Customers' Gallery

This is where we show off some of the projects that our customers have taken on.
Many of them used our trunk handles, some bought a challenge from our Compost Pile.
Some curse the day they decided to take on a project of such magnitude.  Take a look and see what you think:

From Bob Kuzma!
steamer trunk restoration information steamer trunk restoration information
Clearly, as you can see, Bob Kuzma ain't messing around. Nice work!

From Peter Madia!
steamer trunk restoration information steamer trunk restoration information
steamer trunk restoration informationsteamer trunk restoration information
Hi Churchill. I Wanted to share this one with you that I did for my wife. Bought it not knowing what I had. I was able to get a working key. Lock is Yale & Towne lock co, Hartford CT. Handles from you.
I lined the interior and built a tray. Trunk is approximately 36" wide, 22" deep and 25" high. Thinking about straps which were original to the trunk. Corners stamped "Pat Apr 5 98".
Everything cleaned up to bright finish and appears to be silver (steel). Peter Madia

From David Prescott!
steamer trunk restoration information
Hello! I inherited a box suitcase from my father. This goes back to the 1940’s. Dad was an artist as well as very handy so he
converted it to carry his oil paints. When I went to university and majored in art I used it also. It started falling apart so I thought
I would restore it, as I like to refinish furniture. I found your website and bought new hardware, hinges and handles. I used a green
pleather as it would be easier to cleanup than real leather since I’ll be using to carry paints. I did my research and found a color scheme
popular for the era. The major change was gluing some of the interior pleather to the outside in a pattern of three stripes, also popular for the era.
For the containers and dividers I cobbled silverware drawer organizers and made my own from bass wood. It was a really fun project and came out great.
David Prescott Rochester Hills Michigan

From Sam Neuman!
steamer trunk restoration information
I just wanted to say thank you! Your website was instrumental in helping me restore my first Steamer Trunk. Stripping the old Green
canvas took so time, as did the metal polishing with a steel brush which was pretty brutal. The total project probably took me 80hrs,
but it was totally worth it! Also wanted to thank you for the recommendation on the Tung Oil. I really like the original Tung oil look and feel.
It makes it feel natural, rustic, and how it should be. This is only day 4 after multiple tung oil coats, so i am excited to
see what it looks like after 30 days once it cures fully. Attached are a few pictures. Thanks again!

From Wendy Knowles!
steamer trunk restoration how to
Hello! Wanted to thanks you for your help with my trunk project and send you pictures of my finished trunk! I actually ordered
most of the replacement parts from you guys back in 2015, but then started traveling extensively for work and just go back to this
project a month or so ago. All of the leather is from you, plus 3 of the 4 pieces of corner metal on the body, one piece of corner metal
on the lid, bottom metal on one side, lock and hasps. When I found my trunk, it was OUTSIDE an antique shop due to being
so dirty, rusty and dead-horse smelling. Love at first sight for me, LOL! I got it for $25.00.
My blog is officially up and running (, you guys are mentioned frequently on the Trunk Restoration Page!
If you like it, please feel free to send people there for a step-by-step restoration experience. I don’t sell anything, just talk
about DIY and personal happiness. Also, any feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Thanks!

From Brenda Bozeman!
steamer trunk restoration tips
From Brenda: "My 1st attempt and I think I'm in love! Thank you so very much for all your help with my project!
I'm sure you hear it all the time, but couldn't have done it without your guidance!"

From Beth Schneider!
how to refinish an antique steamer trunk
From Beth: "You know the work that goes into these trunks; mine has always been a pleasure, not like a job. I've been refinishing since 1981
and enjoy the look on the owner's faces when they see the work that I have done.

