How I Refurbished a Worn Cedar Chest

I am a mother of two young boys and toys have infiltrated every nook and cranny of our house.  After pinning several ideas via Pinterest on toy storage, I decided on a classic cedar chest. Following my decision, one issue arose – the cost of cedar chests. Seriously, I did not realize how expensive they were! I searched high and low for a used chest and finally snagged one for $45 after posting a wanted advertisement on Facebook.

The cedar chest was in rough shape and needed refinished. I didn’t mind a do-it-yourself project. Besides, I am good for one per year. Here are the steps I took to rehab my prized possession.

Using protective eye wear and gloves, I painted Citristrip Gel onto my cedar chest and let the solution sit for an hour. Afterwards, I used a hand held scraper to strip the little bit of finish that remained. I was not a huge fan of the Citristrip Gel. I felt it was a little messy, but nonetheless it got the job done.

After I was done stripping the original finish, I sanded and buffed, sanded and buffed and sanded and buffed some more.

Once I was satisfied with the sanding and buffing, I painted my first coat of Minwax Polyshades (Bombay Mahogany) on to the chest. I let it dry for 24 hours, then put my second coat on.

I love the Minwax Polyshades Bombay Mahogany finish and am very pleased with how the cedar chest turned out.

Check out my before and after pictures.

After (Bombay Mahogany, Minwax Polyshades)




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