Home » projects » How To Repaint A Cedar Chest

How To Repaint A Cedar Chest

This cedar chest paint job didn’t go according to plan. Par for the course for me. I bought the chest in Feb. 2013 and this is the fourth time I’ve repainted the cedar chest

cedar chest tox box before repainting

We use the cedar chest as a coffee table/toy box. You have to love those ball feet and the detailed trim.

boxwood cedar chest

I don’t have a photo of how the chest looked when I bought it. Sorry. The photo above shows the chest after my second makeover. The color is boxwood in MMSMP. 

When I purchased the chest from my friend Kendal it had been painted at least twice. The paint was uneven and there were a few places where the paint was a little thick or bumpy on the top. The color was a pale green and I painted it a different green when I brought it home…..then repainted it a year later to the boxwood green color.

linen cedar chest

The next year I painted the chest once again. I painted all the tables in the den white to lighten everything up. The color that time was MMSMP Linen.

sanding furniture in my fashionable work clothes

Time for me to paint it again. This photo was taken on February 7th before I went to Arkansas for two weeks, returned home, and was sick for two weeks. I know you guys are tired of hearing about me being sick so I’m done.

How do you like my work clothes? I’m so stylish. I usually don’t work in the carport but it was raining and the piece needed sanding, especially the top. Remember I mentioned how it was kind of uneven and gunky on the top. And of course it has at least 7 layers of paint on it. I used my favorite 9 inch sander. I have 4 sanders and this is my fav.

furniture repairs

After I sanded it smooth the JTS did a few repairs before I started painting.

The Cedar Chest Makeover That Had Me Seeing Spots

I mixed this pretty green color for the base of the cedar chest.

The Cedar Chest Makeover

The I painted the top brown. Not looking too good.

splotchy paint job

Looking even worse. I don’t know if it was the combination of all the paints on the lid or what but you can see the splotchy mess. Since I didn’t like the brown anyway I started over.

Glidden primer before painting cedar chest

Moving on to plan number two. I painted the chest with Glidden Gripper Primer  tinted gray to see if it would cover the mess on the top. It did……after two coats. This is where the story ends for today. The photos of the finished project didn’t turn out so well so I have to take more and you guys have to wait. Sorry.

This is a safety alert from Lane…..Since many of our cedar chest products have withstood the test of time and have been in homes for decades, there have been cases where children have climbed inside chests with old style latching mechanisms and locked themselves in, and there have been incidences of suffocation inside chests. As a result of this important and urgent safety concern, Lane has launched numerous successful programs since 1987, all concentrating on lock replacement. However, based on our best records, there are still an estimated 6 million chests owned by consumers that may require the new lock upgrade. Please click here for more information

update: I finally finished the chest…..

green cedar chest

I painted it pale green and used the FolkArt Layering Block to add brown flecks of paint to the highlighted details.

See you tomorrow. Ya’ll have a great day. Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. sometimes you just gotta keep changing things. I’ll look at something when I’m doing a mosaic. I keep looking and looking. I finally decide I have to pop the piece off. Then I’m glad I did.

  2. Well you and that chest have certainly been through a lot together! I kind of liked it with the white paint, but at the same time, I think it needs something a bit darker. I am curious to see what you finally did with it.

    Glad you’re feeling better. Feeling rotten is the worst for me because I can’t do, do, do anything!

  3. I have a Lane cedar chest but has a
    Cushion on top for a seat and is in dark wood. Think Ethan Allen
    What do u suggest
    Ps Feel better

  4. Didn’t know about this OfferUp site, thanks for sharing that! Maybe I can find some old pieces to try out some of Kathy’s ideas. I live in a very rural area and this is really nice to know about.

  5. I am not tired of hearing that you are sick. I’m your age as well, these things do not let go easily now. I keep you and your family in my prayers :o)
    Holding my breath to see the chest reveal!

  6. Kathy – I just wanted to thank you first of all for your interesting blog-I’ve learned sooooo much from your ideas- products – and techniques!! Thank you.
    You had said in a blog recently that Real wood furniture was getting harder to find. Try a free app called OfferUp. It’s like an online yard sale.
    We love it-AND – here’s a wild thought – when we travel we plug in our current location and find “deals” there also! Happy searching and watch out – it’s addicting ( ps you can post items too!)