Painted Cedar Chest Makeover

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This old painted cedar chest needed a lot of love! It was beat up but now it’s a stunner with new paint and pretty transfers!

Hello and happy Trash to Treasure Transformation Tuesday, friends! The last month of the year and we are so excited to share our brand new makeovers with you. I can not believe it’s almost 2024. That just sounds weird! Where are the flying cars, huh?? haha!

Okay, so today I’m sharing one I’ve had for quite some time. I did change gears on what I thought I’d do to it when I found it though. I considered sanding it down and trying to make it more of a natural-looking wood. But instead…well, read on! ;)

In case you are new around here, my friends and I get together every second Tuesday to share our latest “trash to treasure” makeovers with you. So be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see theirs.

Painted Cedar Chest Makeover

Here is how the little cedar chest looked ‘before’.

wood cedar chest top

front of cedar chest before

It was pretty beat up.

And it was missing one of the wooden wheels though. Luckily I had some old ones in my stash from other furniture.

old furniture wheels in gloved hand

I just popped this one out (the one on the left) and popped this other one in. (on the right)
And fixed!

The inside looked great!

inside of cedar chest


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front of cedar chest

I began by cleaning it up well with TSP Alternative Cleaner.

It had lots of scratches and marks but I didn’t bother with sanding it. I figured the transfers that I was planning to use would cover most.
Plus I decided to let that be “character”, which I do sometimes depending on the piece.

Here is what I decided to use.

tubes of transfers and paint jar

I pulled two different transfers for this one. And this richly colored paint called Winchester. Not quite red and not quite purple…a beautiful, elegant burgundy. (you can find all the products linked above in the pink box)


I gave it two coats of paint, drying well in between.

top of cedar chest being painted

I love this brush! It’s my favorite to use for most things.

painting the cedar chest in Winchester

Two coats were perfect.

cedar chest finished painted top view

Just the paint hides the multitude of sins that were there. Scratches, gouges, etc. Amazing how paint can do that!


I am using the gorgeous gold transfer here. Just the script part though.
You can use the wood stick to transfer or…

rubbing gold transfer with wood stick

…you can use this tool.

rubbing gold transfer with transfer tool

Here is how it looks after the first piece is added.

gold script on top

And the second.

more gold script on top of chest

I am doing the floral portion on the left side. Sort of “flowy” as it will go flow over the side and front.

floral transfers on top

leave section of transfer trailing down side

And once that part is done it looks like this.

first part of floral transfer on top done

Now to match up the bottom section.

adding second part of transfer to top

Which can sometimes be tricky. You can see there on the left that the leaves didn’t quite line up. But I’ll fix that later.

Coming around a corner like so you will want to cut like this. Or even cut a section out and place it later.

cutting corner of transfer to apply

Once that was all done. I used another part of the gold transfer below on the front.

adding more gold transfers to front

gold transfer transferred to front


Okay, so let’s fix the where it didn’t line up.

up close where transfers didn't meet, left gap

Probably not even a big deal but it bugs me! lol See how the leaves above it have white veining?
I decided to just make this look like a vein too…

up close up painting in the gap

Quick and easy!


I decided to add a bit more gold to this cedar chest.

gold paint jar

I used my finger to add a touch of gold on every edge. Sort of like distressing but using gold instead of sanding edges.

adding gold paint with finger on edges

I love that added shimmer!


I decided to use wax to seal this one.

sealing with beeswax finish

I LOVE our Beeswax Finish. It is so lustrous and just a dream to work with. I don’t use wax often but some pieces just call for it.
And it’s perfect for this one!

I mean, just look at the difference the wax makes.

showing the difference between wax and no wax on chest

Love it.

And that’s it, done! So simple really.

But wow, what a brand-new look.

finished chest front view

I love how the transfer flows onto the side and front.

finished chest side top view

finished chest

And that section of the gold transfer was perfect for the front of the painted cedar chest.

up close of front side view

See the hints of gold everywhere?

up close of side view with handle

up close of lid edge

Just gives it a little extra something-something.

That luxurious wax finish, ahhh…

up close of top view

All the inside needed was to be wiped down. In perfect condition.

inside of chest

The back got painted too.

back of chest

Gorgeous florals, rich color, and beautiful touches of gold!

top view of floral transfer on chest

It’s all ready for its new life and home.

top side view of cedar chest

PIN it to save it!

This old painted cedar chest needed a lot of love! It was beat up but now it's a stunner with new paint and pretty transfers!

Don’t forget to hop over and visit my friends below!

  1. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  2. Salvaged Inspirations
  3. Prodigal Pieces
  4. Girl in the Garage

Want to see more Trash To Treasure makeovers?? Click here to see!

See you back here on Thursday!



  1. You have transformed this Cedar Chest into a Beauty. Love the transfers you chose. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. This is sooo pretty!! Love the transfers and the gold highlights. I love cedar chests. Have one that I painted …white…. LOL. I need to take it up a notch or two lol. I didn’t know you could wax over transfers. That wax looks great. Enjoy the holiday season.

    1. Thank you, Debra! Cedar chests are so fun to makeover really. Just add a pretty, colorful floral transfer. OR a gold script one. Both would be pretty on white! Yes, you can wax over them but you want to make sure you don’t use one with strong solvents as it could damage the transfer. Merry merry!! xoxo

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