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How can I restore the aroma of my cedar chest and cedar lined drawers?

The linings of cedar chests and drawers often lose their aroma with time and use. The aromatic properties of cedar serve as a natural pest deterrent, keeping moths and other insects away from your clothing. Over time the pores in the cedar can become clogged with dust and dirt or pinched closed from use. This prevents the aromatic oils from escaping and causes old cedar chests to loose their aroma.

There are many products on the market to "rejuvenate" the aroma in old cedar furniture such as cedar oil extracts and sprays. A less expensive solution is to lightly sand the surface of the cedar with a fine grit sandpaper (200 grit) and a sanding block. The sandpaper will help "cut" the pores open thus exposing new oil pockets. Try to sand with the grain to avoid scratch marks and don't over-sand. Usually only a light sanding is needed to rejuvenate the wood.

If the cedar has been finished with a sealant such a varnish or polyurethane you will need to sand through the finish to expose the oils. Finishes that have deeply penetrated the wood may have permanently sealed the oils into the wood.

It's advisable to sand a small out of sight area to ensure you can bring the oils back to the surface. If all else fails you can still buy the cedar oil extracts at the store.

Interested in building a cedar chest?
Click on the links below for woodworking plans.

Heirloom Oak and Cedar Chest Plans

Cedar Chest Plan

Blanket Chest & Seat Plan

Mission Style Hope Chest



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WoodZone Woodworking Retail Store
2263 Sunset Blvd. West Columbia, SC 29169.
Contact us: 1-803-791-3823 - 
Offering in stock supplies for furniture making, finishing, carving, turning, and other forms of woodcraft.
Everything you need for woodworking.