Cedar Chest Makeover

4 Materials
2 Days

My grandpa gave me this cedar chest for Christmas when I was 13. He had bought it used and fixed it up. Over the years it has seen numerous coats of paint, scratches and dings. I’m going to show you how I restored it back to its natural wood!


There are at least 4 coats of paint I need to strip off to get to the wood.

This stuff is amazing. Plus it’s natural and the smell is pleasant!

Using a paint brush I generously applied a thick coat of Citristrip to the entire cedar chest. I did remove the lid of the chest prior to this step to make it easier.

After I got the whole thing coated I used Saran Wrap to cover it. This helps keep the moisture in and helps the stripper work better. I left it on overnight.

After letting it sit overnight, I used a putty knife to scrape the loose paint off. This part is super messy. The paint is gooey. Like gum that sat on a hot sidewalk. 😝

After using the putty knife to scrape most of the paint off, I used steel wool dipped in paint thinner and scrubbed my little heart out. But seeing the beautiful natural wood made it worth it.


I love how it turned out. It was a big job but the outcome is better than I could have imagined.

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Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Lia Liz Noland Rohrbach Lia Liz Noland Rohrbach on May 07, 2020

    Very nice but did you treat the wood with anything after the paint was stripped?

  • Lucía Lucía on Apr 29, 2021

    Great job. Please can you post the full process?


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