Metafilter! Help me clean up this vintage trunk about which I know very little.
I just brought a trunk home from an antique market with the intention of using it as a coffee table/storage space in my very small house (photo with bonus puppysaur
). I am interested in cleaning it up to the point where it is usable, but I don't need it to look brand new.
The guy I bought it from wasn't even sure what it's made from, and I can't find much information about the brand on the internet (it has this label
on the bottom right corner of the lid). What I did find suggests it's from the late 1940s or early 1950s. I am guessing it is stained wood and brass, and it seems to be leather around the edges, and the handles are thick strips of leather as well.
I have wiped it down with a damp cloth to get off some of the grime before bringing it inside, and the dirt came off just fine on the sides but it seemed like the paint/polish was coming off when i tried to wipe down the top of it. It got sort of tacky, and the sponge was black. So I stopped and it dried and is no longer tacky, but I would like to be able to clean it if I am going to use it for a coffee table, and I would like to avoid putting glass on it if possible.
Here are some more photos:
A closer look inside
I've got some Brasso to clean the metal bits... what else should I pick up to give it a good cleaning? Is there some way to seal/clean the top so that the black stuff doesn't come off? Most of the information about restoring trunks on the internet seems to be geared toward trunks that are just natural wood.
Also, any advice on how to get that paper (and the musty smell) out of the inside would be most welcome. It is airing out in the garage as we speak.