Cedar chest restoration projects are common here at the shop. This one required some repairs and reconditioning of the existing wood finish.
Mounted on Queen Anne style cabriole legs, this cedar chest (a.k.a. hope chest or blanket chest) 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 the leg inside. A wise decision which paid off by avoiding the cost of fabricating a matching leg.
I repaired 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. After dry, the finish was rubbed with 0000 steel wool and waxed.
As seen in the close up photo above, the original alligated 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, were:
- A revived original color and finish
- Enhanced transparency
- Uniform sheen
- Maintained the unique texture
- Kept an aged look
Cabriole legs add a nice look to this wooden chest, and the restored wood finish shows them off well.
As for the interior, it was obvious that moth balls had been used when storing items in this blanket chest. The odor was quite strong whenever the lid was opened.
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 seen clearly.
Thank you to our Red Hook NY client for this furniture restoration project.