Cedar chest reveal — finally

You may remember that a couple of months ago I bought an antique dresser off Craigslist and picked up this cedar chest for $15 from the same seller:

cedar chest

It wasn’t really my style but I thought it looked like an easy piece to refinish and perhaps I could re-sell it for a profit.

It was in pretty good shape. The lid was a little rough:

cedar chest top

And I didn’t care for the handles. I removed all the hardware and worked on the lid first. I sanded it down and applied a light stain. It looked terrible!

Next, I threw some dark stain on top and it didn’t help much.

I googled and researched and realized I was going to have to venture into the world of furniture stripping. I actually had a can of stripper on hand but couldn’t get it open. I tried and tried and got so frustrated that I walked over to my local Ace Hardware and bought a different version. I didn’t buy the original stripper from Ace or I would have asked them to tell me how in the world to open the can. I could have still asked them for help opening the can. I’m sure they would have been happy to tell me the trick. But I was nervous about this stripper anyway. It sounded very harsh and dangerous to use. I had heard about a safer option that could even be used indoors. So I bought that and an empty paint can to put it in while I worked.

It was pretty easy to use. I brushed it on with a chip brush and scraped it off with a plastic scraper. It took two applications to get it down to the raw wood.

Next I applied wood conditioner and then three coats of Rustoleum furniture stain in dark walnut. I finished it with two coats of clear poly and was in love!

The base of the chest sat around in the office during this time:

When I finally got to it, I gave it a light sanding and painted with Behr Premium in Moon Rise. Even though I used the premium with built in primer, I had to apply three coats. I finished with two coats of clear poly.

Originally, I planned to fill in the holes where the drawer pulls were and leave them off. But the chest looked a little naked without them. Instead of scrapping them altogether, I decided to spray paint them with Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze color.

Finally, yesterday morning, I was able to put it all together. I LOVE how it turned out. My oldest son surprised me by stating that he thought it looked awesome. He usually doesn’t comment much unless I ask so I was very pleased. My daughter, who usually loves everything I do, didn’t care for the look!

And for the before and after:

cedar chest curvy

And for the before and after:

Cedar Chest Reveal

I’m not sure yet if this piece is making the trip with me to Florida. I am definitely more attached to it now that I’ve spent so much time with it. Do any of you have trouble letting go of pieces you re-finish? I sold a toy chest a few days ago that I had painted and it was so hard watching it get carried out the door! So silly, I know!!

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