Cedar Chest: Before and After Transformation

For today’s Thrifty Thursday project, I want to show you a cedar chest that I was able to transform for a very small cost.

The chest had a very worn surface, and was missing some veneer on the lower leg part.

I liked the texture of the trim and the detail work. But I knew that whether I painted it or removed the finish, I would lose some of the detail.

Because of the missing veneer, I decided painting would be the best finish.

And because of this damage too…

First, I primed everything with a bonding primer. I like Bin 123 latex primer, but Kilz and Bullseye work well too.

Then, I coated it all with latex satin paint in a pecan color.

Then, using latex glaze, I mixed some of a darker brown paint with the glaze and streaked it on. I kept a rag handy to wipe excess off.


Be sure to streak with the grain.

And on the detail areas, wipe some off to show contrast.

When it’s all done, I will coat it with a few layers of poly. That could be water or oil-based. I also like to coat with a layer of Minwax finishing wax when everything has cured. It gives it a smooth, nonsticky finish.

You can do as much or as little on the glaze as you wish. I haven’t had a chance to do the poly yet, so I’ll post a pic when that’s complete.

I had all of the paints in my stash of leftovers, so the project cost me nothing but time.


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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