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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/!940 Lane cedar chest


Hello, Eileen. I recently acquired a 1940 Lane cedar hope chest. It has some damage, the veneer around the bottom is missing some pieces and I'm wondering if I should finish removing it and stain the wood, leave it as is or have it restored. I bought it not as an investment but to keep blankets and such in. It also has some scratches on the top. Also, what should I clean the outside with? I don't want to use anything that might damage the finish.

Thank you,

Hi Robin
Nice to hear from you.
You have some options as to what can be done with your chest.
First you mention removing the veneer on the sides its damaged. This is easily done using a hot iron and flat scraper with a rag between the wood and the hot iron. This softens the glue allowing you to get the scraper under the veneer and remove it.
You may get lucky and find decent wood under the veneer but I have never found that to be the case.
Secondly you could use wood filler to fill the areas where the veneer is missing. This also is easily done but it will take a few applications of filler with sanding between coats to get a real nice smooth finish. You can get wood filler in many colors to match various colored woods.
Finally you could choose to fill the damaged areas as mentioned above and paint the chest.
Normally I would not do this but with bad damage its a good plan.
On the inside on the cedar, the only thing we do is sand the wood which will bring the cedar smell back. Then dust with a damp rag.
Robin all the above suggestions are offered without seeing your chest and the actual extent of the damage.
Personally I don't feel that having these old chests professionally restored is an option.
The restore will cost more than the chest is worth.
Hope this helps

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Eileen Cronk


I can answer most questions about the repairing and refinishing of all your old furniture items (the things we call antiques). I can also give you advice on what wood items to choose and what wood items to avoid at auctions, flea markets etc. I DO NOT give appraisals on antiques as this is not my field of expertise.


I have been repairing, refinishing and of course buying old furniture for the past 30 years. On any given weekend I can be found at auction sales or flea markets searching out a good buy. I have taken several courses in this area over the years, but I find "Hands On" learning to be the best teacher. I can help you avoid the pitfalls and problems of this wonderful rewarding craft.

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