Should I Paint My Antique Trunk? (The Answer May Surprise You!)


Should I Paint My Antique Trunk? (The Answer May Surprise You!)

If you have an antique trunk, you might be debating whether to paint it or leave it as is. While some people believe that antique items should be preserved in their original state, others see the potential to enhance the item’s appearance with a fresh coat of paint. 

So, should you paint your antique trunk? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

To Paint or Not to Paint?

One question that often comes up is whether or not to paint your trunk. While, at Brettuns Village, we have our own philosophy, we understand that each trunk and its owner have unique tastes and visions.

Your antique trunk may appear as if it was painted at one time. However, that’s likely a baked-on finish based on linseed oil, not modern paint. Our philosophy at Brettuns Village is to protect the trunk to last another hundred years (at least). We aim to preserve its aged charm, rather than make it look brand new with gold paint on the hardware or antique gold paste on the corners.

If you’re curious about how painted trunks look, take a stroll around eBay. You’ll find plenty of trunks for sale, painted in various colors. If you decide to go down this path, remember to remove all rust first and consider using a primer on the metal parts before applying the final color.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Antique Trunk

If you decide to paint your trunk, careful planning can really transform your piece into a masterpiece. Over the years, we’ve received interesting e-mails and phone calls from very experienced trunk refinishers. Many of these individuals are experts in the field, and they have different opinions about painting trunks.

There’s no rule, law, ordinance, nor even a guideline that stipulates that painting a trunk is bad — it all comes down to personal taste. Some refinishers aim to make the trunk look brand new, as if it was just purchased from a supercenter. At Brettuns Village, we respect the age of the trunks in our shop and aim to enhance their natural charm while allowing them to look their age.

To paint or not to paint your antique trunk? Ultimately, the choice is yours. Both options come with their pros and cons. If preserving authenticity is essential to you, leave the trunk unpainted. If you’re looking to restore its beauty, painting it may be best. 

As a word of caution, be careful to avoid devaluing the piece further with poor paint choices or application methods. In the end, always consult experts who can guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.
If you’re passionate about restoring an antique trunk and preserving its vintage charm, shop our range of trunk tools and hardware at Brettuns Village today! With our expert guidance and quality tools, you’ll be well-equipped to restore your antique trunk to its former glory. Happy restoring!