“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day the neighborhood…” (while Mr. Rogers sings through my head). That is what tune is I sing when I am out junkin’ during our citywide spring cleanup. Do you blame me? I find all sorts of trashure and when I spied this cedar chest amongst the rubble, I felt so bad for it. I thought this is the perfect candidate for our Trash to Treasure Transformation Tuesday. You can see my fellow bloggers work for this fun day in a bit.
When I went up to the cedar chest and opened it, it was full of trash, dead bugs, and …bluck. It had been gorgeously weathered from the elements and was falling apart on the top and bottom.
The one good thing this cedar chest had going for it was that the actual cabinet part was still intact and was actually pretty cool. (you’re welcome I removed the old underwear before snapping a picture. hahaha…)
Check out some these cool elements it still had…
…this original lock box with escutcheon…
…and this stamped marking. My kinda stuff!
My husband thought I was crazy to bring this home (what’s new, right?), but he does have an appreciation for wood like I do and that cedar still had life in it that just needed revived.
So, I took off that top and bottom and had this remaining box left to work with. I am salvaging as much of that gorgeous wood as possible. You just can’t find natural patina like that anywhere, especially in the store.
Here it is after a good cleaning and a little glue for one of the boards.
At this point, I could have used linseed oil to revive that wood, just like I did for my pew and this industrial style chest. For this chest though, I wanted to showcase the gorgeous gray patina, so I left it as-is.
Here is where I call in my husband to help. (ugh…I hated to pull him away from working on our kitchen remodel!) I am all about power tools, but I get a little uneasy when ripping a board on the table saw. A few years ago a big oak board kicked back on me and nailed me in my side, and not long after I buzzed my fingers on my left hand during our closet remodel. This is after 12 years of using that crazy saw! tsk. So…I leave the ripping to him on longer stuff. I still do some, but since I’ve been under the weather this week I thought it best to be left to him.
He cut the new top and bottom planks for me and then I took over from there. Much like the custom trunks we build, I decided to use the same stain that I always talk about for our bedroom, Early American by RustOleum.
I added the old trim onto the new lid, and attached it all together. Just for fun and height, I even added some funky industrial style casters.
Ready to see it in action? Here it is!
It’s sorta farmhouse chic with an industrial twist, isn’t it? I love the contrast of the gray and stained wood. And I couldn’t resist adding the number using my Old World Number Stencil just like I did on another free trunk and my industrial dresser makeover.
The dark wood contrasting the old wood totally floats my boat and makes for a great conversation piece.
This cedar chest is awesome for storage, a coffee table, end of bed bench, or sitting pretty in an entry. And, like most of my work, you can find it available for purchase in my shop. (SOLD)
Do pin and share to inspire others to see past the trash and be able to see the trashure instead. ♥
Next up I’ll be giving wire thingy a new purpose. Whatever it is I liked it enough to pay a whole quarter for it and show you what it became HERE.
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
WAIT! Before you go, don’t miss out on the treat that my Trash to Treasure ladies have worked on for you!
Cant wait to see that wire thing.. it was a glass holder from the 60s? I think. Love the trunk and love that you left it as is on the outside!
That’s what I was thinking based on the rubber tips, or possibly a condiment holder…we’ll see! Thanks for stopping by, Susan. 🙂
Jan Passmore says
I know what your wire thingy is. It was sold with pastel Tupperware tumblers. In the 1950’s.
Cool! Thanks for the info. 😀
maureen cormack says
that’s exactly what it was.
Lois S says
The wire thing looks like a canning jar holder. It would be used to raise and lower jars into a large pot of boiling water to heat and seal food. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!
I love the trunk too!
Good guess, but I don’t believe it is because of the rubber tips that would melt off. My best guess is it is a condiment holder or a glass holder at best. Thanks for the love! 🙂
Good morning, I absolutely love the cedar chest redo. I feel less is more when restoring old treasures! The gray patina keeps the old and mellow feel of this great chest. You’re an inspiration ! Peace and love. Kim
Amen to that, Kim! Yes, less is more and the chest still has a story to it, which I love. Thank you so much!
Super salvage sister! Love the mix of old and new. The casters were a great idea and add even more zip! to it 🙂
Woot! Thanks so much, Louise! 😀 I love me some casters.
Marcie Lovett says
I think that wins the prize for trashiest makeover! Amazing transformation – the details really make it shine.
I think the black metal piece is a wine holder. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!
hahaha…prize accepted. Thank you, Marcie! I don’t think wine holder only because the openings are too small. Good guess, though!
i also love the contrast you created with the old and new wood. . does it still smell of cedar?
i do think the wire thingy is a glass holder from the 60s. with the rubber tips it wouldn’t be for canning as the tips would melt or something if put down in boiling water.
your posts are always a welcomed message in my inbox in the mornings – thank you!
mmmm…yessss… I couldn’t stop sniffing that wonderful cedar scent! Yes, I agree with you on the glass holder, but I for the life of me couldn’t get a single glass to fit! I’m happy to bring you joy, as you do for me too. 😀
Lisa Morrissey says
Beautiful work again, Larissa. I’m thinking wire thing is a glass set holder also.
