Mid Century Modern Cedar Chest Makeover Act One

Today I was going to share a Mid Century Modern Cedar Chest Makeover that I could be proud of. I took great pains in stripping the chest down to the natural wood and was dancing for joy with the beautiful dark walnut stained drawer fronts. I couldn't have been happier with the crisp lines of the white-painted triangle too. The makeover turned out exactly how I had envisioned it.

Cue the dramatic music.

After standing back with a cup of coffee and admiring my hard work, all that was left to do was protect the finish.

Mid Century Modern Cedar Chest Debacle

Mid Century Modern Cedar Chest Makeover Act One

I decided to give Hemp Oil a try. It had been getting rave reviews from other bloggers so I had to see what this product was all about. If I can find a way to avoid the laborious task of applying and buffing clear wax, I'm all ears.

I brushed all the chalk painted surfaces with hemp oil using a chip brush and wiped away the excess oil with a clean lint-free rag. I was thrilled with how easy that was.

MCM Cedar Chest Makeover with stenciled top

Then everything went to hell in a handbasket.

MCM Cedar Chest dark walnut stain ruined with hemp oil

Hemp Oil can use used as a protective finish on bare or stained wood, milk or chalk paint, and can restore old wood. Perhaps the stain wasn't completely dry, despite it being over 24 hours.

Or I applied too much hemp oil. Whatever it was that lovely dark walnut stain was turning into oozing oily goo that dribbled down my perfectly painted white triangle.  

MCM Cedar Chest with white painted triangle ruined

Every attempt I made to dab off the excess oil made it worse. I had the stain on the paint and paint on the wood.

Not willing to admit defeat, I persisted in my feebish attempt to clean up the paint using fine artist brushes to achieve those crisp lines again.

MCM Cedar Chest makeover gone awry

Look how awful the finish is on the stain and this is after my attempt to reapply stain over the damaged areas. You can see a dribble line on one of the feet in the picture below.

MCM Cedar Chest Makeover with ruined protective finish

So guess what I'm doing today? Stripping the entire front of the chest back to the natural wood and starting over.

Failed MCM Cedar Chest Makeover

I won't stop until I know the finish is perfect and then the stain will get my trusted polyurethane finish.

Oh, I almost forgot, this is what the chest used to look like...

Mid Century Modern Cedar Chest Before

I successfully finished this makeover and couldn't have been more thrilled with the results. Stepping away from this piece for a few days was enough to clear my head and come up with a new plan of action. You can see how it turned out here Mid Century Modern Cedar Chest.

Those of you who refinish furniture, I'd love to hear your project from hell stories in the comment section below.