The Cedar Chest I HAD to Have


I discovered the OfferUp app recently. If you haven’t already, check it out. It’s pretty cool! I was addicted within seconds and spent every spare minute browsing the furniture and antiques. It was between midnight and 1am when I saw it…the most beautiful cedar chest. Not just any cedar chest, mind you, a 1936 Lane cedar chest. FOR $40. ONLY $40. I could not hit the “buy” button fast enough. TwinDad had just fallen asleep so I had to silently contain my excitement. This baby was MINE. The seller informed me another buyer was picking it up in the morning and I panicked. This was MY cedar chest. I threw money at her and she took it. $50 isn’t bad for a 1936 Lane cedar chest. I cackled with delight and went to sleep.

There was some damage but nothing I couldn’t handle for the cheapest and prettiest 1936 Lane cedar chest you’ll ever find. When I picked it up, I was even happier. It really was mine. For only $50. This would have been a deal for double that.


When I opened the chest to check the markings (all original Lane markings so this is the real deal) I was hit with a rank odor. Cedar chests get a little smelly over time, especially if they aren’t cared for properly. This one is pretty old and smelled super strongly of stale cigarettes. I hit up Google for some answers and wasn’t disappointed. I put an open box of baking soda inside and left it closed for a few days. It definitely got better and the bad odor was concentrated in the baking soda. I took a very light grit sandpaper gently to the inside walls to “reactivate” the cedar. Bit by bit and with a lot of patience and baking soda, I finally got the chest smelling better.

While I love painted furniture, there are times when it’s a thousand times better to restore an antique. The majority of this chest was in decent shape after a LOT of cleaning, but there was still a lot of chipped and missing veneer as well as some pretty serious doggie teeth gouges. Filling those gaps, sanding, and restaining the whole chest was a possibility, but I decided to paint because stain wouldn’t be the same color on the patched areas as on the wood.

After coating the whole chest with a good layer of shellac to seal the wood and help handle the musty smell deep in the wood, I painted the majority with a quick coat of Americana Décor “Primitive” chalk paint. Next, I used Americana Decor “Vintage”, my favorite shade of light gray-blue, to coat the details and the areas around the details. I followed up with a coat of Folk Art “Sheepskin”, only lightly brushing the details so the Vintage color would show in the crevices.


I painted the lid Americana Décor “Relic” which is a dark charcoal gray. After a little light distressing, my cedar chest is AMAZING. Best $50 ever spent.


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