Cedar Chest Makeover

by Shanna
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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  3 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?

  • Syntha Syntha on Sep 17, 2022

    What kind of wood was your chest made out of? It does not look like cedar, but more like pine? So was it pine wood or some other type of wood? It is very pretty. Thank you for sharing.

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