Trunk Innards: 3 Ways to Restore the Inside of Your Antique Trunk


Trunk Innards: 3 Ways to Restore the Inside of Your Antique Trunk

Antique trunks are a beautiful addition to any home; after all, they’re a treasure trove of memories and charm. They not only provide extra storage space, but also add a touch of history and class to any room. 

But what if the interior is less than charming? Over time, the inside of your antique trunk may become worn, damaged, or stained. The good news is that restoring the inside of your antique trunk is a relatively easy process that can be done with some basic materials and tools.

Fear not! We’re here to guide you through your trunk restoration journey. Read on to get step-by-step instructions on how to fix up the inside of your trunk and make it look as good as new.


There are several ways you can restore the inside of your trunk. Let’s explore some of the popular options and their pros and cons.

Line the Trunk with Wallpaper

This method offers a variety of colors and patterns, and if done correctly, it can look quite appealing. However, it’s not without its challenges. 

Picture yourself wrestling with sticky glue, while trying to avoid getting it on everything, including yourself and your poor dog! Also, let’s not forget about those pesky little creatures that love to feast on wallpaper paste. What’s more: wallpaper tends to peel off after a few years, leaving your trunk looking worse than before. Our advice? Skip this option!

Line with Fabric

Using fabric to line your trunk gives you a wide array of choices. Upholstery fabrics are especially good as they resist sagging and wrinkling. However, this method also has its drawbacks. 

It creates a cozy home for bugs between the fabric and the wood. Plus, it requires precision and patience, particularly when attempting to achieve crisp edges.

Strip, Sand, and Stain

This is our favorite option at Brettuns Village. Remove the old paper, sand the wood, stain it, and finish it. This method is clean, simple, and long-lasting. It also allows the wood to breathe, preventing warping and maintaining its natural look.


Whether you’re lining your trunk with fabric or stripping and staining it, we have some pointers to help you:

  • For Lining with Fabric: Start with the sides of the trunk, both bottom and top. Attach the material at the top edge of the trunk bottom and fold it over to hide your staples.

    Run your material around the corners about an inch onto the front and back of the trunk. Repeat this process for the lid. It might take some time, but the results are worth it.
  • For Stripping and Staining: Dampen (we use the garden hose, no kidding) the old paper with a cloth and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then use a paint scraper to remove the wallpaper. Sand the wood, apply your favorite stain, and finish the wood. You’ll be done in no time!

Remember, patience is key when restoring an antique trunk. It’s a labor of love that requires care and attention to detail. But the reward? A beautifully restored trunk that’s ready to hold your treasures once again.
Ready to start your restoration project? Shop our range of trunk tools and hardware at Brettuns Village today! From decorative tacks to sandpaper, we have everything you need to bring your antique trunk back to life.