I’ve been on the lookout for a small chest or trunk to place in front of the window in our home office. We need all the storage we can get, so when I came upon this shirtwaist chest at Creekside Antiques, I snatched it up.
What was fascinating about this piece was that the owner had stripped off all of the outer material that had originally covered it and had left the adhesive on the outside.\
It looked like raw sugar sprinkled on the surface
I just loved the rough hewn look!
The upholstery nails still dotted the front edges of the lid, so I left them there. I thought they added a lot of character. You could see the original grass/straw material that had originally covered the chest along with the corner hardware.
The legs looked odd and didn’t seem to match. Plus, one corner was loose, so I decided to remove them completely and replace them with some chunky industrial caster wheels.
The chest had casters at some point because the sockets were still hammered in.
A few turns of the screwdriver took care of the legs
Ah, much better!
I gave the entire outside a good sanding to remove some of the glue, dust, dirt, and to smooth it out overall. I decided to stain the chest instead of paint it or put hemp oil on it. I thought it would look a bit more handsome with some color.
My stain of choice was General Finishes Shaker Maple.
It was starting to look better already
After my casters arrived from Esty, I lined them up and screwed them on.
Looking back, I would probably have ordered a larger size, but the wheels took much longer than I anticipated to arrive, and I was eager to get the chest finished and back in place for storage.
They still do the job nicely!
And here is the grand reveal…
I’m quite please with how it turned out. It’s the perfect size for our space and it is currently storing my painter’s drop cloth and the various pieces of scrap wood that I use for propping up pieces to paint. It will definitely get a lot of use!