Thank you, Lisa. Yes, I think so, but…did I use it that way? 😉
Love what you did with the trunk, it is beautiful. Trunks are so handy to have like you said you can use them for coffee tables, or at the foot of your bed. I have two chests and I would never part with them, not only are they beautiful but they are great storage. If anyone has one that has lost the great cedar fragrance usually just a light sanding inside will renew that fragrance.
Can’t wait to see what you do with that wire thingy. I really can’t wait to see your kitchen.
Yes, I could have them stuck all over my house to hide and decorate. The cedar did revive as I cleaned and refreshed it – love that smell! I, too, can’t wait to show my kitchen to everyone. Counters are after the oven…yay!!
I’m not gonna lie… I had doubts. But this turned out beautifully! You always blow me away, Larissa. I’m so intrigued with that wirey thing. What in the world?!
I did too! I totally kept asking myself why I brought it home, but at least reasoned I could make use of some of the wood. I’m happy I tried it. Thanks, Lauren! Yes, that wire thing has to be a glass holder from the 60’s from what I’ve seen before, but I couldn’t find a glass ANYWHERE to fit it! My little reveal is live today. 🙂
Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule says
That is so awesome Larissa! I love it and your room too! 🙂
Thanks so much, Nancy!
Gwen Clark says
I wouldn’t be distracted from the original use because of the rubber tips. I think they may have been added later because they are white. Most likely they would have been black, if original. Have you tried canning jars in the holders? Appears they are different sizes, as well. However, it’s rather an ornate handle for a canning jar holder. Maybe someone out there will know what it was used for.
Can’t wait to see what you have done with it.
You really put a lot of heart and spirit into your projects. You brought the cedar chest into this century without diminishing her beauty and age.
I have the new use up on the blog today, but I’m convinced based on others I’ve seen that it was a glass holder from the 60’s. It wouldn’t hold a canning jar. Thanks for the love! 🙂
Jen @ Girl in the Garage says
Larissa, I totally would’ve passed that by… but you did a fabulous job making it beautiful and useful again!
I seriously had my doubts and even thought I could at least make use of the good wood. I’m so glad I gave it a try. Thanks, Jen!
Christy@ Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says
This chest is SO lucky you came along to love it back to life! It looks so cool now! XO
Woot! Thanks, Christy! My husband didn’t think so, but now he has a different opinion. 😉
Marie, The Interior Frugalista says
Oh Larissa, I so hear you about the table saw. Scares the daylights out of me and now even more after hearing your stories. Love how you took that old bug-ridden, nasty underpants laden trunk and brought it back to life! Pinned to share 🙂
Yeah, it made me so angry at myself for making the mistake, especially having used it for so many years. Thanks for lovin’ on my project. It certainly needed it!
Joyce @ QN says
thank you for removing that underwear! LOL… And you did it again. The contrasting woods are gorgeous on this piece. One fine chest you got there – now anyway 🙂
hahahaha…you’re welcome. 😀 Thanks for getting my vision, Joyce. I had fun giving it new life.
I love how the truck came out. Now the wire thing and what you do with it is intriguing.
It was a fun save to do. Thank you, Debra!
Oh little chest how I love thee and I have pinned to prove my love.
What a charming makeover Larissa!
Thank you, Denise! Can’t believe UPS destroyed it and wouldn’t cover it. 🙁
Love your clean up job of the old cedar chest. It would be wonderful to have your imagination to come up with your bright ideas!
Aww…you are so kind, Lori. Thank you!
Hi Larissa, love what you did with the chest! I may have missed it, but did you put anything on the old wood?
Thanks! I did not in order to keep the patina. 😉
That turned out great! Love that you saved it and turned it into a treasure (yup, I love the trash to treasure posts)! Btw, did y’all plank your ceiling? I really love how that looks!
Aren’t these monthly posts fun? I just love seeing what others are up to and being inspired myself. Our ceiling was here when we bought it – owners converted the garage to the best room ever. We have planked our other ceilings though. 😉 See HERE.
Another fantastic job, Larissa. You really did that old weathered chest justice!
Woot! Thanks so much, Janice. 🙂
Judy Martin says
The chest is wonderfully looking love that look & hope ye didn’t give the underwear a new makeover…lol
Beautiful as always! Did you build a platform to attach the casters? I can’t tell because it looks like the bottom planks protrude a bit. Curious because I have an old trunk that is too low and I can’t attach casters unless I build a vase frame or deck of some sort. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks! I replaced the bottom with a solid piece that does extend past the sides like the original did. Then, I added the casters. Hope that helps!