Steamer Wardrobe Trunk

"Help me!!" is what this amazing trunk is screaming at me. Usually we take apart items to repurpose. I have fallen in love with building benches. I was gifted this trunk. I know that it is worth a little bit of money if it was restored, but seriously there are so many for sale. I want to keep the original insides and I will not paint the exterior. I am just struggling with a way to make this item unique and profitable.
All the original upholstery and hangers.
The outside needs some attention. But overall not bad.
It is next to impossible to find any substantial information about this company.
  15 answers
  • DiannaLynne DiannaLynne on Jan 07, 2015
    I have a trunk similar to this but missing the drawers - hoping for some inspiration so it can have a second life. l be interesting to see what you come up with,
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Jan 07, 2015
    I am pretty sure I am turning it into a bench. As long as we can keep all the inside original. Since yours is missing the drawers you could build a box and then attach a seat with hinges. Add feet to the bottom and add another piece to the other half similar to the seat. That is what I would do with yours. Lol.
  • Carole Carole on Jan 07, 2015
    Have you tried selling it as it is? They are worth a lot of money. It is always tempting to see everything we come across as a potential project, but if you do this to earn money, I would try finding a buyer for it as it is first and maybe pick another piece for your next project. Good luck. If you do decided to remodel this, then please post pictures. I would love to see what you come up with.
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Jan 07, 2015
    They can definitely be worth a lot of money. Unfortunately in my area these are being sold for $100 or less. I would rather do something unique with it.
    • Colleen Schake Colleen Schake on Jan 27, 2015
      @Stephanie Schultz my area too... I won't sell for that little... Not the ones I have like this anyhow. I do have one I've left outside I'd let go for cheap... smelled like rodent pee... Didn't even want that smell in my barn. LOL
    • See 1 previous
    • Colleen Schake Colleen Schake on Jan 27, 2015
      @Scott Valentine This one was one if the nicest overhaul jobs I've seen on them. I use mine to store my Christmas decorations in. So they are all original.
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Jan 08, 2015
    I will check it out for sure.
  • Delores Jackson Delores Jackson on Jan 08, 2015
    I have a steamer trunk, also. My original intent was to up cycle it into a doll storage chest for my granddaughters dolls and accesssories. Of course that didn't happen since she is now 21 and I still have it (lol). I have tried unsuccessfully to sell it though. Of course this isn't an option for you since you want to maintain the original interior and exteriors.
  • Becky D Becky D on Jan 08, 2015
    I just acquired one of these at a local auction.. stole it pretty much.. nobody saw the beauty of it but me I guess and it's all intact and in great shape. I am going to try and redo it pretty close to it's original on the outside except the drawer coverings..sand off the old dark blue paint ( mine is metal), clean up the hardware and cover the drawers with new paper or maybe a light weight material if that will work. Good luck with your project if you decide to redo it!
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Jan 08, 2015
    I think that I have a plan to turn into a bench. I would be able to leave everything intact. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Jan 09, 2015
    I will make sure to take pictures
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Jan 12, 2015
    Since you want to keep the interior as is, I will give you my thoughts for the outside. From the pics it looks like it's leather rather than metal. If that is the case, you don't want to use any household cleaners they are too harsh. You can start by cleaning the trunk w/ saddle soap. You can use Leather Honey, Leather Honey Leather Conditioner found on Amazon. Both will do amazing things for old leather. You will find that once you take care of the leather than the metal parts for trim will need some care. Don't be afraid to paint those it will look better & neater.
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Jan 12, 2015
    Thanks. Good input. We use mink oil usually on our leather. But I will check out the other things.
  • Tracy Shudo Tracy Shudo on Jan 13, 2015
    I send post to Kayo to ask her what she said to you about how to finish the outside? I just came upon this site by accident today, what a great opps, so if you can share with me any info on what you are doing with your trunk or what Kayo said I would be very grateful.
  • Dottie Unruh Dottie Unruh on Jan 15, 2015
    I'd love to have one of these for storage of sewing supplies or arts and crafts materials! Good luck with your project.
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jan 15, 2015
    I have an old wardrobe trunk turned into my sewing cabinet. It took a lot of hard work to remove the old musty liner, but, once it was aired out and redone, it's one of my prize pieces.