This is the "after" photo of the finished piece. For reasons explained below I don't actually have a proper "before photo", just some inbetween ones and after ones. So, I found this trunk at at a fair in August this year. You remember August? The month it rained virtually everyday? Well it threw it down that particular morning and I was wearing flip flops (some might say optimistic). So we were pretty much running through the fair (which is difficult in flip flops fyi), trying to see everything quickly and then get the hell out of there. Anyway, as we were running I spotted this one vendor opening up his van and this luggage trunk caught my eye. I loved the shape, I thought it would be perfect as a storage box or even as a coffee table (right height) and you could see some distinctive markings on it under the dirt so I snapped it up. The vendor kindly agreed to put it by while I carried on looking and as I was about to run off a woman came tearing over and said "how much for the trunk?" He just nodded at me and said "ask her, she just bought it". Ha! I felt bad (for about a second). Once I got the trunk home I did nothing. For 3 months. I could lie and say it's because I'm so exceedingly busy and my life is just a social whirlwind, but if I'm honest, I was a bit scared and I thought it was going to be one of those projects where you start it and then suddenly you've lost 4 hours of your life but you're not really sure how and all you can think is "I've started this. I MUST finish this". I'm glad to say this turned out a lot better than I thought at one particular "WTF am I doing?" moment!
Now, because I am an idiot I forgot to take a photo of the trunk in it's original state. However, I can describe it fairly accurately... er, totally rank. The exterior was absolutely filthy, really deep ingrained dirt (it's original purpose was a luggage trunk so this shouldn't have come as a surprise really). The photo below was taken after I had cleaned up the wooden frame and got most of the dirt off the leather exterior so I could see the original markings and that the colour was definitely green. To clean the wooden frame I used some fine wire wool and clear wax (the solvent in the wax attacks the dirt and wool gently brushes it out of the grain). And I used some good old fairy liquid and a cloth to clean the main exterior. I didn't want to use anything stronger and destroy the original painted travel markings and it worked out perfectly (love fairy liquid).
The interior of the trunk was badly damaged as the fabric it was originally lined with was really thin, it smelt like an old attic and was peeling off on the edges.
I think the photo below sums up my "WTF am I doing" moment really rather well. Despite appearing to be very thin, the lining was surprising strong and it took a good bit of pulling and cursing to come off. I got the one side off and then I think I went to have a cup of tea and take a photo of my handiwork for a break.
The photo below was taken probably an hour (or two) later once I had removed all the lining. I left it open overnight to air during which time I washed and ironed the new lining - some lovely blue & white ticking fabric I managed to find locally.
The next morning was spent repeatedly taking measurements, cutting, then re-ironing and fixing the new lining to the trunk interior. I copied the panels of the original lining which made the process even more time-consuming but I think it would have been a bit of a crap job to get so far and then (literally) cut corners at the end. I used some red material tape/ribbon in the crease and gave the exterior a final clean and polish. Below are the 2 finished photographs. Phew!
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