The Ugliest Cedar Chest given a coastal refresh


Just a couple weeks ago I was complaining to TwinDad that I didn’t have any projects and couldn’t find any deals. Then suddenly I started finding them left and right. That’s the way it always seems to go…dry spells followed by a downpour.

At a Goodwill 50% off day run I found this HIDEOUS Lane cedar chest tucked away in a corner. I’ve never seen anything more ugly. The cedar inside was perfect (of course it was because cedar is so hardy it’ll last for generations if cared for) which made it worth dealing with the ugliness, the chipping finish, and the broken molding details.


First thing I did was sanitize the whole thing. I get grossed out by old, ugly furniture especially upholstered pieces. Lysol is my friend. It didn’t take much to pop off the broken molding squares and a little wood filler hid the strange checkered detail. The fabric had been attached with about a million tiny upholstery tacks that weren’t difficult to remove only time-consuming.


With as fresh a slate as possible I got to work transforming ugly into coastal chic. A small wood applique added some simple classic beauty to the otherwise plain chest. Many cedar chests have similar details and I wanted this to look like it was always meant to be this way. I recently received a sample of Country Chic Paint in the color “Hurricane” that I’ve been dying to try and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. First I painted a thin layer of FolkArt “Glacier”, a light blue, then brushed two thin coats of “Hurricane” on top. With some light distressing the bottom layer shows through giving a beachy, weathered look.

Since I received my Country Chic Paint as a free sample in exchange for a review, I’d better give one! I was surprised at the complete, smooth coverage for how thin the paint is. It dried quickly and distressed easily, two things that I love about chalk finish paint. While you do have to find a special retailer to purchase Country Chic Paint and it is pricier than some of the other brands I’ve used, the colors are beautiful (with special seasonal colors too) and a very little goes a long way. I gave this cedar chest two coats and it barely looks like I’ve touched the can. It’s definitely on my recommended paints list!

I have a thing for fabric. Any time I go into a fabric store I can’t help but buy something even if I don’t have a project in mind. I’ll use it eventually (at least that’s what I tell myself). I picked up 2 yards of this pretty upholstery fabric at a discount chain store of all places for only $4. Anyone who has ever bought fabric knows what an incredible deal that is. Finally I have a chance to use it! I added a new foam cushion for added comfort since the original was pathetic. Using my electric staple gun from Harbor Freight, I attached the new fabric.

Just a word about my little staple gun…I love it! I’ve been pining after a pneumatic staple gun but the price of an air compressor and the complete lack of space for tools in our little apartment has always hindered me. Determined not to have to wait any longer, I sold some designer jeans and waltzed excitedly into Harbor Freight with a little extra cash in my pocket. Air compressors are still expensive. And big. But this little electric staple gun was about $20, had a trigger-lock for safety, and I didn’t need any more convincing. If you’re looking for something to help with a few small upholstery projects GO GET ONE NOW. The cord is super short but that’s the only flaw. It stapled quickly, smoothly, and without the earth-shattering blast of an air compressor to terrify little Tornadoes. Bonus: it also fires brad nails.


There you are, my dear little Lane cedar chest. All you needed was a little help to be charming again!



3 thoughts on “The Ugliest Cedar Chest given a coastal refresh

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