HELP! Debating if I should let old lining stay or line with decoupage?

Julie Moyna
by Julie Moyna
HELP my Hometalkers
This trunk is in great condition.
It was my first project too with American Paint Company in Sea Glass and brown glaze and finished in dark wax.
There is no shelves or drawers in it...and the paper lining is the original but some parts are flaking. Should I re-line it and lose the picture or leave it as it is and spot tack in places?
My first American Paint Company in Sea Glass then brown glaze and dark wax! All in a weekend!
Inside with some water damage but that's about it. Do I leave it?
This is the bottom. No cracks just some water spots
  24 answers
  • Z Z on Feb 03, 2014
    I think it would be neat to leave the original paper it in. You might want to use a polyurethane to both "glue" and seal the paper to protect it from further damage.
    • See 2 previous
    • Tricia Tricia on Feb 06, 2014
      @Julie Moyna Take a picture of the lock and go to an antique store. they often have a box full of old keys and can advise which key would fit by your picture.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Feb 03, 2014
    I agree with Becky. The inside should be left orginal. The only time I do anything to chest is if they have already been painted prior. Anything orginal I leave alone. The paper helps date it and I think it's in beautiful condition. It is stunning.
    • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Feb 03, 2014
      @Sherrie Thank you Sherrie! I am doing just what Becky said! I really appreciate your help and input!
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Feb 03, 2014
    I would keep the vintage paper lining in the lid. I would definitely seal it. However for the inside of the trunk itself, I would switch it for a new paper lining or something more durable. I would go w/ a solid color & something that would complement the lining in the lid.
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 03, 2014
    I have a beautiful antique steamer trunk that had a musty odor that I just couldn't get rid of - tried everything, literally. finally, I gave up, scraped the the paper lining out of it (which took forever - you could smell the mustiness in the lining paper, which was thick, as I scraped it), let the different elements dry, and the smell was gone. I relined the drawers with vintage looking fabric, and it is now one of my best storage pieces.
    • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Feb 03, 2014
      @Cynthia H yuck...i know the smell. I have a trunk obsession and actually had to donate one due to that smell. Nothing would help. I am glad that it was just a foot locker.
  • Lori J Lori J on Feb 03, 2014
    I lined my trunk with cedar sheeting. Why? I wanted to store wool blankets there and love the smell of cedar.
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    • Jennifer G Jennifer G on Feb 05, 2014
      @Lori J Mine is also lined with cedar. I use it for guest bedding/pillows and i LOVE it!
  • Valorie Phillips-Keeton Valorie Phillips-Keeton on Feb 05, 2014
    Leave the OLD!
  • Patt Butti6 Patt Butti6 on Feb 05, 2014
    I've done two trunks, just the same style for my daughters. Since the plan was to be able to use them, the paper in both flaked off and was deteriorating, I recovered one in quilted sage green, with decorative nails and the other trunk was red and black, that one has a black background with red flower lining. Both looked gorgeous.
    • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Feb 06, 2014
      Wow Patti! Material or paper? My fingers go numb so no pushing pins for me :(. But I can rock midge podge. Lol
  • STACY STACY on Feb 05, 2014
    My grandparents and my mom restored trunks to their original condition in the 70's and 80's. When my grandmother would rewallpaper the inside of a trunk she would take strips of bed sheets or cotton and dip in wallpaper paste and put them over the cracks and splits. Then she would wallpaper over the top of them. Then if the trunk was moved or shifted it did not crack the new paper. Also works in old houses on wall cracks.
  • Karen Worlock Karen Worlock on Feb 05, 2014
    I currently have a trunk that has been in my family for a long time. Want to store sheets in it. However, need to get the musty smell out first. Any suggestions?
  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Feb 05, 2014
    Hi Julie I have an old trunk that is pretty old and looks like yours, except the top is not rounded. The inside of my trunk was exactly like yours. The paper lining was flaking and peeling pretty well everywhere. It also had a musty old smell to it. I needed something large to store all my photos and photo albums until I could figure out a better place to store them. Anyway I realized I had an old truck I purchased the year before that I had not worked on refinishing yet. The thing is though, the inside smelled musty and it was peeling everywhere. I decided to get a couple of mats out to sit and kneel on, and I grabbed a paint scrapper, a utility knife, and extra blades to it. I started with the paint scrapper in the bottom. The paper lining was coming off pretty good except for some areas that were more stubborn and needed a sharper bladed to scrap it off. I did so much, and then used my shop vac. Not only was I scrapping up the old lining and glue, but the top layer of the wood underneath. I took a rough grit piece of sand paper and went over it fast. The wood was not smooth at all, but I just wanted to make sure that there would be no splinters. It took me two days, but it could of taken just one day if I had spent more time on it the first day. Anyway after all the paper lining was removed and sanded a little bit, I was surprised at how much better it looked. It still looked old, and some of the musty smell was gone. I was satisfied that I could store my photos in this chest for the time being. I even took photos of the label that was on the inside top. It had to go, and there was no way around it. One day I plan on researching how old the chest actually is, and who could of owned it. After the winter I plan on taking all the photos and albums out of the chest and I am going to totally refinish it. I will have to replace the two leather handles on the outside. I am not sure if am going to just refinish the chest to its natural colour, or if I will stain or paint it yet. Also not sure if I want to cover up the wood on the inside with another lining because it is so nice. I might just seal it with a clear finish. Just wanted to let you know what I went through with the inside of my chest and how nice the wood is under the paper lining.
