Antique Trunk restoration

We were asked to perform a partial(low budget) restoration of an antique trunk.  I conducted some basic research and determined that the trunk is known as a ‘flat top’ style and probably built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.  This style is desirable because it can be converted to a coffee table.  The owner expressed some interest in doing that.  She only wanted the outside restored.

antique trunk








I researched some companies that sell parts for trunks and found all the leather and other parts at WSI Distributors (

The work was interesting and a great learning experience.  One of the biggest challenges was how to color the leather straps and keepers.  We finally used neatsfoot oil and shoe polish to slightly darken the leather to match the restored wood.  We also installed some adjustable feet on the bottom to raise the trunk off of the floor.  We provided the customer with metal and fabric feet which could be used on carpet or wood floors.

I worked with a glass company to design a piece of 3/8 inch glass in an oval shape that fit on the top of the trunk.  I decide that 3/8 was better suited for the top since 1/4 may not be strong enough.  The glass company polished the edges to eliminate the sharp edges.   We used small plastic disks on each of the 8 contact points on the top of the trunk.  This provided enough friction to keep the glass from moving.

The customer was pleased with the results.



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