeable as it was when there was paper in here. I am not too concerned because no one will probably know but me.
This stain really gives it a “vintage” look. If only these old trunks could talk. I imagine that this one would have lots of stories to tell.
I will still take a look at the colors and see if I may need a third coat of stain in some areas.
Other than that the next step will be to start painting the black metal. I use a flat black paint, but them I use a satin varnish over top of the whole trunk.
Some people do not paint the metal. Some people paint only the metal sheets, but not the corner clamps, etc. It really depends on the shape that it is in and the look that you are after.