From Brandon Furber - the Coffin Case!
how to refinish an antique steamer trunk
I made this 19th century style coffin case for my modern antebellum-style fretless banjo. I used truck hardware from Brettuns Village
including the leather handle and handle brackets, the hinges, and the draw latches. Excellent quality, great function, and kept
with the 19th century look I was going for with this case. Thanks! Brandon Furber

Take a Look at Paul Fricke's Work!
how to refinish an antique steamer trunk
Hi Churchill, Thought I would pass along some photos of my finished project. The leather handles and loops look great and function well! This is a small chest I made from scratch with a
bunch of cedar from a friend. It was destined for firewood. It is 18 x 18 and 12" high. Cut down pieces and glued up panels. Then, using my box joint jig, but the joints and fit the box together.
Cut off the lid. The finish was to first put a coat of shellac and the spray multiple coats of can spray lacquer. The chest is used to house the 300 piece wooden erector set for
the grandkids when they come over to visit. Yes, all these pieces were cut, Drilled, and sanded. Each was finished with boiled Lindseed oil. I also made a small hammer out of
walnut to use when pieces get a bit tight or stuck to take them apart or assemble. The yellow DeWalt container holds multiple boxes of bolts, nuts and washers to use with the pieces.
Plenty here for a bridge or blanket fort for my one year old grandson. For the littler grandkids using the blocks without bolts works great. Good set for a huge game go Jenga.
Please feel free to post with my contact information Grand Rapids

Attached are some photos of my latest project - a Knights of Columbus 4th degree Regalia sword carry case.
The leather handle works and feels great. I also like the Chicago screws to hold the handle. The inside is a fine
polyester cloth over foam. Tie downs are Velcro and are anchored underneath to loops epoxied to the panel.
39” x 7” x 4 1/2” with 1/4” oak construction
It’s finished with a French polished shellac and s few coats of paste wax. Inside lid edge is Australian Jarrah wood.
This was build from an old oak dresser drawer left over from another project. My daughter commissioned me
to build a dry bar out of an old oak dresser ( found on Craig’s list) for her boyfriend.
I enjoy your fine products and quick shipping.
Paul Fricke
Faithful Navigator
Knights of Columbus
Msgr Thomas O Martin Assembly 2210
Wyoming, MI

Thomas Earley Has Been a Great Customer for a Long Time
information on trunk refinishinghow to refinish an antique steamer trunk
Thomas Earley has refinished a number of trunks - this is a fine example of his work.
He used only shoe polish and paste wax on this one!

Professional Restoration of Antique Trunks
The antique trunks, vintage trunks, steamer trunks and chests shown here for sale are all one of a kind, hand-restored,
refurbished and redesigned unique pieces of furniture that have been carefully selected and meticulously crafted.
Click here to visit our online store

professional steamer trunk refinishing service

Chris Bostwick Needed to Hide His Freezer!
Full range of parts and supplies for trunk and case repairHow to make a travel trunk from scratch
OK, the apartment isn't huge, so the new chest freezer had to go in the living room.
 Chris Bostwick disguised his freezer as a steamer trunk.  Fabulous!  All parts were GLUED on!

Bruce Hill Has Vision!
steamer trunks before and after pictures

and he does fabuous restoration work! You can contact him:

From Across The Pond
How to restore an old steamer trunk
Dear Churchill: We really enjoyed meeting you (to say nothing of the adorable Indie) when we called into Brettuns Village two weeks ago.
We are now safely back in 'Old' England with very fond memories of our too short visit to the New. Particularly of Brettuns Village and Stonington, Maine.
We are attaching a few photos of our first trunk which we gave a fancy interior when our son asked to borrow it for his wedding.
The quilting was on card with the idea of removing it to restore a more traditional lining once we got it back only
it has never come back! If you think they are worthy of inclusion in your customer's gallery, please use them.
Hope you are enjoying the moose!  Kindest regards;  Andrew and Martine Kilby

Charleen Ross - Before and After!
Antique trunk refinishing, before and after

Woodworking by Jeff!
Full range of parts and supplies for antique steamer trunk and suitcase repair
One trunk leads to two, and then, of course, as one might expect, a ukelele case!

Before and After by John English!
projects using antique steamer trunks and old suitcases
John certainly had the vision - these look fabuous now!

Before and After by Rosebacks!
projects using antique steamer trunks and old suitcases
See? It's easy - develop a vision for the trunk and then all you have to do is take it there.

From George McConnell in Michigan:
Antique Trunk Restoration Information

This is George McConnell's handiwork.  George lives in Brighton, Michigan.  George used our handles on his trunks.  They're wicked smart in Michigan.

