Antique Steamer Trunk into Coffee Table - should the interior be lined

+78
Answered
We have distressed, stained and used poly on this antique trunk and then added legs. The paper was stripped from the interior and then lightly sanded, stained and clear coated. The wooden legs are necessary to bring it up to coffee table height. Otherwise, the height was only 12". We've saved much of the authentic feel of it but I'm just wondering if most of you would want the interior lined with paper instead of left natural?
antique steamer trunk into coffee table should the interior be lined, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
antique steamer trunk into coffee table should the interior be lined, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
antique steamer trunk into coffee table should the interior be lined, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  68 answers
  • Loribeth Loribeth on Nov 06, 2013
    It looks great! I think I would probably paper the inside of the bottom, but leave the lid alone.

  • Jan Remling Jan Remling on Nov 06, 2013
    paper with old style print from that age.

  • Sherry Sherry on Nov 06, 2013
    Being that this has already been altered it is not as valuable as it once was. The interior looks fantastic so I would not line it with any thing. I have a antique truck from 1902 thought it is only valued at about $125 I am keeping it for one of my grand daughters as a hope chest.

  • Marie Mealy Marie Mealy on Nov 06, 2013
    I would call it done

  • Clyde Baisey Clyde Baisey on Nov 07, 2013
    If using it for storage of sweaters, blankets, quilts, etc. I would line with rough sewn cedar tongue - n- groove. This would retain the natural wood look and provide protection against pesty moths..IMO

  • Kim L Kim L on Nov 07, 2013
    I most definitely agree with Clyde Baisey on this one!! Absolutely line it with the cedar tongue and groove!

  • Kim L Kim L on Nov 07, 2013
    Oh, by the way - that is one beautiful steamer trunk for SURE!! LOVE it!!!!

  • Michelle Kolbenstetter Michelle Kolbenstetter on Nov 07, 2013
    Large pieces of cardboard, cut to fit sugly 1-inside lid, 1 bottom, 4-sides, spray with adhesive and cover with fabric wrapping around edges and gluing down on back of cardboard. Slide the fabric covered pieces into place and you have made a removable liner. Make a couple using different fabrics maybe so you could change them out on a whim, i.e., Christmas fabric, spring floral fabric, etc.

    • See 2 previous
    • Sherry Sherry on Nov 10, 2013
      @Michelle Kolbenstetter applling glue and and sticking it to the inside is not a wise decision! That will make for allot of permanent damage to the overall value for what is left on this trunk!

  • Michelle Kolbenstetter Michelle Kolbenstetter on Nov 07, 2013
    you could also use wrapping paper or wall paper I guess.

  • Cindy Lind Cindy Lind on Nov 07, 2013
    i'd leave it just the way it is

  • Tammy M Tammy M on Nov 07, 2013
    Aaaaah! I would not have altered it at all!!! Especially not added legs. They make lovely coffee tables without doing that to them. If you want to line the bottom, I would not do anything that is permanent.

  • Sandra Bush Sandra Bush on Nov 07, 2013
    we have a old rounded top metal trunk.............it tends to get mildew on it. any ideas on how to prevent this?

    • Sherry Sherry on Nov 10, 2013
      @Sandra Bush If your trunk is getting mildew in it then that means only one thing MOISTURE is getting in some how. Once ya find out where then you can correct the problem easily. Also if ya have nothing stored in it then ya can place some paper towels inside which will absorb moisture and save those moisture absorbent pouches that come inside some items like purses, meds, etc. Ya may also be able to find and purchase them online. Also cedar blocks may help with this problem. Good luck.

  • Jennie M Jennie M on Nov 07, 2013
    I love it just the way it is!

  • Kitty Johnson Kitty Johnson on Nov 07, 2013
    Leave the interior as is. It's beautiful already.

  • Greedith B Greedith B on Nov 07, 2013
    It depends on what you are going to store in it...you may want to leave it as is.

  • Karen B Karen B on Nov 07, 2013
    I would like it with a vintage look wallpaper.

  • Bette Blythe Bette Blythe on Nov 07, 2013
    I wouldn't line it with anything. It is beautiful just as it is.

  • Barbara W Barbara W on Nov 07, 2013
    If I bought this the first thing I would do is take the legs off. Then line it with smooth cedar for quilt/blanket storage.

    • Deborah Hofeldt Deborah Hofeldt on Nov 07, 2013
      @Barbara W agree with you Barbara, line it with very thin cedar planks, from the look of it, it may already be lined with it, take some sandpaper and rub with the grain of the wood and see if it smells of cedar

  • Jennie Brinker Jennie Brinker on Nov 07, 2013
    I would leave it natural.

  • Debbie Vietmeier Debbie Vietmeier on Nov 07, 2013
    I would leave it as is...

  • Tammy Johnson Tammy Johnson on Nov 07, 2013
    Beautiful job! I love it just the way you have it!!

  • Elizabeth Bauernschub Elizabeth Bauernschub on Nov 07, 2013
    I wouldn't line it with paper deterioates with time and would reuin the authenticness of the trunk. If you want line with cedar so you could store sweater and other wool items in it.

