Cedar Chest Makeover


Cedar Chest Makeover - This proves that not ever piece of furniture has to be painted to get a makeover.

Last week I shared with you an update on our Smith Mountain Lake house and promised to give you details on the cedar chest that we are using as a coffee table in our living room.  Our friends weren’t using this handmade piece and generously gave it to us.  Giving this cedar chest a makeover was a pleasure and for the wood purist out there, required no paint.

Cedar Chest Before the Makeover

Our friends acquired this handmade piece at a charity dinner.  It was made by Thomas A Johnson, a native of Ghana who studied wood technology and furniture design in Italy before moving to the United States in the early 1990s.


Cedar Chest Before - Side view

This piece was unfinished and only needed a few minor repairs:  a piece of trim was loose and the key cover had come off.

After repairing the trim, I sanded it smooth and applied a light stain (Minwax Early American) followed by a sealer to protect the finish (General Finishes High Performance Satin).  The last step was to reattach the key cover.


Cedar Chest Makeover - A handmade cedar chest gets refreshed.

It now makes a great coffee table in the living room at the lake.


Cedar Chest Inside

We filled the cedar chest with extra throw pillows and blankets.  It’s so nice to be able to store these things when they aren’t being used.



Handmade Cedar Chest Makeover - After Cedar has such a wonderful smell and each time that I open this piece I enjoy the aroma.


Living Room at Smith Mountain Lake Many thanks to our friends for passing this piece along to us!  We’ll spend many nights on the sofa with our feet propped up on this piece enjoying a fire.



I would love for you to pin this project to one of your boards on Pinterest for others to discover.

Cedar Chest Makeover - This handmade cedar chest got repaired and refreshed without the use of paint.


Sharing With:
H2O Bungalow, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Refresh Restyle, Between Naps on the Porch,Concord Cottage,Stone Gable, Sand and Sisal, Yesterday on Tuesday, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, Bless’er House, Dwell Beautiful, Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s BodyImparting Grace,From Gardeners 2 Bergers, Patina Paradise, The Everyday Home, Finding Silver Pennies, The Bold Abode


  1. I’m not one who has a problem with painting wood, but in this case you did a great job keeping it natural. You have brought out the beauty of the wood in such a lovely way.

  2. Those are some gooood friends!! It looks beautiful! You did a great job refinishing it, and it’s so nice you can store stuff in there. I love 2-in-1 pieces like that!

  3. Your cedar chest is beautiful. What a generous friend you have! I love cedar and it smells wonderful and is a natural way to discourage moths. Can’t beat it for storing things! I enjoyed your post!

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