Where do I find the materials to restore this old trunk?

+19
Answered
Other than getting it from my mother, I have no other history of this trunk. I have always loved it and wanted to "some day" be able to restore it. Well, someday has arrived. If anyone can tell me anything about the origins, the maker and most importantly where to find the materials to restore it, I would be extremely grateful. Although it looks mostly like wood, it is actually a metal material that looks like wood, with the exception of the wooden "slats" on various parts of the trunk. I want to keep it as original as possible......just replace the broken hinges and metal locks and medallions, and redo the paper lining on the inside. Any advice, information or suggestions would be appreciated.
q where do i find the materials to restore this old trunk
Front view of the chest. Isn't it beautiful???
q where do i find the materials to restore this old trunk
Back view
q where do i find the materials to restore this old trunk
Pic of the inside top.
q where do i find the materials to restore this old trunk
This is an inside "shelf" that needs reinforcing and new paper.
q where do i find the materials to restore this old trunk
q where do i find the materials to restore this old trunk
Each side looks like there were leather strap handles at one time.
  19 answers
  • Paula Denson Paula Denson on Jul 01, 2017
    this is where I bought what I needed for my trunk. http://www.brettunsvillage.com/trunks/howto/parts/
  • Annie Annie on Jul 01, 2017
    I love this trunk! if you can, try to keep that hardware. Its really beautiful. Have you tried just gently cleaning it with a mild detergent or some diluted vinegar? I love things that have this old patina.
    • Rockie Rockie on Jul 01, 2017
      Hi....I have tried mild detergent and it didn't do the job. I will try some diluted vinegar and see what happens. Thanks for responding.
  • Rosemary Rosemary on Jul 01, 2017
    I would take a picture of the trunk to any home furnishings store or to Micheals and explain what do you want to do with the trunk. They'll help you out without spending lots and lots of money.
  • Georgia Rodriguez Georgia Rodriguez on Jul 01, 2017
    Go on line with "antique trunk" you will find lots of ideas and help. Brettunsvillage is a good one.
  • Banjojane66 Banjojane66 on Jul 01, 2017
    If you have any belts in your closet that you don't need, they could help you , too!!
  • Org26078022 Org26078022 on Jul 01, 2017
    Great ideas above. Whatever cleaning aids you use, try them on the inside first. If something is going to damage the finish, at least it will be much less visible! Good luck!
  • C C on Jul 01, 2017
    Try VanDyke Restores. They are a catalog store (on line) for lots of restoring Victorian items projects. Hope you do it and post "finished" pictures.
  • Marilyn Sharp Marilyn Sharp on Jul 01, 2017
    Van Dukes restorations uses original molds for their reproductions. It's second generation original parts.
    I have used them many times and have always been pleased.

  • Karen Cook Karen Cook on Jul 01, 2017
    Vandykes antique furniture restores
  • Annie Annie on Jul 01, 2017
    Good luck. it is soooo cool.
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jul 01, 2017
    VanDykes is good , also Restoration Hardware. Ebay may yield some surprising finds too. Waxing the outside can help save that old patina too. The idea to use old leather belts is great! Thank you Hometalk geniuses!
  • Rosemary Rosemary on Jul 01, 2017
    You can use Murphy oil to clean the trunk too. It's for wood furnishings. Use it on the wooden slats. I would guess Mr. Clean to clean the metal . Check with second hand store. They know how to keep things look good.
  • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Jul 02, 2017
    Beautiful trunk! Wish she were mine. I do not have any suggestions different from those already offered, but could you share your results when you do 'restore' the trunk? Thank you.
  • Cheryl Toth-Nickerson Cheryl Toth-Nickerson on Jul 02, 2017
    What a beautiful trunk. You can use steel wool on all the metal to clean it up and make it shinny. If the yellow part is metal you can paint it another color. The handles were leather straps. You can make new ones from an old belt. You can use wood glue to reinforce the shelf, strip the paper off and redo. It is truly a beauty and I would love to see a post when you get it finished. Also with the wood trim, use a wood stain like fruitwood or light walnut.

  • Xo Xo on Jul 04, 2017
    Van Dykes in south Dakota specializes in vintage style hardware replacement parts for all sorts of antiques and ship anywhere..... many antique dealers use Van Dykes.. I have restored many trunks and a good scrubbing does wonders.. you can also use Watco refinish products for the wood parts.... Try to keep as much original as possible. i use a few drops of bleach in soapy water for washing out stinky insides and it works most of the time.. then just re wallpaper. the inside if the paper is not salvageable. steel wool can be used to rub the metal parts.
    some people use clear poly urethane to seal the inside and this takes away any smell too. if the paper inside is in good shape and not smelly.... keep it. the more original the more valuable. good luck it is a lovely trunk.
  • Lor11777158 Lor11777158 on Jul 06, 2017
    BRETTUNS VILLAGE TRUNK SHOP
  • Bethany Warner Bethany Warner on Jul 07, 2017
    lightly clean the metal straps and sand any rust off of them. Tape around the edges of the metal straps and you can paint them with a rustolium paint. Be careful because the paint is sticky and does not apply as easily as regular paint. I cleaned up the inside of my trunk that was pealing and dirty and applied a pretty contact paper with careful precision and also added pretty tacks to give it some extra support in areas that could possible peal off. I added bags of lavender on the inside to freshen the musty smell and it looks amazing.
  • Marilyn Sharp Marilyn Sharp on May 26, 2018
    VanDykes Restoration. They have new pieces made from the original molds for all types of restoration. Hoosier cabinets, steamer trunks, art glass etc. I hope this helps you.

    Amea S.
  • Churchill Barton Churchill Barton on Jun 08, 2021

    BrettunsVillage.com has a great selection of steamer trunk parts/hardware, and they're in MAINE!

Your comment...