  • Laura Vierling Holcomb Laura Vierling Holcomb on Nov 07, 2013
    For non permanence, you could cut your fabric to fit and apply it with plain old liquid fabric starch. I dip the fabric in the starch and gently squeeze out excess. After that, you can use a squeegee, credit card or your hands to smooth it onto the interior. When you tire of it, all you have to do is pull up a corner and remove. Wipe down and put in another kind.

  • Altamare Altamare on Nov 07, 2013
    I would have left it with no legs. I would leave it natural, no lining

  • Bonnie T Bonnie T on Nov 07, 2013
    I think I agree about the legs... i'd take them off... but if you'll be selling it i'd leave them on because the buyer might like them. and I would line it, with fabric rather than paper... it's beautiful, just looks a little unfinished to me

  • Sherry S Sherry S on Nov 07, 2013
    I would leave it. I have a trunk that is almost like it, and it is lined with fabric. I wish it was natural.

  • Donna Balfanz Donna Balfanz on Nov 07, 2013
    I have one very similar to yours and my hubby made a "tray on legs" I would call it, and the trunk sits inside this lipped tray - not attached. I left mine with the original paper lining from a previous owner in Wisconsin, at the turn of 1900. Also just acquired a 'suitcase' type trunk and will possibly put turned legs on mine to raise it to coffee table height. This one has a label inside that shows it to be from a Doctor shipping label from Vancouver Island, BC... I actually found it up on Vancouver, Island on a recent trip..I plan to LEAVE that label !!

  • Rena Short Rena Short on Nov 07, 2013
    I left the inside of my trunk in its original papered condition. However, I measured and cut pieces of cardboard to fit each inside surface.Then I secured batting to one side of each piece of cardboard with spray adhesive. I covered the batting with pretty fabric. Then I lined the trunk by pressing the covered cardboard to the inside. Mine is gorgeous and I can change it whenever I get bored with it, without damaging my treasure. :-) Since I store seasonal items (pillows, etc.) in my trunk/coffee table, (I also keep a fabric pouch of cedar shavings in there.)

  • Betty Hammond-Wirsen Betty Hammond-Wirsen on Nov 07, 2013
    Love it and love the idea but would have loved it even more with square tapered legs. Nice job. I wouldn't line it...it's not like you'd be seeing the inside of it, or anyone else.

  • Karen Churn Karen Churn on Nov 07, 2013
    I love it natural. Nice job!

  • Donna N Ray Donna N Ray on Nov 07, 2013
    NATURAL!

  • Janine Janine on Nov 07, 2013
    Au Naturale!

  • Catherine Miller Catherine Miller on Nov 07, 2013
    I am not crazy about those legs I would get some of the more ornate squared off legs like the kind on Chinese trunks, maybe. But not Asian design. Hard to explain.

  • Valerie Marek Valerie Marek on Nov 07, 2013
    oh, please leave! I have a trunk that was already papered, but that is now old, smelly, and crumbling. You're lucky to have it natural. Nice job too!

  • Ardy Ardy on Nov 07, 2013
    I have on I put cedar in the bottom, then lined the sides and inside of the lid with fabric edged with trim. When it's opened up you can smell the cedar.

  • Julie J C Julie J C on Nov 07, 2013
    Depends what you will put in there. If it's toys, it's fine. If it's blankets, line.

  • Donna Herling DeJong Donna Herling DeJong on Nov 07, 2013
    PAPER WOULD BE PRETTY BUT ONLY IF IT IS VINTAGE. I AGREE WITH JULIE...DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO PUT IN THERE. THE NATURAL LOOK IS WONDERFUL ALSO!!!

  • Pam Arnold-Cartwright Pam Arnold-Cartwright on Nov 07, 2013
    The inside is in such good condition, I would leave it. You did a great job with the outside!!

  • June June on Nov 07, 2013
    I have one of these and the answer is natural on the inside and no legs.

  • Barb Burton Barb Burton on Nov 07, 2013
    Natural on inside and out, and no legs.

  • Suzanne Schultz Suzanne Schultz on Nov 07, 2013
    Get rid of the legs! \Ruin all you are trying to do.

  • Nancy Thrift Nancy Thrift on Nov 07, 2013
    I like it natural , but if you did add anything if you can find some stickers that look like travel stickers they use to put on old trunks when they traveled. like the ones that say LONDON, PARIS, SPAIN. NOT ALOT JUST A FEW, DECOPAUGE THEM ON. THE INSIDE OF LID. WOOPS SORRY ABOUT CAPS. LOL

  • Bonnie Boatright Bonnie Boatright on Nov 07, 2013
    I need the pig for my Children's Garden!

  • Harlee Jenkins Harlee Jenkins on Nov 07, 2013
    do what YOU like! U R the one who will use/look at it. It's not my style at all, but we are all unique & if U like it, I love it

  • Susan Velon Susan Velon on Nov 07, 2013
    I don't think the legs do it justice. Instead you might want to make a wood frame, the dimensions which would be a little smaller than the dimensions of the trunk. Then set the trunk on the frame. This is assuming the trunk needs to be raised.. I think you might want to use tung oil or some other oil on the inside. Other than that I think leave it natural.

