An old wooden chest make-over


What a find! The moment we saw each other, we both knew we had a great future together! “He” was a bit of a fixer-upper, but as it usually goes, it worked out at the end. Meet my latest project – the wooden chest.


He wasn’t much to look at. Rectangular, misunderstood (why such a masculine piece was painted white…), chunky. Yet with substance, character and a story to tell. A great piece to work with, a true find. It was painted quite roughly as you can see, the main purpose for the job probably being its preservation. Wooden chest3

As well as being “a bit of a fixer-upper”, the item also proved to be a bit of an introvert. It was very difficult to get to its inside. The metal rim that hemmed the lid doubled as a finger guillotine.  A big “no-no” in my mummy book.


Very sturdy and built to last, I knew there was something beautiful hidden under all those layers. With the help of my sander, it was discovered that under the white gown, there was a military uniform – dark grey. Probably more fitting to this piece, however under disguise hid beautiful weathered distraught wood. Sanding also revealed some other details, like the screws in the sides.

It was love.

My sander could not handle the two layers, so I got a friend (thank you, friend!) to help with a more heavy duty sander.

Wooden chest2

I loved the wood grain we discovered. It had to be preserved as genuinely as possible, so I used clear matte varnish. In the photo it looks still fresh, but once it dried, it looked a little more weathered, a little more worn.

The end result is just perfect. I love what I got to discover.

This piece is special for another, sentimental reason. It was built by a very special person – person no longer alive, but a person leaving a legacy. Ian Ross, thank you, for this and much more.

Wooden chest1

If you enjoyed this DIY make-over, I can recommend a few more that you might enjoy:

Blog thumbnail - DIY Pink desk  Blog thumbnail - DIY Dollhouse  Blog thumbnail - DIY Coffee table3


2 thoughts on “An old wooden chest make-over

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