Below is more specific information about
different types of trunk restoration.
Canvas Covered Trunks
Removing the canvas from a flat top to be refinished is a personal choice between original look and updating the trunk to a new beautiful look. Once in a while we see a flat top that has canvas good enough to leave on but this is very rare. In this case we usually remove the old finish from the slats, sand, maybe stain and then finish the hardwood of the staves. The canvas can then be coated with a protective clear coat.
After the canvas is removed on a trunk being refinished there is usually a coat of crystallized glue on the background wood. This has to be removed before the wood can be refinished and is difficult. The wood is cleaned as well as possible and then sanded before receiving its finish. Great care must be taken as the wood is generally a hundred years old. The result is a wonderful wood finish!
canvas is removed from between the slats and hardware on the trunk then you're
usually left with MANY little threads under the edges of the slats and hardware.
Removing these can take a lot of time and depending on the canvas different
techniques. There is usually a lot of time and
effort spent removing the canvas from these trunks. Fortunately, the canvas has
protected the wood underneath for all those years, which allows us to have a
Great end result. The wood requires a lot of work to refinish. Lots of gluing,
sanding, staining, and Many coats of Good Tung Oil Finish with sanding between
coats to get a good finish. This takes about a week if things go well. Now you
need to clean the hardware, banding, latches, lock, etc. You generally have lots
of decorative hardware which have to be cleaned of rust, and then repainted.
Many parts had to be completely replaced, which means you have to find and buy
Metal Covered Trunks
Metal covered Trunks are
divided into two types, Embossed Metal (click
here to see examples of metal patterns) and smooth steel (commonly called
tin covered). Most Trunk restorers will not Remove the metal to expose the wood
underneath due to the difficulty. In the Embossed Metal trunks, there is a lot
of cleaning, rust removal, or repair in most cases to get these trunks to look
good again. In the case where the metal is removed, it is a Very difficult
process. Metal covered trunks generally have a multitude of nails holding the
metal to the wood box and in order to remove the metal, if desired, you must
remove all the nails and all the slats and hardware to get to the base wood box
and lid. Let me say that this is a Serious Task! Not only is it very time
consuming, and difficult, but you can easily do serious damage to the wood box
and lid in the process. I remember the first one of these I did, and it
took almost a week to remove all the nails, hardware, slats, etc. When I was
done, I felt like all I had accomplished was to destroy what was once a
beautiful trunk. I decided to do the removal of the metal, because like many of
these metal covered trunks, it was damaged in some areas, and rusted in other
sellers of many types of Wonderful Antique trunks, and we are very
dedicated to our customers.
We currently Many Collectible Antique Steamer Trunks!
We will be selling them as we have them restored.
CHECK OUT OUR COLLECTION
The collection is growing!
See our 'Before and After' restoration page