How to Save a Life, I mean a Lane

Operation: Rescue a dated Lane Cedar Chest

Left for trash, this once beautiful sought after Lane Cedar chest was found abandoned. She had a broken leg, didn’t sit quite right, and the finish was water stained, gouged and honestly, just overall pretty sad.

Most people may have thought…firewood. I don’t know if Goodwill would have even accepted this piece…but for me, just another project for the shop.

Starting out you always want to thoroughly clean your piece….your “finish” is only as good as your beginning. I know, I know, chalk paint is supposed to be “NO PREP”. I honestly hate that it is marketed that way. Yes, you don’t have to sand, but you do need to use common sense!

After you remove the hardware you’ll want to begin using Dixie Belle White Lightning cleaner (or one that is is TSP based) and simply wipe down your piece, removing grime and buildup. Then let the piece dry and then fill any holes, cracks, gauges that you don’t want showing up in your finish. Sometimes you have a piece that you want to have a nice “factory finish”, no distressing, flaws, etc. If that is you, then PREP is KEY! Take the time to do it right and your finished piece will show it! On the other hand, some folks want a rough, worn, been around the block distressed look….for those people you can honestly just grab your brush and go.

After cleaning,  I then sanded the top of the chest with 80 grit, then 120 grit then 220 grit sandpaper. I then removed the bottom casing ” legs” easily by removing the four flat head screws holding it on. They popped right off. I decided I wanted to add a “turned leg” to the bottom (off to Lowe’s), I found these for $6.97 each. They were the perfect size. You will also need to purchase the 4 pack of leg mounting hardware (about $10). Simply screw on the mounting hardware and then screw on your new legs.

Painting….listen up folks! There is a right way to do it. LIGHT COATS, yes light. I mean light. Don’t glob on the paint and try to cover your piece with the first coat. Why not you ask? Well, brush strokes, runs, dry time….etc., etc.

I began with two light coats of Dixie Belle Drop Cloth on the body of the piece and two light coats of Dixie Belle Gravel Road on the lid of the chest. I love the contrast of these colors and how well they work with each other.

Place your previously removed hardware in a cardboard box, take it outdoors or a well-ventilated area and use two light coats of spray paint for the hardware…be patient and follow the directions on your can.

Once the paint is dry on your piece you are ready to “finish” it. I chose to “glaze” this piece using Dixie Belle Black Glaze. Their glazes go on easily with a brush or rag. I prefer to brush them on as I like the streaked look that the brush produces. Remember, the heavier the glaze, the darker the effect.

Once your glaze is dry you can use a top coat or poly such as our Flat, Satin or Gloss Top Coats or Dixie Belle Gator Hide Polyacrylic. I use Gator Hide most of the time, it provides a water-resistant finish.

Now we reinstall the hardware and VIOLA, Trash to Treasure…. another piece saved from the dump! This cedar chest will last another 40 years and be passed down again and again. Styles change, but you can always update your piece with a new color and finish!

Products Used: Dixie Belle White Lighting Cleaner, Dixie Belle Drop Cloth, Dixie Belle Gravel Road, Krylon Satin Black Spray Paint.


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