An actual quote from a real customer:
Dear Brettuns Village Trunk Shop,
I have used your trunk handles many times...and visit your witty web page often...keep up the fantastic work! I am attaching a couple of pictures of my handy work...
since my recent retirement I will have more time to devote to restoring the approx. 120 trunks I have stored in a nearby barn. Should keep me busy for some time. Thanks again for being such a great resource.
 George Mc Connell, Brighton, Michigan
Refinished antique trunk
Greetings Churchill,
I am including some before and after pictures of my latest Trunk project. I was contacted by a nice lady about undertaking the job of restoring her mother's Antique Trunk.
Karen got my name from your website where I have some of my previous restored trunks in your Customer gallery section.  The trunk belonged to her mother and
has been in the family for generations. Karen wanted it restored in time to present it to her mom for her 89th birthday. I accepted the challenge after seeing some pictures...
it was a basket case in need of a ton of work. The lid had been detached from the body for many years with many areas completely rusted also had a busted slat.
The challenge was to have the trunk completed by Sept. 24th....that is Karen's mother's birthday. Her mom will be celebrating #89 with her 4 siblings...all of them are over 80!
They will be gathering at her home to view the newly restored heirloom trunk. I have restored many trunks over the last 30 years....this one was most satisfying.
Of course, all the parts needed for the job came from Brettuns Village...thank you!
Best regards,  George Mc Connell  Brighton, Michigan

From Crystal Davis!
Refinished dome topped steamer trunk

Hi Brettuns Village!
First off I want to thank you from here to the moon for your very informative website as well as the extensive inventory of trunk parts and awesome prices.  I have now completed two trunks and have enjoyed every minute of it. I could not have done it without your site.  The first trunk was a big, ugly trunk my neighbor just gave to me because they couldn't stand the sight of it any longer. I will send pictures of that one later on. Lets just say they are sorry they gave it to me now because it turned out so nicely.  The next trunk(s) I acquired is my great grandmother and grandfather's. We found both in a barn rotting away. They are the old zinc covered ones with the rounded top. It was heartbreaking to see them in the shape we found them in. I finished the first one because it was in the best shape, and the other which looks very similar in design is taking a bit more work then the other because the top was caved in and it was covered in rust. Normally I would likely have walked away, but these are priceless family heirlooms that were not properly cared for until now.  I am including the first because I am still replacing slats and rebuilding the hump on the second and I can only hope in the end it will look as beautiful as this one. I can't tell you how excited I was when the parts we ordered from you came in the mail today!  I'm including the after shots, as well as the before one from when we found them. I'm sure you'll be able to see which is which. :D I hope.  Thanks again! I can't wait to get the other finished as well as get pics of the first so I can share!

This trunk work can be habit forming - here's Crystal's next project:

stripping paint off an antique trunk
We finally finished the second trunk that we believe was my great grandfather's. We found the first I'd already sent you and this one together. Whether or not they were originally a set, we do not know but in a way they matched and in other ways they did not. This one has flat sheet metal instead of the line pattern mixed with the same pressed pattern. They were not the same colors either and their sizes seem slightly different. We had to rebuild the hump in this one and it was very bad shape when found. Basically solid rust. We had to patch many rust holes and deal with dents that we could. All the hardware on the slats was replaced using your parts as well as the lid stay and handles too. I'm glad to know I have somewhere to go with the next trunk I find in my possession! You always seem to have exactly what we need!

dome top trunk completely restored

I just finished up another trunk with parts I ordered from you! This was the most difficult one yet because it needed all new wooden slats, flat metal, hardware and a completely rebuilt lid! Most people probably would have thrown it away, especially when they saw the free wasp nest, rat poop and termite damage that came with this awesome $10 investment, but not me! I broke the rules and used a few screws, but only when I had no choice to hold this rickety old trunk together again. It was very painful to resort to using them. In the end, this trunk will be a wonderful gift for my mom and someday a wonderful family heirloom to go with the other two that belonged to my great-grandparents. At least I know it will survive that long!  I couldn't have done it with you and the parts you sell! Thank you so much for having affordable and accurate parts available for trunk hoarders like me!  God Bless! I'll be ordering again soon! I just bought two more trunks! Hahahaha!  Crystal Davis

From Neil Moschel!
Restored antique trunk
Just wanted to show you how I put to good use your handles and handle end caps! I chose a satin finish on this metal clad trunk.  Thanks, Neil
More projects from Neil:

Antique trunk restoration helpHow to refinish an old trunkHow to paint an old trunk
How to paint an antique trunk
Neil says this last one was done in the NY Mets colors.  Granderson may someday own this one!

