Vintage storage trunk ideas when it comes to restoration

Trunks of different kinds, both wooden and metallic ones, are used as pieces of vintage interior furniture as well as for storage purposes. They are also used for travelling, a purpose that has traditionally led many trunks to be called ‘travel trunks’.

vintage travel trunk
Image David Nisley for Pixabay

Their versatility is the main reason why it often makes sense to restore vintage trunk storage. Even with many being more than 100 years old, they are sturdy enough to be put to good use after a little bit of refurbishing and restoration.

In fact, not only does the process bring their utilitarian appeal to life, but also in certain cases, repairing and reclaiming damaged, rickety storage trunks increases their value.

Genuine antique or antique style storage trunks add to the decoration of a room, providing character and style, whilst also catering to our storage needs.

antique storage trunks
Set of 3 storage trunks

At first glance, an antique trunk might look worn and dirty, but the condition can be much improved with cleaning and buffing, turning it into a desirable piece of furniture.

How do you go about restoring a vintage trunk?

Place a dustsheet down and put on some protective gear before you start. Begin by dusting the trunk thoroughly and clean off old unwanted finishes or paint with a paint scraper. It’s normal to find gashes or scratches in the surfaces, they are aged items after all. Where there are metal pieces and embellishments on the trunk, scrape off rust and grime using steel wool. You can sand the whole trunk and use a soft dry cloth to dust it down afterwards. Apply a wood finish to the surface and re-affix any metalware you took off during cleaning, replacing missing nails where necessary.

How do you clean antique storage trunks?

How to clean old steamer trunks? Vacuum the interior and exterior of the antique trunk. Wash wooden antique trunks and handles or decorations with warm water and saddle soap. Clean metal antique trunks with white vinegar and water. To deal with bad odour inside the trunk, place baking soda inside it once it is dry. You can oil wooden parts of the trunk with lemon oil.

How can you paint an old trunk?

How to paint a storage trunk? When painting old storage trunks, come up with a delicate paint finish to let the antique trunk’s original shades shine through, employing a dry-brush method. Go for a flat paint colour that is in sync with the room’s look and feel. Clean and sand the trunk to give it a smooth texture.

Steamer trunk ideas – painting a wooden trunk

When it comes to antique steamer trunks, made from wood, they are suited to a myriad of designs. Think about how you intend to use yours – there are lots of practical ideas for storage when it comes to these trunks, from bedding storage to coffee tables. A little bit of tinkering with the decorative aspect can get a steamer trunk to gel with the décor of any given room. You can find many paint tutorials online if you are nervous about putting paint on, but you shouldn’t worry too much as an imperfect finish adds even more charm to these items. Think about the colour you’d like to use and whether you opt for the milk-paint method, dry-brush technique, faux-crackle process or a shaded ombre effect.

How to paint an old tin trunk

As with a wooden trunk, you can get creative putting paint on a metal trunk. Select a suitable paint for the surface and perhaps try a test patch in an inconspicuous area. You may find a primer is required before your top coat of colour.

How to rid an old storage trunk of mould

Sweep the interior of the trunk. Wipe the inside of the trunk with a sponge dipped in Murphy’s oil soap and warm water. Leave the lid open and keep the trunk in a cool and dry place for a few days. If the trunk continues to smell old and mouldy, place a bowl of white vinegar inside it. Close the lid and let the vinegar rid the trunk of bad odour over a few days time. Clean stubborn mould from the interiors of an old steamer trunk with diluted bleach. Mix half a cup of bleach with a bucket of warm water. After dipping a sponge into this solution, it can be used to clean a mouldy trunk quite effectively.

How to clean the canvas on antique trunks

If the trunk is lined with canvas, brush over the surface with a clean and short-bristled paint brush. Or use the brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner to carefully go over the lining and paying attention to the gaps. A damp sponge can be used to pat dirty spots softly.

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© Copyright 2019 Antonia, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tidylife
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