We get lots of trunks in to our shop for repair. Which is great, we love working on these items. They often hold stories of adventures, memories of loved ones, and dreams of distant lands and times. One of the trunks we currently have underway was sitting in water for some time. The tin on the base of the trunk was completely rusted, and we were worried that the wood underneath the tin would be rotten as well.
After removing the old tin, we discovered that the wood underneath was just fine. What a relief! Today we replaced the tin, re-attached the wooden straps that hold it in place, and then used tiny nails across the two side edges where the tin is showing. I think the nails add a nice decorative touch.
When dealing with partially rusted metal, the our customers had a few options. They decided they wanted to use their old hardware as much as possible. So we applied Rust-Stop to all the metal which gave it a slightly bluish cast. The customers then decided they wanted the metal to look silver again, as it would have when the trunk was new. So the step we are currently in process on, is painting all the metal with a silver paint.