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any suggestions on what to do with a cedar chest I found? It's in excellent shape, only needs a very light sanding. No chips or cracks and the interior is excellent. Would like to paint and change hardware. Not sure where to start!
Julie, I assume you are only talking about painting the exterior of the cedar chest. Painting the interior would seal in that cedar fragrance. A light sanding of the interior will open up the grain of the cedar and release the oils that give that delightful smell. Cedar oil is also available if you want more fragrance.
On the exterior, you will want to use either an oil or shellac based primer. Cedar is full of tannic acid which will bleed through most water based primers. Also, an oil or shellac based primer such as BIN will leave a much smoother surface than a water baxed primer and will be easier to lightly sand before painting. My first choice would be an oil enamel undercoated as primer followed by a coat of a good oil enamel.
You can also get a very good , smooth, cost efective finish with the use of spray cans. If you go with spray cans, be sure to use the spray primer before the finish coat. One trick I always use when using spray cans is to heat the can before use. Run the hot water as hot as it gets into a pot. Put the can in the hot water for about 5 minutes. Spray cans are usually fast drying oil paints. Oil paints become more viscous when warm. The hot water also raises the pressure in the can, making them spray better. Your tap water is around 120 degrees and will not cause the can to rupture. Ideally, you will want a warm, non-humid area in which to work.
I can't tell from the picture how old is old. If it is an antique you will reduce the value by half refinishing and by another half by replacing original hardware.
I would bet money that this is not an antique. I know nothing about antiques..I picked this up at a thrift store for $10 and just figured it's a good piece of furniture and would be nice painted. Stupid question....how do I know what kind of wood the outside is? i mean, I don't think it's cedar, I think it's simply lined in cedar. The tag on the bottom says A-P Cedar Chests...