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Day 9 – Mission Accomplished!

The trunk is finished!

I attached the handles, attached the lid, removed and replaced the front wheels, and did some touchup work.

I actually redid the whole inside, because I did not like the finish. And even though no one will probably see it, I just wanted to insure that it was smooth and free of cutting hazards! The finish looks and feels smoother.

antique steamer trunk

The finish on the outside looks more uniform in this picture. The lighting made it look different in the earlier pictures.

vintage trunk

I like the decorative pieces on the sides that I used to hide the rips in the metal. I also like the “vintage” look of the slat clamps. I normally would not paint them black unless they are in really bad shape.

antique trunk restoration

Even the back of this antique trunk looks good. Not too many people will see it. If you look you can see the “cousin” slat clamps. No one else will probably notice.

antique trunk

This bottom sure looks different! It is smooth to the touch and the wheels work perfectly. This will not damage any floors.

steamer trunk

I hope that you enjoyed sharing this antique trunk restoration with me. Hopefully it will encourage you to “save a trunk” yourself ! This trunk could have easily ended up in someone’s trash. But instead it is saved for many more people to enjoy. I think that anyone who has this trunk now will keep it inside and use it for a special purpose. Hard to guess just how long it will last now!

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Chris Norris March 23, 2011, 10:03 pm

    Just came across your site. Looks interesting. That trunk’s a dandy!

    • Bob March 24, 2011, 6:04 am

      Thanks Chris. It really was a labor of love!

  • joe January 25, 2012, 4:19 pm

    Nice job on the trunk Ihave a question for you I found an old steamer trunk but it has what looks like canvas covering the wood on the outside my question is, the canvas is in pretty good shape and i think i will keep it on and i also painted all the metal hardware flat black.Can i polyurethane over the canvas and the inside I think I will just put contact paper as it looks like it was painted at one time and i tried to get it off but couldnt so i sanded it down smooth enough to get the contact paper on…Thanks …Joe

    • Bob January 25, 2012, 6:53 pm

      I have never put polyurethane over canvas. But I am the kind of guy who would try anything one time. LOL I have put it over leather and it seems to be holding out OK. The worst case scenario is that you would have to strip it later and just have the wood showing. Your call.

  • joe January 25, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Hi Bob thanks for the reply Yeah Im the same way Im going to go for it lol I dony think it will mess it up ,plus like you said I could strip it if it doesnt work out …Thanks again ….Joe… nice website and good info

    • Bob January 25, 2012, 9:03 pm

      Thanks Joe,
      Any trunk restored is a good trunk! I have so many that I almost feel guilty. But I love each and every one of them. Let me know how it turns out.

  • Linda May 7, 2013, 7:27 am

    Wow!! Love it!! I just bought an upright steamer trunk at a yard sale ($5 score). The lock was ripped out of the wood but, is still attached to the lock. Do you have any suggestion , other than a locksmith, to open the lock?? It is in pretty rough condition as you can imagine for that price. But, I am certain it will be wonderful when it is finished. Can’t decide how to finish off the inside. Guess it will evolve.

    • Bob May 7, 2013, 12:41 pm

      Congratulations Linda! Hard to say about the lock without seeing it. But sounds like you have access to the rear in which case you may be able to turn the mechanism and get it open. If not you may be able to put a nail in the front and turn it. I wouldn’t go to the expense of a locksmith unless you plan on trying to fix the lock and find a key. I disable all of the locks on my trunks. Hope that helps and good luck with the refinish!

  • Susan Technik May 4, 2017, 9:31 am

    Great job! May I ask what lock did you use? I’m having trouble finding one for my late 1800s dome steamer trunk. Someone cut the lock out too. Thanks!

    • Bob Willoughby May 4, 2017, 2:10 pm

      The lock was already on it Susan. I do not have a single trunk with a lock that works. I disable all of my locks.

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