Steamer Trunk Restoration Update

For those of you who have been following along with my adventures in antique restoration, here’s an update on the steamer trunk I’m working on.

This trunk was given to me by my neighbor who moved two weeks ago. She’d had it in her garage for years and it was a mess, as you can see below…

The interior was really bad of course. It was lined with rotting fabric and reeked of mildew…

Well, I’ve spent a lot of hours working on that trunk. In addition to thoroughly scrubbing it inside and out, I’ve now also removed the interior fabric, replaced the bottom of the drawer (which turned out to be mildewing cardboard but is now wood), and sanded down the interior. I still need to clean up the metal parts and have gathered up the materials to do so. I also need to stain and finish the interior. However, it looks much better than it did and it sure as hell smells a lot better! Take a look at it now…

And here’s the interior with the repaired drawer…

I’ve worked on it on three separate days, between 5-8 hours at a time each day. I estimate I’ve still got at least another two days worth of work to go. I plan to tackle the metal parts on Monday and then hopefully stain and finish the interior come next weekend.

For now though, my back hurts and I’m exhausted from standing hunched over that trunk for several hours today. I’m going to grab a glass of wine and soak in the tub until I no longer smell of saw dust and wood soap. Taa!

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. Wow, that’s amazing, it looks great. What a find. Your hard work is really paying off

  2. I don’t know if it’s important to you but an internet search for steamer trunk parts , you can find replacement straps that are missing. also if important the lockable latch on the front is easily found and only held on by 3 bent over nails ( the moveable part with the keyhole) I recently purchased 2 for around $15.00. but you have to shop as some are way more money. Now if you’ve replaced the interior with paper or fabric its hiding the back of the nails. Would have given exact website for parts but have been on so many I can’t be specific….

  3. Mike,

    I should actually be able to remake the straps myself, since I do some leatherwork on occasion and I have the materials already in my art supplies, but yeah, finding the lock would be nice. I found one website that talks about how to restore old trunks and I think they offer replacement parts, so I might check with them. I’m not recovering the interior, since I’m afraid it would eventually rot again (though it would probably take years). Instead, I’m going to stain and finish it when I finish the exterior of the trunk.

    Thanks for the info! Know about what to pay for those replacement parts is a big help!

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