How To Restore Old Tin and Wood Trunk?

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Q: I just came into possession of an old trunk that needs restoration. It has great potential, but as you can tell from the photos, it's very dirty and needs some help. I already know I'm going to wallpaper the inside of the trunk, but I'm somewhat at a loss as to the proper way to clean and refinish the exterior...

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I don't want to use something that would corrode the tin. There are wooden bands across the top and sides, metal details, and the scroll work and black portion are all tin.

My grandmother has an identical trunk that she redid herself years ago. She painted everything (and I mean everything). It looks great, but I'd rather attempt to take it back to its original look rather than just slapping a coat of paint on top. Any suggestions?

Sent by Heather

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(Image: provided by Heather)

(Image credits: Heather)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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