    • See 3 previous
    • Mark Irby Mark Irby on Feb 09, 2014
      @Kim Dagenais The next time you find some old wood furniture with a musty smell inside you might want to experiment with some clear wood sealer. I had fire restoration done on an apartment years ago and after they cleaned the hard wood floors they used a clear wood/deck sealer like Thompsons or Olympia to keep the odor contained.
  • Vickie Vickie on Feb 06, 2014
    I ripped mine out and stained the inside looks great!
    • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Feb 08, 2014
      @Vickie I was thinking come spring to sand the inside of my trunk even more, and to stain it as well. Good idea.
  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Feb 06, 2014
    I would preserve the picture and reline everything else.
    • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Feb 06, 2014
      That is a great idea KathrynElizabeth! I have to figure out what to do it with now!
  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Feb 07, 2014
    Thanks Julie can''t wait to see the info for the trunks. That is very nice of you. KIM
  • Janis Hill Janis Hill on Feb 07, 2014
    Wad up newspaper or brown wrapping paper, sprinkle baking soda on it, close the lid. Leave it for a week or two. That should take the mustiness out.
    • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Feb 08, 2014
      @Janis Hill Hi Janis So glad that newspaper or brown paper and soda worked for you. How much paper and baking soda approximately should I put in my trunk?
  • Jill B Jill B on Feb 07, 2014
    I love the trunk!!! Beautiful job. I would line it. I lined mine with scrapbooking paper and mod podge. Helped soooo much with the musty smell.
  • Opal Opal on Feb 07, 2014
    After getting the mustiness out, I would consider lining just the bottom with paper in an old map paper style.
  • Liz Thomas Liz Thomas on Feb 07, 2014
    I store the Christmas decorations in my trunks, I've pulled out the musty paper and grater sweet clean smelling soaps for the bottom which took away the nasty smell. So of the good smell has even filtered through to the living room. I like the idea of decopaging the inside with maps....perfect if you are selling the trunk
  • Patt Butti6 Patt Butti6 on Feb 08, 2014
    Mine were both material. The sage green was quilted and the thickness of the trunk walls worked for the decorative nails. The other trunk had thinner walls. I spray glued on the upholstery fabric.and had an upholsterer sew the fabric in a double welting. I then glued that on the finished edge. I read you can also use wall paper.
  • Janis Hill Janis Hill on Feb 08, 2014
    Kim I would fill it with crumpled newspaper/brown wrapping paper and sprinkle an entire box of baking soda on top of it.
  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Feb 09, 2014
    Thanks so much for the info. I will do what you mentioned. Actually in another story, I purchased a beautiful antique cabinet for my dining room over a year ago and the inside still has a bit of a musty smell to it because it is so old. I will try put an open box of soda on the top and bottom separate part of this cabinet with some paper and see what happens. I bought it second hand from a couple that had it in their family for a very long time. The cabinet was in perfect condition when we purchased it, and did not need any restoration. I wipe the cabinet down every once in awhile with orange oil, but the smell is still there when you open the doors. Anyway I will give your info a try on my cabinet first, and then the trunk. Thanks Janis
  • Judy Adams Judy Adams on Feb 09, 2014
    Musty smell here is a simple solution ,Set big bowl full of Charcoal briquettes in the trunk close lid and let it sit until the charcoal has absorbed all the odors. I did this with a freezer that was full when the electricity went off, found it a weeeek later .Used this and it works . thanks for the idea on refinish . Now i can go for it ,with my old Sea trunk that is rusty and been stored for two years . THANKS. PS save the pic .
  • Judy Adams Judy Adams on Feb 09, 2014
    Instead of cleaning all the paper out of the trunk I would just deodorize and line it with some embossed plastic tileing from great assortment of embossed finishes for the whole room .
  • Carol Vanderpool Carol Vanderpool on Feb 09, 2014
    I would absolutely leave the picture alone as well sand down as much as possible find some old retro or primitive paper redo to closely match you color in picture.
  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Feb 09, 2014
    Thanks Mark I purchased the cabinet in excellent condition. I does not need any work or refinishing done to it. Maybe in the future I will sand it down and re-stain it in a dark espresso brown stain that I love, with a poly finish. For now it is a medium brown. I plan on refinishing it in the future, but right now the list of projects I have is long. Thanks again.