Complete with Astro Turf!

Keeping the Original Look
trunk refinished with parts from Brettuns VillageAntique trunk kept original
I finally finished my Steamer Trunk project and wanted to send you a few pictures.  This was a great project to do, though also a really big project.  It took 70+ hours to complete.  Learned many interesting things along the way and tried several new skills.  The trunk was built about 100 years ago.  Based on the stickers the trunk traveled across the Atlantic ocean a couple times and had the opportunity to visit a couple posh hotels in Europe: Paris, Rhein Valley, and Black Forest.  At some point the trunk was refurbished in Boston, the refurbisher�s emblem was on the inside lid.  Sadly when it was refurbished it was painted a solid brown and the lock on the front was replaced.  So to get it back to working condition I did the following:
·         Replaced missing or loose nails and rivets
·         Refinished the wood with stain and 5 -6 coats of Tung Oil.  There was dry rot and splitting going on
·         Patched up small holes in the canvas and painted it green
·         Polished the old brass hardware and antiqued the new brass lock (so they would look similar)
·         Reconditioned the leather and replaced the leather handles
·         Repainted the metal bands and steel sheeting on the bottom
·         The reproduction stickers have added the extra detail
·         Replaced the inner lining with wallpaper

We are now happily using the trunk as our coffee table.  Thanks for all of your advice.

Looking for a Brave Soul?  Laura Balliet is One!!
Refinished antique trunk
We often pass up these old metal covered trunks that have been painted.  For some odd reason we just don't get much of a kick out of using paint stripper.
Laura Balliet braced herself and went for it.  Nice work!  An unsolicited quote is always nice at a time like this:

Thank you for the awesome supplies and advice from Brettuns Village to get me through this project.
It's my first attempt at giving new life to these trunks. I picked this trunk up for $10 and since it was in pretty rough shape, I figured I should try and tackle it as my first. That way, if I messed up,
I knew I couldn't make it worse than the condition I purchased it.  The tray I built new because, although included, the original didn't seem repairable. Because the canvas was pretty
much intact, I chose to strip the old blue and brown paint and repaint it with a couple coats of white.  The leather, lock, hinges, feet,  and clinch nails all came courtesy of your site. All in all, I spent
about 40-60 hours on it with time dedicated here and there since last October.  I'm looking forward to getting better at this with each "new" trunk I can find around town. This one definitely had a lot of lessons learned.
Thanks!   Laura

Get a Load of What Ray Lang Did!
How to remove paint from an old trunk

Angelo Arcoleo is Open for Business!
Refinished antique trunkRefinished antique trunkRefinished antique trunk
Fine work that has been performed by someone who obviously takes great care to do impressive work.
Angelo is thinking about selling some of his masterpieces, so you may want to drop him an e-mail if you're in the market for a trunk!

Hide covered trunk before restorationRefinished antique trunk
I purchased all my parts through you.  I started with bare bones and created a pirate chest almost 400 copper nails.
This is my first attempt at a chest and I will be a faithful customer for years to come.
I obeyed the rules... No screws!.
Benjamin Heiser

John Cunningham Took a Painted Trunk and Brought it Back to Life!
Refinished antique trunk
Here's another from John Cunningham:
Refinished antique dome topped  or caamel back trunk

Restored metal trunkRefinished antique metal clad trunk
Gentlemen:  Here are a couple of pictures of my trunk.  I did use a wire brush on a drill for a couple of hours.  This trunk was in very bad shape and I did the best that I could to restore it.  Thanks for your help and the parts.  Linda Hursh

