Hope chest before and after

Lane Hope Chest 

Getting to The After

Bought this at a Flea Market in Jacksonville Fl for 30 bucks. Not so bad but as you can see it needs work. 

So we started by taking the top off.
 It was screwed in so my husband took his drill and unscrewed it.

Then we took a flat head screwdriver and took off the ugly trim that made the chest look like drawers.
It had a few staples so then we took the needle nose players and very carefully removed them, they almost look like nails but they are not.

Then we took our handy sander and sanded the whole chest with 100 grit sand paper until smooth.

Then he took his hammer and the screwdriver and took the bottom trim off that was attached to the legs.

Then fill all the holes with wood filler we tried this but it didn't work as well as wood filler.
This product works best for the trim. 

After filling with the wood glue wipe access off.
Wait for it (we waited over night) to dry completely and sand till it is smooth. 

   So now time for putting the wood decals on. We measured each side to make sure it was centered correctly. We did not use any staples for the wood decals to insure they wouldn't split.

This is the saw we used to cut the trim. He cut a 45 degree angle.
My advice for the trim is to measure not twice but three times you don't want to end up like we did having to buy more trim. Im glad that we did though happy with how it ended up. 
Here is a video that will help with trim. 
After we got the trim cut correctly we glued it then stapled.

Then we put the top plate on and screwed in the legs 

Ok so now the fun part! 
I used chalk paint which i found the DIY recipe on Pinterest.
1 Cup of paint
1 Tbsp of Plaster of Paris
1/4 Cup of HOT water 
Mix it until smooth. 

I loved the look it gave and that one cup of paint covered the chest Twice which surprised me because I thought it was going to soak up some paint. 

Then for Distressing.
I took my clear Minwax and put a little bit in a bowl. Then heated some water in a pot over the stove. (be careful doing this the Minwax can be flammable) 
Then I put my bowl of Minwax over the pot and the steam from the water melted the wax just enough to be able to mix it.
Then i took Rust-Oleum High performance protective enamel OIL BASED! Flat Black in color and mixed it in. 
I mixed until i liked the color

Then i took the DIY Dark wax and brushed it into the crevasses or (details) then wiped it off. I stays in the (low areas) making the detail POP! 
I would use separate brushes for waxing and for painting.

And now We have a beautiful Hope chest that we were going to sell but for the first piece that my husband and I did together it may be staying in the family for now. 

Questions? Concerns? Please let me know what you think.
Should we keep it in the family or sell it? 


  1. Hello! Whew did you find the center decal? I'm having a hard time finding a large one

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  2. I had this exact same cedar chest, same fabric and everything! I love how you took off the old design and created a whole new one!


  3. What a beautiful job! I am trying to refurbish a similar chest.....do you mind sharing what size the trim is on the bottom? Thanks!

  4. OMG - I have the same chest and have been looking for ideas. I had been wondering if I could get the front trim off without damage. Thanks for this!


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