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Vintage Typography Acme Cedar Chest

I have a fascination for vintage typography and have a blast adding it to the pieces I work on. It was a goal of mine to do something fun on a chest of drawers, but when I found this cedar chest in a thrift store, I knew just what to do with it.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

*post does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too! (see full disclosure)

 

Well…this is how I found it.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Lookin’ pretty rough, isn’t it? Overall it was in structurally good shape, aside from a couple of feet that were damaged.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Really though, there’s oodles of potential, minus the busted foot. We’re talking about an Acme Chest made of red cedar. Solid build with real copper hardware = SCORE!! Goodwill had just set it out and it was meant to be mine with my 35% off coupon. tee hee hee.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Even my littlest was enjoying scoping out our new find.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Here’s what I found out after searching about this company:

“The Acme Chest Company of South Bend Indiana, originally founded in the early 1900’s, then on July the 4th, 1916 the plant was destroyed by a fire caused by fireworks. The company could not afford to rebuild, so was forced to close and never made another chest. Chest manufacturing was the primary business and their motto was ‘An Acme must make well or we will.’”

So cool, isn’t it? (not the fire…the story. tsk)

This month’s Themed Furniture Makeover Day theme is BLACK. This chest was perfect for the makeover. (my heart beats fast when I know I have a good one!)

After NINE 80 grit sanding pads later (yes, NINE!), I finally got down past that gunk on top and saw the beauty that lie beneath.

Sanded Down Cedar Chest by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I wasn’t about to cover up that gorgeous grain, so I used boiled linseed oil, just like I did to revive my antique church pew.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

No better way to bring out the rich color of the wood and accent the grain. Just look at the difference.

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once dry, I painted the base of the chest with two coats of DecoArt Chalky Finish in Carbon. I was pleased as punch to also topcoat it with my own furniture wax I mentioned in this French themed makeover. Then, it was time for my fun. tee hee hee.

I wanted to revive this piece with a little bit of history using a vintage typography advertisement. Using my transfer method, I put the image on and hand-painted in the details. This is my therapy. ♥

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Without further ado, I’d like you to meet my vintage industrial typography chest…

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Doesn’t it look sweet up against that faux brick wallpaper we recently used in our boy’s bedroom makeover?

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I am so stoked with the outcome of this one. It’s fun, functional, and creates that awe of days gone by I was after, don’t you think?

The black accentuates those awesome knots in the cedar, and how about that copper hardware? swoon…

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I don’t know about you, but wouldn’t it be fun to see your mailman looking that dapper?

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I think I will cry when it sells, but alas, this sweet piece is available in my shop. (update: SOLD!!) sniff, sniff. Then it just give me an excuse to find another, right? (psst…there are other black beauties in there too…go see!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this makeover (and the vintage typography). I would love it if you pinned and shared. Don’t forget to scroll down and check out the other black beauties my furniture friends have for you!

This thrifted Acme cedar chest had seen better days. Now it's an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Up next… A fun project for you! Grab your DIY attitude and come on over HERE.

Build a DIY "Thankful" sign perfect for the holiday season out of new or reclaimed wood by Prodigal Pieces for Best Laminate www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Until next time!

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More makeovers like this vintage typography:

Ikea Rast Dresser Done Brownie Camera Style by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesA garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Themed Furniture Makeover Day

Comments

  1. Lindsay Eidahl says

    Love this makeover! Is that brick wallpaper or an actual brick wall? It is the perfect setting for this beautiful piece.

    • Larissa says

      I love the mailman! 😀 It just had to be a funky makeover…it’s more fun that way. Thank you, Karin!

  2. Kimm at Reinvented says

    Amazing! Love the typography and, of course, the combo of black and that gorgeous wood grain. You nailed another one, my dear! 🙂

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Kimm! I’m thinking of yanking this one from my shop…seriously. 😉

  3. Mary-In the boondocks says

    Wow, I’m so glad you were able to sand it all the way down and bring out the beauty of the wood grain. The stencil is also very pretty and appropriate to the piece. But you’re the expert at that stuff.

    • Larissa says

      I had to go retro vintage for sure. It’s such an awesome piece and it was aboslutely a pleasure to work on it. Thank you for the love!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Adina! I just had to do one so I can say it’s out of my brain. 😉 I have no doubt you know what I mean.

  4. Marie from The Interior Frugalista says

    Wowee Larissa, I LOVE what you did to this cedar chest!! I remember swooning over Bliss Ranch’s chest makeover and yours has me swooning again. Love it painted black and your hand painted typography is perfect. I’m with you on it being “therapy”. No surprise if it already sold. Re: the dapper mailman – heck I’d be happy just having a mailman (thing of the past).