Joyce Coss Works Miracles!
Refinished antique trunk
Hi:   Brettuns Village
I know when we place orders, I always tell  you I will e mail a photo of  a�before� and �after� of one of the trunks we refurbish.
Well, I am sending one for you now (hopefully, it will go through). We would like your opinion on the finished product.
Will be calling soon with order.  Thanks again,
Randy and Joyce Coss
213 Pine St
Waynesburg PA 15370

Here's David Stacy's Project:
Refinished antique trunk
I wanted to thank you very much for the very entertaining guidance you provided online concerning restoration of old trunks.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it was 100% helpful.  The parts I ordered were also top notch, especially the leather.
My wife is definitely thankful as the trunk belonged to her long dead Uncle.  I thought you might like to see  before and after photos of an amateur attempt.
David Stacy

Jerry Landsman Can Work for us Anytime!
Refinished antique dome topped trunkRefinished antique pressed metal trunkRefinished antique camel back trunk
Jerry runs Boonsboro Trunks in Boonsboro, Maryland.  Exellent work, in our opinion!
Contact Jerry by e-mail here.

Carl Freeman Gave His Trunk a Makeover!
Refinished antique flat topped trunk
Churchill, These are some pictures of the trunk I restored for my Grand Daughter. I bought all the parts to restore it from you.
The Grand Daughter was brought to tears with joy, she really loved it; was a moment for me to cherish for the rest of my life.
Carl Freeman

Here's a Before/After Pic from Adam
Refinished antique cabin trunk
$20 steamer trunk I found on Craigslist. Lots of scrubbing and finished in tung oil. All new leather from BrettunsVillage.Com
A couple more from Adam:
Refinished antique trunk

From Sarah Ludwig:
Refinished antique trunk
Hi Brettuns Village!
I just wanted to say thank you for all the help you've given me over the past six months either through your website or in e-mails.
I've really appreciated it and it definitely helped. Here are a few pictures of my finished trunk, Tung Oil finish and all!
Sarah Ludwig

Val Jensen Does Nice Work!
Refinished antique trunk
I am sending along before and after photos of my trunk.  Genealogy research shows it likely came from
Minnnesota to Oklahoma, then to Kansas between 1878 and 1890.  My great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother
all stored family photographs in it.  I guess I may as well carry on the tradition now that it looks a little better.
I spray painted the embossed tin base coat then repainted the flowers by hand with an artist's brush.
I decided to let the bright brass develop it's own patina with time rather than paint it.
Val Jansen
Wichita, KS

From Sally Weeks
Lots of restored trunks
While you've been sitting around thinking about maybe trying to work on that trunk that's out in the garage, Sally Weeks has been BUSY!
Here are three of her trunks, in their original form on the left, refinished on the right.  Nice work, Sally!  Here's her note:
It was hard work but, I enjoyed doing it.  The end results were well worth it.  The pink trunk belonged to my
grandmother and had a date of 1880 on it .  My mother had "antiqued" it 2 times.  The first time, it was red!
It had about 4 different coats of paint on it.  Who knew it would turn out to be so pretty underneath all that ugly paint.
The lock on it is beautiful. I did it for my mother who is 83 and I told her when I gave it to her that I wanted to be sure I got it back one day!
Thanks again for you wonderful web site.  I learned everything from ya'll.....I couldn't have done it without you and your great guidance.
Also, great parts department too!
Sally Weeks

Chuck's Woodbarn
Custom built trunks that you've got to see to believe
hand made hardwood trunks
Chuck�s Woodbarn is owned and operated by Charlie and Sherry Zeller.  Specializing in the lost art of steam bending wood to create beautiful hand crafted  trunks and wood chests.  A true family heirloom.  A unique work of art, no two alike.  Emphasis is put on fine craftsmanship and quality construction.  We personally design and construct everything from the beginning jigs to finalizing with finishing the interiors.
Visit Chuck's Woodbarn by Clicking Here

Robert Tyler's Work!
Refinished antique trunk
 Hi Churchill:  As promised, here is the trunk I just refinished. This is my first try.  Thank you for all the trunk parts.

