From Wooden Crates to Shelf Unit

TIME

BUDGET

COMPLEXITY

Bedroom with a tall cabinet sitting beside the bed. The cabinet is made from wooden crates.

I was in search of something to help keep my bedroom organized. A small bedside table wasn’t going to do the trick. I needed more storage than that. I also needed something tall and narrow to fit the space.  As I started searching for ideas, I came across an option using wooden crates. Not a bad idea! With a little creativity and some stain, I could make just what I needed!

Behr’s Featured Colors

Stain Colors – Overall: Peaceful Sanctuary TIS-060, Trim: North Sea TIS-043  

Two wood color swatches. First one is light natural wood tone, the second is a blue tone.

Paint ColorWall: Jojoba N390-3

A picture of an open paint can with a light gray-green color inside the open can.

Materials:

A picture showing the differnt materials listed below for this project.

Tip: When staining, make sure you are in a well-ventilated space. Outside is always best, but if you are in your garage, be sure to work closely by an open door. Make sure to stir thoroughly before using each product (do not shake).

Step 1

A person using sandpaper against the wooden crate.

Scuff Sand

If using new wooden crates, you will want to lightly sand. For older crates, you will need to remove nails and fill in holes with wood filler.  Sand out any rough areas so that you have an even surface to start with. Wipe away sand dust with a cloth or rag.

Step 2

A person holding a paint brush again the wooden crate

Apply Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Use a nylon brush and apply wood conditioner liberally on the entire piece. Let sit for 5-10 minutes then wipe off any noticeable excess with a clean cloth. Let dry for at least 20 minutes.

Step 3

Two images side by side. First one is showing a person with a paint brush against the woden crate. The second the person has a cloth against the wooden crate.

Apply Wood Stain

Once the pre-stain wood conditioner has dried, using a nylon brush, going in the direction of the grain, apply the wood stain. Allow stain to penetrate into the wood for 5-10 minutes. Then, with a dry cloth, remove any stain that has not absorbed. When wiping, be sure to go with the grain. You will want to blend light and dark areas to achieve a uniform color. If you want the stain darker, repeat the step until you achieve the color you want. Allow to dry.

Step 4

Two images side by side. The first shows a person with a cloth adding blue stain to the edge of a crate. The second image shows a person with a cloth removing some of the blue stain.

Stain Front Edge

Use a cloth rag or very thin brush to apply stain to the edges. Be sure to drag in the direction of the wood grain. Allow stain to penetrate into the wood for 5-10 minutes. Then, with a clean dry cloth, remove any stain that has not absorbed. When wiping, be sure to go with the grain. You will want to blend light and dark areas to achieve a uniform color. If you want the stain darker, repeat the step until you achieve the color you want. Allow to dry.

Step 5

A person holding a paint brush against a wooden crate.

Apply Protective Top Coat

Use a nylon brush and apply a thin even coat of polyurethane. Be sure to maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks. Always move brush in the direction of the wood grain. Allow to dry overnight.

A before and after image. Before shows wooden crates stacked and unfinished. The second shows the wooden crates, stained and assembled in a column.

Assemble Crates and Decorate

You can stack them tall, place side by side forming a row, make a square…  any form you prefer. To secure crates, use wood glue and nails to keep from moving.

We stacked them tall, decorated with books, plants and knickknacks. For the final touch, we paired with the paint color Jojoba on the walls to give the room a complete updated feel.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind before starting your stain project:

  • If you can’t stain outside, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Stir product before and during. DO NOT SHAKE.
  • Apply product with the wood grain.
  • After applying product, wait 5-10 minutes, then go back and remove any excess product that has not penetrated into the wood.
  • Make sure to let your stain dry completely between steps.
  • Let everything dry overnight before assembling.

Behr® Interior Wood Stain Products are currently only available in select stores. Find out if it’s available in a Home Depot Store near you. Find a Store. Not available at your local store, order online at TheHomeDepot.com.

For more inspiration on Interior Stain Projects, visit Behr.com.

Colorfully Yours,

Larayne

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