This trunk once was quite an expensive beauty. The curved top, plentiful nails, and fine hardware make this a high end trunk, often known as a 'Saratoga Trunk'. But in addition to that, it was once covered in leather instead of canvas which only the finest trunks were. The leather has blackened with age and is peeling off. We began by cutting off all of the peeling leather so that the wood underneath became fully exposed. We then stripped and cleaned the entire trunk. It then needed to be sanded, and the rusting metal was treated with a rust stop product. The metal nails on the wood strapping 'bled' a blackish stain onto the wood immediately surrounding them. So we treated the wood strapping with Oxalic Acid. This removed the dark staining and also served to lighten the wood. This enhanced the contrast between the strapping and the base wood once the trunk was completed.
We replaced the leather handles and customized the leather handle holders. Most often we see the handle holders made out of metal, but these leather ones turned out very nice, and maintained the integrity of the original design. The trunk came out beautifully. The metal was all painted black, and the wood was stained two different tones. The base wood was stained a 'golden oak' color while the wood strapping was stained with a very light 'natural' stain. We also replaced the leather lid pull at the center front top.
While this trunk did at one time have a different look, It's new wood toned finish is beautiful, warm and has plenty of character! For a more complete set of photos throughout this job check out our Flikr set here... Dome Top Trunk.
We get to work on all kinds of different trunk styles, designs, quality, and condition here at the shop. Each trunk provides us with new and interesting challenges, but we sure enjoy each one we get to work on. Do you have a treasure sitting somewhere in your home that needs a little TLC? Bring it to us, we would love to fix it up for you.