Refinished antique trunk
  Here is my 2nd trunk. It was in a friend's basement went she bought her home over forty
  years ago. The old trunk had a metal exterior. Thank you for your trunk supplies.  All the best,
Robert Tyler, in California

Look What Stan Gardner Did!
Refinished antique trunkRestored antique travel trunk
(on the left) My first trunk project, someone had painted it all red at one time.  I had to replace a board in the top and I also replaced all the slats and connectors,
found a working key and lined the entire inside.  I used brown shoe polish to stain the new slats.
It reeked of mold  before I started.  Now I have four more to do, to give to my granddaughters.
On the Right:  My latest project. It took lots of time to paint the embossed metal, but well worth it.  It is the original color,
as I discovered when removing the old handles.  Built a new tray and lined it all with cedar. Hopefully the oldest grandaughter will have it for many years.
Thanks for the the help and  parts.

From Larry Gattis:
Refinished antique brass button trunk
I have enclosed before and after pictures of my first trunk project.
Thanks for the excellent service and all the help. You have been wonderful to deal with.
The grandmother of the bride was happy and I hope the bride will be also.
Larry Gattis

From Rodney Herring:
Refinished antique trunks from back east
Thanks for having everything I needed to finish these and also for your great prices and advice......Rodney

Jed Painter Proves the Old Black Fiber Trunks Have Potential!
Black fiber covered trunk refinishing
At long last the project is done.  It took six weeks and more forearm strength than I thought I had.
As you can see, all the metal was cleaned and shined.
The disgusting vulcanite covering was shaved off and then the paper underneath was attacked with all manner of tools.
The oak slats were custom cut by yours truly and then added to the sides and top.
The edge clamps and the top clamps are from Brettuns Village, as well as the new handles,
but the rest is original New Jersey steel.  Not a bad way to spend 6 weeks.  I wonder if I still have a job.

Thanks for all the free advice on the website, without which this would not have been possible,
your prompt answers to my inquiries, and your prompt shipment of my repeated orders.
Jed P.

From Christopher Rollston
Refinished antique trunk
The dark brown straps and tabs look great (we think!)

Charles Wright took care of business on his Grandmother's trunk:
Refinished antique trunk
He even made a new tray out of oak!  Nice work, Chas!

Restored antique trunk
Nice work by Donald Guss

steamer trunk restoration how to

Larry Larson's Miracle
Refinished antique camel backed trunk
I would like to thank Brettuns Village Trunk Shop for the advice you gave me on refinishing my trunk and also the parts you had shipped me to do the job.
I had bought my trunk at an antique place in Michigan for $22.50.  I cleaned it up, little paint, removed the paint from the wood and tung oiled everything else.
I put on some new handles, hinge, and some embossed metal where I had a lot of damage and I now have a beautiful trunk.  Thank you, Larry Larson

Built From Scratch by Dave Lackey
Refinished antique automobile trunk
Just wanted to say THANKS for the orders you filled and the questions you answered.  Also, attached a photo of the completed trunk.
First attempt at anything like this and it was so much fun!  Best regards, Dave Lackey

Here's a winner from Jennifer Edwards:
Refinished antique trunk

Refinished antique wood storage boxRefinished antique wood storage box
Sir, May I introduce myself, i'm Thierry Vermeulen from Belgium (Europe) and i'm a professional photographer
and graphic designer.  Me and and my lady are active in the re-enactment scene (1833 - 1899),
and after buying a real 1890's fieldcamera with tripod there was the need for a photographic toolbox.  I never did this before, and the toolbox is made out of scratch,
all by hand and i did not use any screws at all.  Using no screws is something i learned from You, i'm very pleased to have found your site on the internet.
Buying almost all the necessary stuff at Your shop, made it a lot easyer to achieve my goal.
Again thanks for the support, and hereby You will find 2 pictures of our new/old toolbox.
Friendly Greetings,  Vermeulen Thierry
Antwerp, Belgium

Jim Theriault's Jenny Lind-Keyhole-Saratoga-Loaf of Bread Trunk

(Pick the name you like best)
Refinished antique leather covered trunk
Covered in new leather.  Don't the guys over at Brettuns Village Leather just love to see this type of restoration work!

