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Posted 2 years ago

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passion4tr…
(19 items)

Hello.

I am new to your site and from what I have read many of you are experts in antique or vintage trunks. I look forward to learning more about my addiction to trunks of all kinds.

I found this dome top trunk at a farmers market.They were using it as a storage bin.

I asked if they would sell it, but the answer was no. So I said."I have a trunk that is a little bit bigger, stronger with durable wheels. do you want to trade.

Long story short, we traded a flat top for a dome and both parties were happy. Well almost. I did knew that the trunk was extremely dirty and had been painted black, on the back. What I came to find out was the whole trunk had been painted black. I will not make that mistake again.

What a nightmare. I found right from the beginning there was another color underneath. Very slowly I removed the top layer of paint. It took two weeks, but was well worth it for me. Underneath the black was crystallized gold. In almost prefect condition. At least to me after all my work just to get the paint off. It look almost prefect.

As much as I can tell it has all of the original hardware plus 4 caster wheels and a tin or zinc bottom. It's in great shape. The year maybe 1some where between1880-1890's ?

What I was wondering; how do I keep from losing the crystallization and should I repaint the outer black metal.

Comments

  1. trunkman trunkman, 2 years ago
    Welcome to CW. We love to share our passions here and your addiction to trunks of all types is most welcomed indeed. That is a very nice trunk -- great job on getting the paint off. You are right about the date -- the corner slat clamps are cast iron which puts it around the time you suggest. There are different schools of thought as to repainting the black on your trunk. Since it was originally black then to repaint it keeps in line with its original look. I try my best however not to repaint because I do not like the look (personal choice really) of new paint on an old trunk. I usually take a bit of gun oil and bring out the metal shine that way and get rid of any rust. I have not heard of a trunk losing its crystalization -- so leaving it as is is a good bet. I have polyurethaned over metal on a trunk for protection (Have no idea whether or not it was a good idea -- after 10 yrs, it still keeps it shine however). You have a nice trunk on your profile picture -- I hope to see it posted also. I just finished refinishing a Jenny Lind so an after pic will be coming soon. Gotta love the trunks...keep 'em coming.
  2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    t-man, I left you a message on another site but have to ask here. Have you used those rotary brushes you put in a drill that has the nylon(?) bristles? I'm old & hesitant to use new things but found these have good applications for this sort of thing & don't leave that sand-blasted look that wire rotary brushes do.
  3. trunkman trunkman, 2 years ago
    Blunderbuss2 -- no I actually have never heard of them, but sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the heads up...
  4. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    You can get them at Ace & places like that. They don't eat into the metal. We use them now on aircraft where we can't afford to remove metal but have to get rid of corrosion. On that other site I mentioned Ospho (several diff. brand names). It is used a lot around marine maint. & phosphorizes the surface of the metal which resists corrosion very well & takes paint etc..
    Here is a trick I invented that works well. Before you open a can of paint, varnish etc., take a piece of masking tape & put a strip from the top & down the side of the can (an inch) so that when you put the lid back on, it lines up. This has saved me throwing away many of cans of varnish because the top had residue & didn't line up when the top is replaced.
  5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    You can get them at Ace & places like that. They don't eat into the metal. We use them now on aircraft where we can't afford to remove metal but have to get rid of corrosion. On that other site I mentioned Ospho (several diff. brand names). It is used a lot around marine maint. & phosphorizes the surface of the metal which resists corrosion very well & takes paint etc..
    Here is a trick I invented that works well. Before you open a can of paint, varnish etc., take a piece of masking tape & put a strip from the top & down the side of the can (an inch) so that when you put the lid back on, it lines up. This has saved me throwing away many of cans of varnish because the top had residue & didn't line up when the top is replaced.
  6. passion4trunks passion4trunks, 2 years ago
    @ blunderbuss2 & trunkman, If I had know or should of figured out The tip about the masking tape. I would of save so much time and wasted energy.
    You know you just can't throw out dried up cans of anything. Or I can't. I must try to revive them. I spend at least two hours mixing solutions that I know will bring varnish, paint and what not back to life. I am been doing this for 30 years. Some old dogs can learn new tricks.
  7. passion4trunks passion4trunks, 2 years ago
    Excuse the mistakes in spelling.
  8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    There is an anti-blushing(?) solvent called 333 that if I'm not going to open a varnish can for awhile, I drop an oz. or 2 in before sealing without stirring. Stir when you open it next.
    I've never known of a way to rejuvenate varnish & paint. How do you do that? Class is in session.
  9. epson233 epson233, 2 years ago
    hi passion4trunks -- you got lucky -- not sure what you used to remove the paint or if the paint you removed was an oil or water based paint -- would like to know what you used to remove it if you would not mind sharing-- we have restored many of these -- usually if they are done with an oil base paint -- they are goners in trying to preserve the gold overlay part of the crystallization process -- the crystal effect will remain but will be silver and the gold is lost

    anyway here is a little bit more information on your trunk's surface coating

    "The outside is clad with crystallized tin originally known as M0ire Metallique. This unusual effect was achieved by using chemical and acid etching which resulted in this gold marblized effect. It became popular between 1880 and about 1890. "

    in regards to preserving the cystallization effect you can over spray with polyurethane -- one of our favorite over coatings that we use on antique trunks and singer featherweight sewing machines and singer toy sewing machines to protect the new paint and decals is -- plastikote's universal clear coat -- usually found at local auto supply outlets such as baxter's automotive

    i agree with trunkman -- in regards to painting hardware (locks, hasp, slat covers etc) -- the black body part of your trunk could be painted -- but it will last and look nicer if you remove the old paint first -- we stay away for chemicals and use the stainless steel wool -- dremels work nice when you have to clean in tight corners where you do not want to remove something original -- we also use the dremels on the hardware and metal corners as we highly do not recommend painting them-- it just simply does not last and chips off with only slight use -- the dremels leave a nice patina on the metals and the plastikote -- protects from humidity and the development of rust over the years

    you got a beauty -- one of the prettier crystallization effects i have seen in some time

  10. passion4trunks passion4trunks, 2 years ago
    Thank you all for you comments and the love.
  11. Deadeye007, 1 year ago
    Can anyone please give me some tips on removing paint from these crystallized tin trunks? I've been working on one, but have not been able to remove the paint without also damaging the cystalized look from sanding. What kind of paint removers have you used successfully? And if I could keep the gold color that would be amazing...

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