Painted Cedar Chest with Reverse Stencil

Painted Cedar Chest with Reverse Stencil

A woman had contacted me about her storage unit full of items that she no longer wanted but didn’t want to see them go in the trash either. Her parents had been antique collectors, and she had quite a collection on her hands. This cedar chest was pretty bad shape but I knew this chest could be saved.  As an added bonus, it’s Jacob Bloom Company label is still clearly affixed to the inside of the lid. While she had many items in her arsenal, I chose to purchase this cedar chest along with an antique storage chest that was later turned into our Antique Storage Chest turned Custom Toy Boxjacob-bloom-company, antique cedar chest, jacob bloom, cedar chest

Materials Needed / Source List:
Disclosure: This painted cedar chest contains affiliate links for your convenience.

The Before – Antique Cedar Chest

You can see that the cedar chest has major damage and scratches all over the outside. antique-cedar-chest, jacob bloom, cedar chest, antique furniture cedar-chest-damage, antique furniture, cedar wood, cedar chest cedar-chest-with-damage, vintage cedar chest, solid cedar wood

There was no avoiding it, this chest needed to be sanded down in its entirety. Once sanded, the wood grain hiding beneath all of those scratches and cosmetic flaws is gorgeous.sanded cedar chest, wood grain, cedar wood, antique, staten island

The inside of the cedar chest is also in fantastic condition and merely required a simple dusting and wiping out with a damp cloth. Jacob Bloom Cedar Chest, cedar wood, wood grain, nyc

The Process- Painting an Antique Chest

Once sanded and cleaned I decided to preserve the top of the chest by sealing it with Sable protective glaze.  Sable protective glaze, by Kristi Kuehl Pure Home Paint, is a slightly tinted sealer that is the perfect choice for maintaining all the gorgeous details of the cedar wood grain. Next, the chest was painted Tahoe, which is a very light gray. painted-gray, chalk paint, painted chest, storage chest, painted furniture

The only problem is that something is missing. The chest is lacking a wow factor. I decided to add an image on the front of the chest and opened it up for votes on my Facebook page. The options were narrowed down to these images: vinyl-decal-choices, vinyl decals, home decor, quotes

Option 1 is an image transfer that can be found HERE.  Choice 2 is a vinyl decal found HERE. Option 3 is an image transfer found HERE, and lastly option 4 is a vinyl decal found HERE.  After considering everyone’s opinions I narrowed it down to options 2, 4 and this one found HERE. I don’t know why I complicate things for myself by adding additional last minute options. Bless this Home Vinyl Wall Decal

I decided to order all three of my final choices and wait until they arrive to decide which one to use.

How to Add a Reverse Stencil

Now that the plan has changed, my gray painted chest is out the window and the chest was painted all black with Derby.  painted-black, black chalk paint, derby,

The black paint is lightly sanded and then sealed using Kristi Kuehl Pure Home Paint Matte Protective Finish. sealed-with-matte-sealer, poly, painted furniture, non toxic

Next, after measuring for proper placement and marking with chalk the vinyl wall decal is applied to the chest. vinyl-decal-applied, chalk paint, cedar chest, painted furniture

Since the chest is painted black and the decal is also black it may be difficult to see it, but I assure you it is there. Once the vinyl decal is rubbed smooth the best as possible I chose a pretty blue paint color called Bygone Blue for the chest.  My friend Jennifer from Whimsy and Wood out in California just completed a piece using Bygone Blue and she reminded me of just how pretty the color is. paint-over-vinyl-decal

Once the chest was completely painted in Bygone Blue it was time for the reveal. peel-away-vinyl-letters, reverse stencil, how to reverse stencil

Using a fine point tweezer, the vinyl decal was carefully peeled off of the painted cedar chest. The black paint was sealed prior to applying the decal to avoid the possibility of the paint coming off with the decal.


Once the entire decal is removed the cedar chest is lightly sanded and distressed along the edges before being sealed with clear Matte Protective Finish.

Painted Cedar Chest – The Result

painted chest, painted furniture, cedar chest, just the woodsreverse stencil, painted furniture, painted cedar chest, nyc cedar chest with words, stencil, staten island, vintage furniture hand painted chest, manhattan, just the woods, chalk paint antique hope chest, storage trunk, cedar chest on casters jacob bloom painted chest, staten island, rustic, painted furniture layered chalk paint, distressed chalk paint, blue chalk paint cedar wood chest, antique chest, painted furniture, shabby chic, rustic decorhand-painted-cedar-chest how-to-reverse-stencil-with-decal rustic-cedar-hope-chest bygone-blue-painted-chestwood-painted-cedar-hope-chestpainted cedar chest, reverse stencil, just the woods, staten island, nyc, nj

I’ll be sharing this post at these fabulous link parties.

Don’t Forget – Follow Just the Woods:


Subscribe to our mailing list here:


Painted Cedar Chest with Reverse Stencil by Just the Woods