Blended Finish Blanket Chest

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My dad purchased an older home that he eventually tore down, but there were a few treasures to be found amongst the rubbish before that occurred. A Lane cedar chest was one of them, and it still had the original documentation in it. After he cleaned it up a little, it wasn’t half bad, other than the smell inside. I didn’t get a true “before” pic but trust me, it was gross.

I had been wanting something for the end of our bed, and this chest was going to be the perfect fit! When I brought it home, I kept the chest open for several weeks to air it out, but it kept a funky smell. We’ll address that in a minute.

Inside of cedar chest with papers still intact
The chest was Virginia Made by Lane

I chose to paint it to match my décor so I used a blend of General Finishes Perfect Gray and Key West Blue Milk Paints. But the first thing needed was a thorough cleaning of the surface with some Krud Kutter.

Paint used: General Finishes Milk Paint - Perfect Gray and Key West Blue

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Use Krud Kutter to clean and degloss surfaces before painting. 

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Next I removed all of the hardware (besides the lock) and set it aside.  I taped around the lock itself to avoid getting paint on it.

An “oops” moment occurred when some of the trim pieces came off, but no worries. A little Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue did the trick.

I removed the hardware and set it aside. 

Woopsy! A couple pieces of trim came loose while I was cleaning the chest.

Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue to the rescue!

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Then I was ready to start painting. One coat of Perfect Gray went on first. Normally I would probably do two, but I knew I would be adding more paint in order to achieve the blended look.

For the next step, I started on the upper sections of the front of the chest, adding some of the Key West Blue in the middle part of each square. With the brush I used for the Perfect Gray, I came back and lightly blended the blue into the gray. I did the same thing on the two faux drawers.

One coat of GF Perfect Gray Milk Paint

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Starting to blend the Key West Blue in with the Perfect Gray

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I continued on the bottom edge, the sides and the top of the chest in the same manner. Now, if you try this and the blended areas don’t look good to you, give them a spritz of water and reapply. I did that more than once.

The entire piece got two coats of Flat GF High Performance Topcoat.

The eight little knobs got a refresh with Rust-Oleum Dark Bronze Hammered Paint. I found some different hardware for the faux drawers in my stash and spiffed them up to match. Once dry, I screwed all of the hardware in place.

The old knobs got refreshed with Dark Bronze Hammered Paint from Rust-Oleum.
The faux drawer hardware was switched out and painted to match the knobs.

Now, remember the funky smell? I used some Howard Orange Oil Wood Polish on the interior of the chest and not only did it remove the smell, but the cedar looks gorgeous now.  This product contains real citrus oils to clean, polish and preserve the beauty of the wood. Isn’t that pretty?

And here is my treasure in its new home. I think it’s perfect!

Don’t be so quick to declare something as junk. Often a little elbow grease is all you need to polish that diamond in the rough!

For more tips on color blending, read How To Achieve Beautiful Blended Finishes.

Need some help turning your find to fantastic? Stop by your local Woodcraft store for advice on the products, tools and supplies you need to get it done right. We’re here to help!

We hope you’ll be inspired!

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