I bought this old dirty trunk at an estate sale. Loved the hand-painted lid, the colors, and the character.

Once home, I gave it a good cleaning with a natural brush and soapy water. After that, I used several coats of semi-gloss polyurethane to make the wood and metal trim shine.

I used polyurethane on the inside, too, which helped get rid of the old-trunk smell and make the wood pop.

I added hairpin legs and antiqued bronze lid supports. My wife was kind enough to create a padded bottom using a complementary fabric.

I was curious about what this could be. It almost looks like it could be an old gun cabinet, but it seems too short for guns. In my research I found out the MWA on the lid stands for Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal organization that was almost like life and disability insurance that was started in Iowa back in the 1880’s. They had different chapters, called camps. The number 1237 indicates it was from Burlington, Kansas.