Here is a cedar chest restoration project that required some repairs and reconditioning of the existing finish. The chest is mounted on Queen Anne style cabriole legs and is constructed of solid cedar wood.
One of the back legs was loose and missing a section. The other was broken off years ago. Luckily the owner had saved and stored that leg inside. A wise decision which paid off by avoiding the cost of fabricating a new leg.
I was able to repair both back legs and securely re-attach them as original.
The wood finish was pretty beat up, yet still in tact. Despite its faded and worn look, it was not peeling or flaking off.
Rather than stripping and refinishing, I was able to recondition the existing finish.
This process began by cleaning and prepping the old finish. Two coats of varnish were then applied.
Once dried, the finish was rubbed with 0000 steel wool and waxed.
As seen in the close up photo above, the original aligated and finish in some areas of the top was preserved by reconditioning instead of refinishing. Some furniture manufacturers go great lengths to duplicate this old crackled look.
Benefits to reconditioning this existing finish
- A revived original color and finish
- Enhanced the transparency
- Uniform sheen
- Maintained the unique texture
- Retained an aged appearance
The cabriole legs add a nice look to this cedar chest, and the restored finish shows them off well.
As for the interior, it was obvious that moth balls had been used. The odor was rather overwhelming when the lid was open.
To help remove that moth ball odor, I sanded the unfinished wood interior. This revived the smell of fresh cut cedar. Leaving the lid open for a few days helped as well.
The final photo shows the restored cedar chest from a top view. The reconditioned finish looks great and the grain of the wood is clearly seen.
Red Hook NY
This cedar chest restoration project was completed for a Red Hook NY client.