Work in Progress: Vintage Cedar Chest


Before photo of Franklin Shockey Company cedar chest.

Transforming furniture isn't necessarily difficult, but many times it does involve a lot of work before the fun part (painting) can begin. Today I am sharing my punch list of what I plan to do with this cedar chest. (EDITED: I finished the cedar chest! You can view the finished project HERE).

I purchased the cedar chest from a local thrift store. It was manufactured in 1951 (the date was on the back) by Franklin Shockey Co. in Lexington, North Carolina. It is labeled as "genuine Cedaroma" and made of solid white cedar.

Furniture label from Franklin Shockey Company in Lexington NC.

As you can see in the photo below there is significant damage to the finish.

The damaged finish will require repair prior to painting.

The lock and latching mechanism were removed (if not already removed then plan to remove it for safety) which left an unsightly hole in the front.

Gaping hole in front of chest remains after lock was removed.

Here's a view of the inside where the lock was removed.

Interior view of what remains after lock was removed.

I love the interior as it includes a tray of shelves which is great for extra storage. Unfortunately the green fabric has degraded and it's a hot mess. One of the screws is missing on the shelf although it still functions rather well without it.

Interior view of cedar chest.

I'm not 100% clear on my final design, but I think I will go with a neutral white finish to appeal to a wider audience. We'll see . . .

But before I can paint, here's my punch list of work to be done:

  • Clean, clean, clean. It's not apparent in the photos, but it's filthy both inside and out.
  • Sand top smooth
  • Stain top for base coat prior to painting
  • Replace fabric on shelf
  • Add screw to shelf
  • Figure out what to do with the hole in the front of the chest

After reading through the list, it doesn't sound too bad. But it's messy work. And although it's necessary it's not really the fun part, so there isn't a lot of motivation to get it done. But as the saying goes, "Once begun is half done", so I'll get busy and get to work.

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