Island Trunk Shop

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Restoration Sevices

We'll explain our current business and ordering policies on this page.

Shipping and Handling

  Refinishing /  Restoration prices

  First: Send us a e-mail with pictures showing all four sides, top, bottom as well as the inside. this lets us see what were up against. Include the mesurements of the trunks the height, length, width. You can tell a lot about a trunk with some good clear pictures. Please don't send us pictures that are so large we can't tell what were looking at. Trust us, this happen all the time!

Oh yeah, leave us your phone number so we can contact you.

Second:  After we look over your trunk, we will contact you. Usually within two business days of your email, depending on how busy we are in the shop. Once we contact you, here's were you can tell us the family history Grandmothers trunk thats been in the attic for 40 years. What you'd like to have refinish / restored on her.This is were add money on restoration for listing to long winded lovely story. Plus, we can tell you what really needs to be fixed, replaced etc.etc.

Basic Refinish  Our flat fee for basic refinishing is $500.00 per trunk. Ok, if you didn't click out yet? Let us break it down. It takes us on average five weeks (sometimes more) to refinish a trunk. So, we work for $100.00 a week? Just enough to keep my faithful shop mate Tasha & her belly filled.

Covered Under The Basic Refinish  

 Your trunk gets the following treatment. The outside gets cleaned up and any unwanted canvas removed. The inside cleaned out and any foul smells removed for good! Any rust is stripped off all the metal & repainted black (your choice of shine) We polish up all brass or tin hardware. Make sure all slats & hardware are tighten back to snuff. Sand all the exposed wood & slats, stain and finish the outside with Tung oil. This is the basic charge for refinishing a common, canvas-covered or tin trunk, start to finish. 

You ship the trunk to us, using UPS or some other carrier.  UPS charges from $25 to $150 to ship trunks from most USA locations to our shop in Maine.  Cheaper if you live closer to the Northeast.  If your trunk is too big (girth plus length are more than 130 inches) you should expect to pay toward the high end of that range, due to UPS' oversize surcharges.  If you take your trunk to one of those mailbox stores you might pay a little more, but they're accountable if there's a problem in shipping (like a forklift runner making a new vent in your trunk).  Packing is easy, just get a couple of big boxes and put one over each end, then tape it all up.  No duct tape.  Slap our address on it and let er rip. Here's the street address for shipping your trunk:

Brettuns Village
557 Lincoln Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
phone: (207)782-7863

This is a business address and is for UPS, Airborne, DHL, freight truck, or Fedex shipping only.  This is not an address to which the post office will deliver.

Don't forget that you get to pay for shipping twice, so's we can get your trunk back home to you.

Additional costs - Some tasks will require anadditional fee - these are outlined below:

Styrofoam Packing Peanuts Fee - This one is very important - when you ship your trunk to us, whether you pack it yourself or take it somewhere to get it packed, please DO NOT use styrofoam 'peanuts' or 'worms' or any other sort of small, lightweight packing material.  If we receive your trunk and the box is jammed full of this stuff there is an additional $100 fee to cover the amount of time we spend chasing that miserable rubbish across Central Maine once we open the box.  If you don't mind paying the $100 fee, then go ahead and use them.  If you'd rather not pay this fee, then use newspaper, kraft paper, or something else that stays put in a mild breeze.

Paint Stripping - Don't we just love using that smelly goo to remove the paint your Dad put on the trunk back in the 60s, when everything just had to be that weird shade of green?  This costs an extra $250.  Seem like a lot?  Feel free to do the paint stripping yourself and save the money for your own hospital bills.  Check your trunk closely - if it has a layer of varnish on it, that's just as bad as any other paint - it has to come off before we can do anything else.

Replacing Boards - Sometimes trunks need entire boards removed from the body of the trunk, or a slat replaced on the outside.  The number of nails that need to be removed and replaced, and the amount of hardware that has to be removed/replaced will dictate the actual cost of board replacement.  Range is from $25 on up (we have built entire new boxes for well composted old trunks, when we were able to save only the metal pieces).

