Easy Vinegar Stained Crate


I added a bit of an “aged” finish to a plain wood crate with this easy homemade vinegar stain.

I wanted to use a crate from the craft store to hold magazines and library books in our living room and decided to try out the vinegar solution I used here to give the wood an stained, older look. This was an experiment, so I’m not even quite sure I’m finished with it, but here are the results so far…

Here’s what I used:

1. Unfinished pine crate from the craft store.
2. Vinegar and steel wool ‘stain’ (read more about how I made it here).
3. A disposable foam craft brush
4. Newspaper/gloves to protect your hands and work area


Here’s my crate before…


And I used the same type of vinegar/steel wool ‘rust soup’ that used in this post.

It’s a good idea to test this on a piece of scrap wood or on the bottom of your piece. Just lightly brush the mixture on… and it dries out in the sun much quicker than oil-based commercial stains. (The smell disappears more quickly as well.)


Here’s the effect I got with two coats.


I might experiment with another coat or two to achieve a darker look though, and I thought about using a stencil or citra solv transfer to add some aged looking graphics like I did with this cutting board.


An added plus is the piece of wood inside (which I haven’t stained to match yet) that separates our crate into two sections.


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