The Dumpster Cedar Chest

Just a couple days after bringing home my insanely ugly cedar chest I found this Lane cedar chest abandoned by a dumpster. Who throws cedar away??? Sure, the wheels were falling off, the fabric was poorly attached and ugly, and the outside finish needed some refreshing but it’s CEDAR, people. If cared for it’ll last for generations. TwinDad and I tossed it in the back of the van so fast as soon as I saw the Lane mark inside. I’ve rescued far worse pieces.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start when faced with a big project. I always start with a good cleaning which also gets me better acquainted with the piece. After scrubbing inside and out, I found how to remove the upholstered top with just a few screws and got rid of the 2 1/2 cheap wheels that were left. I tightened up the molding with some wood glue, added new vintage-style casters, and removed the handles so I’d have a fresh surface to paint…once I figured out what I wanted to do.

I debated going with an industrial look by removing the molding, adding steel casters and corner braces, and painting dark gray or black. Removing the molding would have been a pain so I decided to leave the original look and just give it a refresh. I turned to my fabric stash. I always buy clearance scraps of upholstery fabric because you never know when they’ll come in handy. Most of my pieces were just a tad too small to cover this cushion but I did have one that was the perfect size. I let the fabric determine my paint color which ended up being Rustoleum’s Chalked “Country Gray”, a timeless neutral to balance the bold fabric.

After two coats of paint, a little distressing, and a new fabric this cedar chest deserves a nice place in someone’s home instead of being tossed out like trash. Just look at that rich, beautiful cedar. That doesn’t belong in a dumpster!

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2 thoughts on “The Dumpster Cedar Chest

  1. This is an exceptional piece, Abbey. You did a very good job and I’m glad you kept the molding because it adds character.

    Are you selling it or keeping it? I’d keep it if I had the room.

    Like

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