Sammie – The Vintage Cedar Chest

Sad Sammie was a freebie from a family member and at first glance, this poor old hope chest looked pretty hopeless!  I love the carved detailed border around the lid but I’m not so fond of the “evil eye” applique on the front.

There was a huge gash on the right corner of the lid.  It looked like someone had used this chest as a workbench and maybe ran a circular saw into the wood on that corner.  There were numerous stains and knicks on the top, two of the legs were loose and one of them looked like maybe a dog had chewed on it.  The varnish had worn off in places and looked crackled and peeling in others.

It sat in the garage for a couple years until I pulled it out the other day to decide if I could revive it or not.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it up to find this pristine interior!

Even the “Honor-Bilt badge” is still intact on the upper left corner.

I started by removing the applique and patching the gash and other little scratches with wood putty and tightening the legs.  After a good sanding and cleaning, I applied a coat of shellac to keep any tannins from bleeding through the paint.

I put one coat of Waverly chalk paint in Plaster on the body of the chest.  Next, I used a stencil and some spackle to apply a raised design to the front of the chest to replace the evil eye.  I followed that with two more coats of Waverly chalk paint in Plaster.  To add a little vintage character to the body, I used a woodblock technique to add the look of chipped paint and worn edges using Waverly’s Truffle.  I used Polycrylic for the topcoat.

For the legs and wood trim pieces, I used Glidden latex paint in Raw Wood.  When that dried, I applied a gel stain in Walnut over it to give the appearance of stained wood without having to sand off the old stain which would have been a lot of work on all the legs and trim.  I love how that turned out and it saved me a lot of time!

Products Used:

  • Wood putty
  • Zinsser Shellac clear
  • Kilz white primer
  • DAP spackle
  • Vine stencil
  • Waverly Chalk Paint in Plaster
  • Glidden latex paint in Raw Wood (eggshell finish)
  • Rustoleum Gel Stain in Dark Walnut
  • Minwax Polycrilic

With all the closures taking place due to the COVID 19 outbreak I’ve been really glad to have my furniture painting hobby to keep me busy at home!  I hope all of you stay healthy during this stressful time. Thanks for stopping by!

Coming attraction:


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