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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grandma's Cedar Chest

Hey there!  I'm finally taking some time to catch things up around here, after being off work for almost a month (that's a whole 'nother post).  I was able to finish up a slew of projects that had been languishing in my garage and giving The Man a twitch.

First up, my grandmother's blonde MCM cedar chest.  Now, this chest was given to me back when I was a teenager, to serve as a hope chest.  Which it did, for a number of years.  I remember sitting and embroidering pillowcases and tea towels with my great grandmother, then carefully storing them in my chest.  I picked up new and useful things at yard sales and tucked them away in my chest.

The chest and it's contents moved many times with me.  When I graduated high school, the chest helped me furnish and stock an otherwise empty apartment in Santa Barbara.  It served as extra seating and a place to throw my blankets for years.

The poor thing kicked around several houses since I got married, never really fitting in, never living up to it's potential as a pretty, useful, heirloom-quality chest.

Fast forward to, oh, about a year ago.  I finally began sanding down and messing around with paint.  I knew I wanted the play of dark and light on this piece, because, well, I just did!

I removed the lid and drawer, sanded down the veneer on the body and lid, and then, it sat.  And sat.  And my husband's eye twitched and twitched every time he cleaned out the garage.  I mean, this wouldn't make your eye twitch, would it?

Pint-sized elbow model not included!

Fast forward again to August.  I had the twitchy man help me drag this thing (it's HEAVY!) into the back yard so I could make something gorgeous out of it.  I had swiped some paint from Dad's stash (thanks Dad!) and mixed up a DIY chalk paint for this beast.

Imagine four coats of creamy white in various stages of dry all over this thing.  Oh, and imagine the drawer with stormy blue sides to play off that creamy drawer front.  Out in the yard.  YES!

Here she is, all purtied up.  I used my custom mix of Dark Walnut, Golden Oak and Ebony stains by Minwax on the lid before I reattached it.  I love how the dark and light work together on this piece.

Now we finally have a good place to store our knock-out blankies in the living room!

Not a great shot, in front of the black fireplace.  But a worse shot would be where she
ended up, next to the couch!  Though, she's styled much more prettily in her new home.

You can see where all the bums perched over the years, just by the way the stain took! 
I love the variation and patina on the lid - it tells our story.

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