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Smaller Louis Vuitton Wardrobe Trunk Restoration

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Trunks818 of 2587TrunksZinc and wood slate trunk with a Victorian lithograph print number 178
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    Posted 5 years ago

    randallbar…
    (35 items)

    Here's a Louis Vuitton that came through the door recently and when it did, I almost wished I hadn't invited it in. I really do love working on Louis Vuitton trunks, don't get me wrong. But when they are in the condition we seem to be seeing lately as a 'standard condition' (full of toxic mold, rotted seams and binding, incredibly horrific odor etc) they are not as much fun to work on as they should be. Nonetheless, I love a good challenge and this one certainly did provide that. I actually overcame some obstacles that I didn't think possible with an LV, which I'm now happy to share. The first big issue was the interior back wall, on the left side. It was mush, as in - soft like a wet towel...but it wasn't wet (other than the mold). I stripped the lining off and then first laid in a big sheet of fiberglass web and covered the entire sheet with glue, like I was using paste on a wall. Once dry and hard, I applied a sheet of heavy duck cloth, and used more glue and then let that dry. OK, now that I've turned the mush back into a hard surface again, how am I gong to cover it and make it look like it did originally? It's tough to find anything close in color to that LV brand of 'orange'. Luckily, I found a scrap of what I originally peeled off that section and had it scanned and used that exact color to paint onto some fine linen which was then glued onto the back wall. The color isn't really EXACTLY the same but close enough (at least that's what I told myself!) The next big problem was the binding. You can't get it, anywhere, Period. You can't call Louis Vuitton and ask for it, you can't find it at a specialty shop, you can't find it, you can't get it, it ain't available! In the next-best-thing-department in my shop, I found a long strip of vegetable tanned leather which, of course, was not the right color. So I dyed, and I dyed and finally came up with a color as close as possible that that funny unavailable stuff they use as binding. Line it up, cut it to size, pre-mark the nail holes and make sure it goes on straight, which I think it did. Now with all of the difficult tasks accomplished, it was time to have some fun with fine steel wool and brass! One of my FAVORITE pastimes! Then, clean up the surfaces, sand and refinish all the slats and you've got an LV to be proud of!

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    Comments

    1. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Wonderful job Randall ! I must be very fulfilling to bring them back when they are in such bad condition.
    2. randallbarbera randallbarbera, 5 years ago
      Thank you Drill! Restoring antique trunks, especially Louis Vuitton trunks, is indeed very rewarding.

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