Jim Zartman

Refinished antique trunk with leather straps
Howdy!  Finally, after several hundred man hours of work and a couple hundred dollars in parts and supplies  --  the trunk is completed!
Hopefully, the efforts of this family trunk restoration project are reflected in the attached photos -- along with photos of what I started with.
I do want to thank you again, for not just being a valuable source for parts, etc., but for answering my novices's questions and offering sound advice.
I stayed strictly to your philosophy of �keep it original�  (no paint or screws, etc.) --  even to the point of replacing the canvas--
and of modifying the strap holders to conform to the originals.  I think my wife�s grandfather would be pleased.
Best wishes for your continuing success.
James L. �Jim� Zartman
San Antonio, Texas

Frank Hayes Performed a Miracle!

Refinished antique dome topped trunk
This was my fathers trunk, sat in the garage for 54 years that I can vouch for, not sure how many before.  So, I tried to make it look cleaned up but not redone as you can see.
We are extremely pleased with how it turned out, couldn't have done it without your expert advice,
beautiful leather pieces, nails and once again, your expert advice!
I would like to say for any other novices that want to take a project on like this- no matter how many nails you think you need, you will need more!
It does cause a break in the momentum waiting for them to arrive. However, it does give one time to reflect and reconsider 'hmmmm, maybe I should ???'.
That's what I did, and I love the result!
Thanks again, hope to find a trunk in the neighborhood that wants to follow me home!
Frank Hayes, Grass Valley, CA

Take a Look at What Becky Prince Did

Refinished antique trunk with leather straps

I always enjoy your newletters and your website.  Your website alone is like a reference book for refinishing a smelly old trunk and I appreciate all of your tips and advice.
I refinished the trunk using your shared knowledge from your website, as well as Brettuns Village's handles, leather straps and stays.
The tung oil and golden oak stain formula is great too and it took several applications to soak in the dry wood.
I'm planning to begin working on another trunk this week.  Best regards,  Becky Prince

From Seaton Reed

Refinished antique trunk with cedar inside
Hi Churchill,  I thought you might like to see the finished product. Your helpful suggestions provided me with guidance I would not have otherwise had and the
parts and supplies made it a fun project. And we now have a usable trunk.  You will note I was able to find suitable trim strips which were 1/4 " Aspen
(inexpensive from Home Depot) which I tacked on with the short clinch nails so as not to protrude through the sides. By using 1/4" inch the original tray rails remained usable.
The original tray disappeared long ago so I made a replacement using 1/2" Aspen (glued and nailed) lined with aromatic cedar which came out very nice.
The original interior was lined with a brown paper on the sides and paper cover cardboard like pieces on the bottom and top all glued in.  This was in very poor condition.
 Thanks again for your help.  Seaton Reed

Here's one from Debra Early

Beautiful refinished antique trunk

Radio Radio!

Tom & Pat Gaber Worked a Minor Miracle

Restored vintage radio carrying case
Hi:  We ordered a hide from you in November 2004.  We covered an old Majestic Mighty Monarch radio with the hide.  You mentioned that you would be interested
in seeing the finished product.  Here are some pictures of what your hides covered up.  It was a lot of work, but the finished radio is beautiful.
But here are the pictures - hope you enjoy them.  Tom & Pat Gaber

From George Bernheimer

Refinished antique trunk
This trunk is one I made, with your parts, for my wife to use in pre Civil War Territorial Kansas and Civil War era living history presentations that she and I do.  Thanks again for looking out for us!  Best regards, George Bernheimer

Joe Mihm!

many styles of refinished trunksRefinished antique trunkBeautiful refinished antique travel trunks
To all you good folks at Brettuns Village, Thanks to your help and wonderful website, I finally refinished my first trunk (first photo, above).
It belonged to my great-grandfather and got passed down through the years.  I took the "before' pictures a little late
(after I started tearing it down), but overall I was very pleased with the final outcome (even though I broke a cardinal rule and painted the metal!!).
I hope this one is good enough to make your "Customer's Gallery".  Thanks again for all the help,
Joe Mihm
North Branch, Michigan
Refinished antique trunkRefinished antique trunk
Dear Churchill,
Well, you've got me good and hooked now, a hopeless basket case.  I just finished my second trunk (my first is on your Customer's Gallery, and I have four more in the wings).
I bought this one off of George McConnell, whose name I discovered from your website-  he is only about an hour away from me here in Michigan.  I attached some before and after pictures.
All hardware was purchased through Brettun's village (advice was free!).  You're website should come with a warning-  "this hobby can be hopelessly addicting, and involves vast amounts of hard, dirty, detail work.
Enter into it at your own risk!"  Once again, thanks for the advice.
Joe Mihm
North Branch, Michigan

