Restoring a Cedar Chest - Part 2 and Reveal

>> 10.16.2015

I posted part one of this restoration a month ago and now I'm finally getting around to posting part two! When we left off I had sanded the entire piece down and was waiting on the veneer to be delivered. I also needed to glue down two corners of the top where the veneer had separated from the board underneath.

With some Elmer's wood glue and a thin water color brush I carefully lifted the veneer and put a layer of glue between the particle board and veneer.  I then clamped the corners down and in about an hour the glue was dry enough to remove the clamps. Wood glue is pretty great stuff. So are clamps.

Next I took my two inch veneer strips, cut them to the proper length, and then cut them in half horizontally to make 1" strips . Why I didn't take pictures of these next two steps, I don't know. Maaaaybe because I took the top off its hinges and took it into our very un-photographable master closet to iron on veneer. And you really don't want to see that.

But honestly, I was very nervous about putting on the veneer, but it really was so easy. Follow the directions on the packaging and you're good to go.

Once it was ironed on I took an x-acto knife and trimmed up the parts that were a little wider than the top. This stuff is super easy to cut.

Here's what it looked like after adding the veneer. Don't worry about the color difference. It all evens out in the end.

I had a "make it work" moment however. When inspecting the piece I didn't notice that the edge of veneer on the front top was loose. It was too brittle to try and glue-on, but when I tried to take the entire strip of veneer off completely, it wouldn't budge. Just that one little part. So I removed it and luckily there was a piece of solid wood in front, unlike the sides which was ugly particle board.

So I sanded it down as best I could and hoped that it would blend well when I stained it, and it did. 

I did one final sanding and wipe-down of the piece, and completely cleaned the work area in preparation for staining. Then with a soft rag I rubbed on one coat of Varathane Early American stain. I had to work fast because it was a hot, dry day and the stain dries fast, so I didn't get pics of that process either. Basically I'm bad at remembering to take pictures when I get caught up in a project.

I did get a shot of me applying the poly though! I used this great new stuff called Varathane Triple Thick. I LOVE this stuff. 

Don't you love the heart in the wood grain? It's a happy cedar chest. 

Here's the finished product! 

And a very impressive before and after, if I do say so myself.

I'm not sure we are going to keep it in the master bedroom. Although it's nice to have for storage and it's a really pretty piece, I think it's a little too large for the room. What do you think?


Brenda 10/16/15, 10:28 PM  

Beautiful Mandie! You do amazing work. I love your posts!

Kendra 10/17/15, 12:49 PM  

wow! I love a good restoration job. I love it in your room. But if there is a place you like it better- then move it ;-)

AnnaLynne Martineau 11/25/15, 2:47 PM  

This is beautiful! Personally, I love it where it is in your room. It mirrors the warm tones of the night stands so nicely! :)

AnnaLynne Martineau 11/25/15, 3:49 PM  

This is beautiful! Personally, I love it where it is in your room. It mirrors the warm tones of the night stands so nicely! :)

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