Cedar Chest Rehab

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Hey ya'll!

It has been a crazy busy season at The Attic Vintage Rehabs (AVR). - End of summer fun, and back to the grind of the school year! *send help*

We've been busy working on several new projects but I wanted to take a minute to highlight this very special piece! A dear co-worker and friend, who found out about our AVR endeavors, contacted me about rehabbing a family heirloom. A beautiful cedar chest, in its original state passed down from her mother (the original owner), who was gifted the chest as a high-school graduation present. She warned it had several damaged areas on the top and was unsure if it was able to be repaired.

(Spoiler Alert! - Everything is Figure-out-able with AVR!)

We discussed and settled on the design plan, and finishes, with a short 3 week timeline.

Mr. AVR and I picked up the chest and brought it back to the workshop for intake photos, and prepped the surfaces with some SERIOUS wood filler.

Front View (no filter): There was only minimal damage repair required for the front & sides.

Top View (no filter): As shown, there were several areas of damage to address, along with a large cigarette burn from YEARS ago.

Inside Shot (no filter)

The Rehab

The top, once filled and sanded, revealed a surprise! The center panel, was just that, a panel. It was not real wood. Which means that I was really limited in my ability to "strip" the original finish and apply the new one, and needed to use extreme caution to remove the scratches and dings without risking the integrity of the section.- In order for me to take the chest from the original color to a much richer/darker color, I had to really stop and think about best approach. Thankfully I have experience with nearly every stain brand and product out there, so I remembered that I had a #Varathane Premium Dark Walnut stain left over from another project.

Product Commentary: #Varathane makes a series of very good quality stains. They offer tons of great colors and even some with Polyurethane mixed in. Its a good product. However the stain goes on much more like a paint vs. a traditional stain. So its MUCH easier to over apply. If you're not careful, it can change the color of any piece much quicker than intended. In this case it worked to my benefit. - However, I've had a couple of learning experiences where I had to start all over on a piece to get the look I was going for.

Once the top had finally come together, I moved on to the bottom half. We decided to go with a cream base (#Rustoleum Chiffon Cream) and some light distressing. You know I love the #Rustoleum chalk paint products, IMO they work just as well as some of the more expensive "premium" brands. - This is another testimony to that! I'm obsessed with the contrast between the Walnut and the Cream. Its so beautiful and really brings the piece to life!

This chest was beautiful just the way it was, but we weren't done! We decided it needed something else, something to breakup the cream and add a little feminine touch.. Well, with our clients help, and ole' faithful... (Amazon), we found the perfect little addition!


Some light distressing and a wax seal, & this piece was ready for delivery! It turned out amazing! As I like to do with every piece I return to a client, I asked God to bless the home it resides in and to protect the precious memories that this piece holds for my client. I hope there are many generations of her family that enjoy this sweet little chest & the memories its filled with.


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*First blog post! Yay!* My name is Danielle, and about 10 months ago I decided that I was ready to get this business going! Albeit a crazy idea to begin with, that I, a full-time working Mom and Wife

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