  • Linda Testa Linda Testa on Nov 07, 2013
    Natural.

  • Caren Lanzo Caren Lanzo on Nov 07, 2013
    I WOULD HAVE USED FAT "BUN" FEET. YOU COULD EVEN USE TWO ON TOP OF EACH CORNER FOR MORE HEIGTH IF YOU WISH. THESE LEGS DO LOOK A LITTLE PUNY FOR THE BULK OF THE TRUNK. I WOULD LEAVE THE INSIDE OF THE TRUCK AS IT IS TO KEEP THE RUSTIC LOOK.

    • Paula Wyrick Paula Wyrick on Nov 08, 2013
      @Caren Lanzo I agree with Caren and her comment about the legs...more decorative legs and feet would have been better and the inside looks great the way it is.

  • Marcia Cantrell Marcia Cantrell on Nov 07, 2013
    I agree with Caren, abt. the fat bun feet if it really needs to be raised. I would also leave the inside natural and if it is to be a coffee table you wouldnt see the inside unless you do want to store something there. Another idea would be to have a thick piece of glass cut to fit the top to protect the wood from water rings. I redid a trunk but mine is a round top or I would use it as a coffee table. Would love to find one like yours!!! You did a great job restoring it I think.

  • Jamala W Jamala W on Nov 07, 2013
    The trunk is really nice but the legs are the problem... they throw off the look.. otherwise..it's fine as is

  • Peggy B Peggy B on Nov 07, 2013
    Bun feet would be much better

  • Sue parrella Sue parrella on Nov 08, 2013
    I have a old metal steamer trunk perfect condition inside out side a little scratched and beat up but that's what makes it so cool some one said I SHOULD put some old travel stickers on it but I think it would ruin it

  • Nancy Thrift Nancy Thrift on Nov 08, 2013
    not on it , inside t he top , but like every one said it is yours , if your not going to have it open leave it as is, just thought the old travel sticker look was cool.

  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 08, 2013
    Great restoration job! I have one that I haven't done anything to yet but love what you've done. Your inside is in great shape, I haven't removed the paper on mine as I wasn't sure if I should or leave as it but I love yours.

  • Jane Jane on Nov 08, 2013
    Hubby put mine on a wood frame and added rollers. I lined it with wallpaper just tacked on. Storing old quilts inside---

  • Patricia Laursen Patricia Laursen on Nov 08, 2013
    i would like it lined with fabric covered cardboard. Not glued in, just fit in so you wouldn't ruin any antique value.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 08, 2013
    Good job. I , also, would remove the feet. If it needs to be higher, a platform would probably look nicer. As for the inside, seal it and leave it natural. It's a beautiful trunk.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 08, 2013
    Another thought, if you add caster wheels it would give it an industrial look.

  • Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle on Nov 08, 2013
    What a great find! Before I saw the interior picture, I immediately pictured some bright, fun fabric or paper for the lining. But your piece is very nice inside. What if you sealed the wood as is ... then add a bright tray and/or storage bin inside. You might even make a matching accessory to set on top of the chest. Whatever you decide, post pictures of your finished product. Can't wait!

  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Nov 08, 2013
    Thank you everyone for the great suggestions. Happily, I didn't have to do anything more to it. It sold as is in 2 days!

  • Pamela Thurlow Pamela Thurlow on Nov 08, 2013
    Congratulations on your sale. This has given me some great ideas for the 2 trunks I have. :)

  • Carole Carole on Nov 08, 2013
    I agree with most people on here about it might look better with chunkier or bun feet. As for lining it, well it depends if you are going to use it for storage and what you might want to store in it. If you are not using it for storage then I would not worry about it. If you are trying to sell it then perhaps something pretty as a lining that a buyer could easily remove if they wanted to and put something of their own choosing? Great looking trunk btw!

  • Shara Smith Shara Smith on Nov 09, 2013
    I love the idea of using your trunk as coffee table but I think a custom frame built for it to sit in with legs would be a good idea as well!

  • Kiff Harvey Kiff Harvey on Nov 09, 2013
    Too bad you removed the paper if it was old ,an antique paper would likely add to the value. You will want to protect fabric items stored in the trunk anything to keep the natural wood stain from the things stored. I have an old trunk with a barrel top still has the wallpaper in it and it does a great job of protecting . I would use paper again perhaps acid free if the quits are valuable and also use a cotton pillow case to keep the quilt in.

  • Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle on Nov 09, 2013
    Not surprised at all!

  • TheDIYShow.com TheDIYShow.com on Aug 06, 2014
    Im inspired! thank you for sharing!!

  • Barbara P Barbara P on Aug 06, 2014
    I would get some cedar lining for the inside of the antique trunk

  • You haveit You haveit on Nov 07, 2014
    You done good! If those legs go well with the rest of your furniture, then you did GREAT!

  • Kish Kish on Jul 07, 2019

    You can read more on lift top coffee tables here

    https://www.coffeetablepros.com/best-lift-top-coffee-table/