Having Keys Made - Once we have your trunk here we can remove the lock and have our locksmith make a set of keys to fit. This typically adds about $50 to the fee.

Replacing Parts - We can find or make replacement parts for most any trunk, and the price varies according to the part itself.  Ranges from $1 per piece on up to as much as $90 for a replacement lock to match an early 1800s trunk.  We cannot find all parts - we'll let you know.

Lining With Cedar - Lots of folks want their trunk lined in cedar, then they try to lift it and throw their back out for a week.  Adds a lot of weight.  Cedar boards aren't light weight or cheap, so we usually recommend just lining the bottom, or just the top, or a border around the lip of the trunk body.  All the aroma, very little weight gain.  Cost for a cedar border is about $25 (depends on size of trunk), cedar bottom is about $40, cedar lining for entire trunk is about $150, depending on size of trunk and market price of cedar at the time.  We get ours milled locally, and it smells great, just like a pet shop.

Lining with Wallpaper - We do not offer this service - the paper will begin peeling in a year or two, and we don't like to make you have to send it back and go to all that trouble.  This is not a good choice for your trunk, in our opinion.

Lining with Fabric - We do not offer this service.  Looks great the day you get it; looks like heck a year later.

Covering with New Leather - If your old saratoga or hide-covered trunk needs new leather all over the outside, please keep in mind that we have to remove every single piece/part from the trunk in order to do this.  Some trunks have about a million tiny nails along the corners - so we will not replace leather on this type of trunk.  For a typical sized trunk that was originally covered in leather (not fake stuff) we can remove all the parts, put on new leather in the color/shade of your choice, and then put all the parts back on again.  This task adds a minimum of $450 to the total bill.

Steamer or Wardrobe Trunks - If you have a nice old steamer trunk or wardrobe (opens like a closet), and you want the old composite exterior to look like something else or be painted, and you want the inside completely redone, drawers and all, we recommend that you find an upholstery shop to work on it for you.  We can't do much to help and will not accept these trunks for refinishing.  Sorry.

Step 4:  We receive your trunk, look it over, and e-mail you a hard price for the work.  That's what you'll pay, no more.  If you want to cut some things out to save money, that's fine by us.

Step 5:  After we work on it we send you some digital photos of the trunk, showing the work we did.  You squeal (we hope).

Step 6:  You pay us for the work and return shipping, then we squeal, and off it goes to your farm.

Seems pretty simple, doesn't it?  We also try to keep you posted along the way, give you notes on progress, let you know if we find anything interesting in the trunk, that sort of thing.  We send digital photos if that's OK with you.  Very high tech.

How Long Will it Take? This is the number one question we get about refinishing.  Count on nine months, then, if we manage to finish it in 6 weeks you'll be wicked pleased.  Average turn-around time for a typical trunk is about nine months, start to finish.  We do our best, but sometimes things get backed up, just like Grandpa.  We'll keep you posted along the way.

Things We Will Not Do - This is important - there are some tasks that Brettuns Village will NOT perform on your trunk, for a variety of reasons ranging from basic decency to bad taste - we will NOT do the following:

-  We will not spray paint or brush paint your trunk with any type of paint at all, period.  Not one drop.
-  We will not perform any type of work on wardrobe trunks (drawers on one side, hangers on the other, lots of fabric)
-  We will not magically make your old 1930s-era black trunk look like a priceless piece of furniture.  It'll be cleaner and brighter, but it'll still be black.
-  We will not line your trunk with fabric or wallpaper


Customers often ask what our return policy is. We aim for complete customer satisfaction. If you are not completely happy with your purchase, we want to hear about it. Let us know if something is wrong and we will do what we can to make it right.

We may also provide a list of credit cards that we accept on this page.

Do you have any questions? Send us an e-mail at:

Island Trunk Shop
Nahant, MA.