Refinishing the Inside of an Old Trunk

I have removed the smelly paper from the inside of an old trunk. What is the best way to finish the inside of the trunk now? Paint, wall paper, fabric?


By Edith Jones from Ten Mile, TN


Sheets of Cedar

I would paint, but they make sheets of cedar that you can cut to fit and glue in. Cedar repels bugs and smells nice. I love old trunks, but they sure can get musty smelling.

By Patricia

Ammonia or Baby Oil

If you want to replace the paper authentically and have a good idea of the era the trunk was made, you may be able to find reproduction paper online. Victorian is the most common era for reproduction, but other eras are being reproduced as well.

Give the trunk a light wipe-down with ammonia, that will kill most molds and any dust mites living in it, as well as remove the musty odor.

Use a soft cloth and just enough ammonia to get the cloth slightly damp, it's kind of harsh.

If you aren't using wallpaper, you can oil the trunk well, mold and bugs can't stand dollar store baby oil, a very cheap cleanser that works on almost everything. Oiling the inside won't help you at all if you go to apply paper, it just won't stick.


Use ammonia if you're going to line it, no matter what with, and oil if you aren't. Furniture oil doesn't bother mold and dust mites too much, probably since so much of it is made with nut oils, but baby oil kills them.

By Cornelia

Vinegar or Charcoal

To get the "old" smell out, try putting a small (open) jar or bowl of white vinegar inside the trunk and close the top. Leave it for a few days, and see if it isn't much better. If that doesn't work, charcoal in an open bowl might do it for you.

By Eileen M.

About The Author: This article is an archive features helpful feedback shared by ThriftyFun users in 2009.

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