Asked on Aug 8, 2013

Refinishing a Cedar Chest

MaryKay@Studio23ThirtyRitaSpheramid Enterprises


I was hoping to have a picture of this but that didn't work out, for now.
Anyway, I have an old cedar chest and I sanded the varnish off it. Now what do I use to clean it before staining it? Also, there are some deeper scratches on the top lid. Can I fill with stainable wood putty??? Help.
6 answers
  • Cleaning Angels Services
    on Aug 8, 2013

    Try to post an image of it. you will get better advice when you post its picture.

  • Lou
    on Aug 8, 2013

    Cedar is a very attractive wood. If you want that natural wood beauty to show through be sure the surface is sanded smooth. You can then apply clear polyurethane to protect the wood. I recommend MinWax. Take your time when selecting the poly as there are several sheens. Use only the best grade brush made for poly. Carefully follow all instructions. Good luck.

  • MaryKay@Studio23Thirty
    on Aug 8, 2013

    Thanks for your help Lou

  • Spheramid Enterprises
    on Aug 9, 2013

    Famowood Cherry will be the best filler match. Google will find it for you. I'd wipe the cedar with mineral spirits to clean , then boiled linseed oil thinned 50/50 with spirits. Then after a few DAYS of proper drying conditions use Zinnser's orange shellac also thinned for the first coat with denatured alcohol about 2 shellac to 1 alcohol. Allow a few hours dry lightly sand with 220 and recoat with same. Finally go over it with a pad of 0000 steel wool and Johnson's Paste wax or Minwax paste wax..and buff with an old soft cloth. All of these steps are easily repaired if damage occurs or you mess it up..poly is NOT something that is easily fixed or removed.

  • Rita
    on Aug 10, 2013

    Check out I have found a wealth of information there on refinishing my great grandmother's old cedar chest.

  • MaryKay@Studio23Thirty
    on Aug 10, 2013

    Thanks so much Rita! Great site.

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