Today, I'm going to show you how it's done.
To bring our cedar closet back to life, I turned to the internet for advice (namely, This Old House and Do-It-Yourself.com). Both sources assured that the process wasn't labor-intensive but was necessary to increase the longevity of cedar closets--which can be quite an investment!
Eastern Red cedar (whether in closet, armoire or trunk form) requires maintenance to keep that signature aromatic scent working to repel pests like moths and silverfish that can damage wool and cashmere. Over time, the "pores" of the wood get plugged with dust, preventing fragrance from being released. Consider this whole project a facial for your cedar closet!
Off to Home Depot we went to pick up reconditioning cedar oil (from Giles & Kendall), sanding blocks and rags.
To start, Adam and I took turns vacuuming the cedar planks on the walls and ceiling of closet using the brush attachment.
We took our rags--very lightly damp--and wiped down the cedar planks on the walls and ceilings. The used rags showed off just how dusty and dirty the closet really was!
With the walls dry, we grabbed our dust masks and goggles (strongly recommended!) to sand the walls and ceiling with fine-grit sanding blocks. We lightly sanded with the grain of the wood.
If you're hoping to repeat this process in your own cedar closet, trunk or armoire, please take precaution by wearing a mask and goggles. Cedar dust can be irritating to the throat and eyes, so it's better to be safe than sorry!
The vacuum came back out, sucking up as much of the dust as we could. Then, we ran the damp rags over the walls to grab the last bit of the dust.
Then, it was oil time! We followed the directions on the cedar oil bottle, which stressed the importance of ventilation. A box fan relieved the powerful cedar oil scent. We applied the cedar oil with a rag and, just as quickly, the closet smelled like a cedar forest all over again.
Okay, maybe my first thought was "hamster cage" not "cedar forest," but it's all the same.
(all via Meet Me in Philadelphia)
I am so happy we spent about a hour (in active time) reviving our cedar closet. It is a feature of our home that I want to maintain. I look at it this way: it cost about $30 to bring this closet back to life, which is much less than any sweater I might have lost from those pesky moth holes!
Don't forget: you can follow these same steps to bring a vintage cedar armoire or trunk back to life, too!