How adorable is this antique lift top solid cedar chest!! The best thing about these mid 20th century chests is that they act as little time capsules, keeping safe all the bits and pieces that the owner thought important enough to make 'moth proof'. In this particular chest I found fabric and notions. She must have been a seamstress. These were almost always given as gifts to young ladies upon their graduation from high school. This one still retains the original labels and is dated February 10th, 1940.
I got it months ago but stored in down in my cellar because it was what I call a 'tough sand' which means the old varnish on the top was a bit tacky and so, as I sanded it, it would goop up on my sanding pads, clogging them in under a minute. When I'd started sanding it I hadn't had stripper on hand, so I'd tucked it away. I bought stripper for another project this week and then remembered the lovely little cedar chest. The stripper loosens up the gunky old finish enough to scrap it off so sanding is a bit more straight forward.
Underneath the old finish was a most spectacular solid cedar top. Just look at that wood! I stained it in English Chestnut and then painted the case in a pale muted sage called 'Dusty Miller' which I use every Autumn when the Dusty Miller in my garden always starts to get big and fancy. I highlighted all the fine art deco carving on the front with a custom chartreuse called 'September Vineyard' which I used on a hutch last week. I staged it with mums in a rusty red because, Yay Fall!!
I got the mums today at my very favorite nursery, Paul and Sandy's, and if you're looking for some Fall Fun in late September/October, their Pumpkintown USA is not to be missed! We get all our gourds and pumpkins there every year!