Posted 7 months ago
I found this Jenny Lind trunk at an antique mall in South Charleston, WV. Someone had started a restoration project, but had not finished it. It was once covered either by leather or paper. Jenny Linds were made in the 1850s and 1860s after Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, came to America. I had only seen trunks of this type in pictures.
After thoroughly cleaning the brass bands and nail heads, I sanded the wood with 80 grit and finally 220 grit sandpaper. All metal that wasn't brass got two coats of black paint with a satin finish. I had hoped that Danish oil would be enough, but after three coats I realized that it needed something more. I applied three coats of polycrylic with a satin finish.
I had hoped that the interior would look good enough without a lining, but it didn't. I first chose a vinyl upholstery fabric that looked like leather, but found that it was too thick for a lining. I then purchased a light teal woven upholstery fabric which worked much better. With my husband's help, we installed new handles, buckles and straps, and rivets. The original tray is missing, but my husband is going to build one to fit it in the near future. The trunk does have a working lock with a key.
I've really enjoyed this project. I love seeing the beauty of the wood once it has been sanded and coated with the Danish oil and polycrylic. Once the smell has died down, this trunk will be a beautiful addition to my home.