    • Larissa says

      Hahaha…I hear ya, Marie. Thanks for the awesome support. I’m happy it came out as I’d hoped. 🙂

  5. Amy @ Highstyle Restyle says

    Oh dear Larissa, you are giving me oodles of inspiration for the trunk my sweet daddy found me! Your vision with the typography was spot-on (as usual).

    • Larissa says

      Woot! Yay for you! I can’t wait to see what you do with it, Amy.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Christy! It was so fun to work on and am happy it came out as I’d hoped. 🙂

  6. Amy | Canary Street Crafts says

    You have a knack for bringing out the best in every piece you get your hands on! I love graphics on furniture and this one is gorgeous. The natural top compliments the black paint perfectly.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much, Amy! I just love the contrast between paint and stain on pieces. 🙂

  7. Breanna says

    What a beautiful piece! I’m so glad you kept the top wood, it’s stunning!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Bre. 🙂 What fun it is we get to play, isn’t it?

  8. Wendi @ H2OBungalow says

    This is fabulous! What a find! I’ve read a lot about using boiled linseed oil on wood. I use it for making paint. As always, I love your project and your vision!

    • Larissa says

      Woot! Thank you, Wendi. Yes, I use Tung Oil and Linseed Oil and love both of there classic effects.

  9. [email protected] says

    You are so creative! I always love your makeovers. This piece reminds me of a cedar chest that I got in high school. I’ll have to check inside of it to see if there’s a brand in there anywhere. Most of the cedar chests in my area are Lane which was still in operation until about 10 years ago.

    • Larissa says

      Ooh…do check and see! 😀 Yes, Lane chests are found all over around here and few have crossed my path too. Thnaks, Paula!

  10. [email protected] says

    You should be stoked by the outcome. You always put so much love into your makeovers. This one is perfect.

    • Larissa says

      I am, Kathy. Thanks! It just sold after listing, so time to find another – tee hee.

  11. Lucy @ Patina Paradise says

    You have way more patience than I do to hand paint it. But it was well worth all of the work that you put into it. I love old style typography. Thanks for sharing at Friday’s Furniture Fix! ;o)

    • Larissa says

      hahaha…it’s just fun for me. 😉 Thank you for stopping by!

  12. Jen @ Girl in the Garage says

    Of course you did a fabulous job on this makeover! I love the graphics you chose. And congrats on it selling so quickly! 🙂

  13. Rita says

    With the history of the Acme Co. I was disappointed that you didn’t refinish the piece to reflect it’s original beauty. Often times remakes such as this, ruin the resale value of a valuable find.

    • Larissa says

      I understand your take on it and did contemplate refinishing, but the damage to the feet is what confirmed my decision and the fact that I knew it wouldn’t sell as well in a refinished state. The new owner is pleased as punch to have it and that is what matters to me. 😉

  14. Jennifer says

    Larissa, I LOVE this! Do you create your own graphics, or do you have a recommendation as to where I might be able to find the vintage ads? I have an antique wooden crate that I have been wanting to ad a vintage looking ad to, and just don’t know the best places to find them, or what to search for in doing so. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Larissa says

      I found this graphic via Google, but Pinterest is another great source too. Have fun with it! 😀

  15. Jolinda says

    you do beautiful work and this is no exception. Love the natural top.

  16. Liz says

    You never cease to amaze me with your incredible eye to know just the perfect treatment to bring about the absolutely perfect new life to a piece… and the talent to bring it to fruition. Well done! This chest is gorgeous… now.

    • Larissa says

      You are so sweet, Liz. Thank you for getting why I do what I do.

  17. Donna Gonzalez says

    My daughter and I both have cedar chests to refurbish. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Daniel Parks says

    Hello Larissa,
    My wife has been wanting a cedar chest for a good while. She has her bedroom decorated with antique furniture and with her 71 birthday just 3 days away, I was scouring the internet and antique shops looking for one for her birthday. Today I happened on one just like yours in this article at a price I could afford, so I bought it for her. Then finding your article was perfect. It’s nice to know a little history on the piece. She plans to store some of here quilts in it and with the large size she should be able to do that. We’ve been married for 53 years and still in love.

    Danie;

  19. Janet Schen says

    I think I have the twin to your cedar chest, well, before the makeover. It belonged to my grandmother Neva Hill who was born in 1900. It still has hers and my Mom’s things in it! I love what you did with yours.

    • Larissa says

      You have a true treasure, Janet. They hold so many memories. Enjoy!

  20. Bruce Burner says

    My grand father Henry Burner started Acme in South Bend in the early 1900 s my father Kenneth H Burner worked there and opened a second plant in Niles MIchigan. My name is Bruce Burner. The plant did burn down. Hope to own one someday.

    • Larissa says

      Wow! What a treat and a heritage to have. It would be wonderful for you to get ownership of it. I feel the same about a 6K sq ft log home my dad built in a state park. I grew up there and would love to own it. Only in my dreams, however. 🙁

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