So I am in one of my favorite local Goodwill stores and I know I really don't need any more furniture. I have been pretty good about not buying every single dresser I see lately due to lack of storage space in my garage. As I am in Goodwill, I stumble across this amazing cedar hope chest, a project I have never attempted before. It already had the tag pulled off to purchase, but someone put it back on there. It was fate, meant to be. I automatically inspect this item a bit more though since someone put the tag back. The veneer top of the chest was peeling away at the edges. I tried pulling it a bit more to see how easy it would be to get off and it was coming off pretty easily. Done deal, it was coming home with me. Here it is sitting in my "on deck" area in my condo. I had already started working on the top.
I have never tried removing veneer before, so I wasn't too sure what to expect. After it was coming off so easily at the store, I didn't think it would be too bad. Well, I was VERY wrong. I only got a few more pieces off that way. My nice neighbor downstairs saw me outside struggling with a screwdriver and suggested using a hammer and a putty knife to try to get under and lift. This worked, but I was definitely damaging the nice wood underneath and thought I would be there for at least 12 hours at that pace. So I found this great blog online that gave a lot of tips. My next try was going to be with the blow dryer. Well, this helped but I knew I was still going to be there a long time. Next was the hot damp towel attempt.
This seemed to help a bit, but was still extremely time consuming. I am probably on my 4th or 5th night working on this after my day job and I still barely have half of the two layers of veneer off at this point. It was definitely turning into a labor of love project.
I got it to this point, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I now barely had any edges to try to get under to start lifting more veneer. So I just decided to take my Ryobi orbital sander and I sanded it off. I wish I would have tried this first. It took a while, but not as long as all these attempts did and I didn't damage any of the wood underneath with the sander. So I had to do a lot of work with wood filler and sanding after all this was done. I wish I would have taken more pictures at this point.
Next, I started painting the base of the chest. I went with Country Chic Paint in Vanilla Frosting for this to match some other pieces in my living room. I love their paint. It is a bit on the pricey side, but it goes on great and does not require too much prep work from my experiences with it so far. I loved how the paint was bringing out all the great detail this piece had. Then I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat to seal it. I am in love with this piece and definitely keeping for now.