Refinished antique monitor top trunk

The blue one was a real challenge-  my first all-metal trunk, and the first one I papered (and the first one that had mothballs in it,  hooo-weeee!!!-  I
'm still trying to get the smell out of my nosehairs!).  I used pre-primed house trim aluminum coil stock to replace the metal on the bottom that was rusted away.
It worked out real nice.   I pre-papered the inside with the thick white paper material used for "rough" surfaces, then put the finish paper over it.  M
akes the inside smooth as a baby's bottom, and "mighty purdee" to boot.  Of course, the Brettuns Village handles, caps, nails, lid stay, and bottom corners add the final touches.

From Les:

Restored antique trunk
Thanks Again for your advice and help.  The Handles, Straps and hardware were perfect.  The information on your web site was really helpful to me.
I decided to keep the original worn look, but removed the black paint that was in big runs all over the place.  I scraped this thing with a dental pick carefully chipping of the paint and
other crud from years of neglect.  I sanded and used brass wire brushes to clean the embossed tin then used flat black paint.  After it was dry I lightly sanded the tin to reveal the canvas
like embossed pattern.  A light scraping and sanding of the wood slats and some red mahogany stain (that maple don't take stain well) did the trick.
Followed all that up with two coats of thinned Tung oil.  I think its safe to say that this will someday go to my kids.   Les

From Mike Vitetta - Custom Built for his 1930 Model A Ford
Refinished antique car trunktrunk on the back of an antique car
Mike used our handles, straps, and some spare pieces of matching leather to do the corners of his trunk.
They may not build cars like they used to, but Mike knows how to make the trunks. E-mail him your questions here.

From John Godbout
Refinished antique trunk
This is my first project but not my last. Thanks to Brettuns Village for the advice and parts i used!! I also used the tung oil and golden oak with a little added secret ingredient.
Thanks again!!
John in SC.

Check out this one that John built from scratch using parts from Brettuns Village:
Trunk built from scratch
After refinishing several steamer trunks I decided to make one from scratch, after spending several days in my workshop I ended up with this replica of an 1880's steamer trunk.
The trunk is made from one inch pine boards which I planed down to a half inch just like the original trunks, then added the oak wood slats and brass plated hardware.
There are no screws in this trunk, the main trunk is nailed with small nails and all the oak slats and hardware were attached with solid brass tacks. The trunk has some small dings and
hammer marks here and there, but thats from being hand made and not machine manufactured! It is made of 100% solid wood,
no particle board or plywood in this one! Its stained with golden oak and a touch of cherry and mahogany stains.

From the Compost Pile...
Refinished antique trunk
This guy has vision.  Mike has bought a couple of trunks from our Compost Pile - but he manages to breathe new life into them, as you can see.  We weren't about to mess with that weird paint, but it didn't bother Mike at all.  Or maybe he's just not admitting to it.  Turned out to be a nice Christmas present for his wife.  What a guy! 

For the Back of the Buggy
Refinished antique trunk
Robert Fisher of Virginia used some of our handles and tacks to complete this trunk for the back of his 1930 Ford Coupe.  Although the trunk may not be the best looking part of the car, it still looks pretty snappy.

From Alan Mills in Carlisle, PA
Refinished antique trunk
Alan must be the bravest guy in Pennsylvania.  Can you imagine taking on this project?  Even mice wouldn't live in that trunk the way it looked before.  They all moved out.  Nice work, Alan.  The word 'miraculous' comes to mind.

Federico DiSciarra

Federico used our cast iron chest handles to finish off this trunk that he made from scratch.  FROM SCRATCH!  Very nice work, Federico has created an heirloom that will last for generations.  Here's another of his creations, added in May 2006: