Mid-Century Coffee Table from Cedar Chest Legs

Remember my grandfather’s mid-century Lane cedar chest? Well here’s what’s happened to it since I wrote that post…

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My parents came to visit and my dad helped remove the mid-century style base that I wasn’t crazy about. He had to break the curved part between the front legs to do so, but it was a clean break so it could be salvaged.

Without the base, the cedar chest was missing necessary stability. We attached a solid pine board underneath the drawer and drilled for screw-in spindle legs I picked up at Home Depot. I tried spindle legs and bun feet before deciding on vintage style casters. This is such a heavy piece I want to be able to move it around easily as needed and the casters are perfect.

The color didn’t seem quite right to me so I brushed on a little General Finishes “Basil” Milk Paint and it was fantastic! It’s such a soft sage green that blends so much better with my home decor. I also changed the knobs out for library card catalogue reproduction handles. I’ve always loved them and they give this chest a unique look! I hope to use this in a guest room someday since it holds all our spare linens. It’s been a long transformation process, but this cedar chest has been given a completely new life.


What about the old legs/base that we removed? I couldn’t possibly throw that away since it was perfectly good, just not the style I wanted. All we had to do was screw the base into a pine board (didn’t even need it cut since it came in the perfect size for only $15) and use a bit of wood glue to help fix the clean break mentioned above. I sanded the edges smooth and stained the top black cherry. Not only is the cedar chest a style that’ll match my home, but I also built a mid-century coffee table out of the salvaged base. Someone will appreciate the style and put this unique piece to good use. Why throw away when you can re-imagine and reuse? It’s what I’m all about.


3 thoughts on “Mid-Century Coffee Table from Cedar Chest Legs

  1. Abbey, this change is SO MUCH prettier than what you had originally done. We didn’t like that ‘loud’ color you had first used, but the new look does justice to

    this little piece of our history. It is good to know that the cedar chest is being put to good use, rather than still sitting in that hot, humid New Orleans attic!


    1. The other color looked better in person than in pictures but I MUCH prefer this one; I wanted something like this from the start. Sometimes it can take a few tries to get it just right. It looks like it was always meant to look this way now 🙂


  2. The base made a very nice-looking coffee table! You did a good job and used your imagination.

    It definitely has a look that was common to the 1950s or early ‘60s.


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