Monday, January 6, 2014

Do-It-Yourself Furniture Stain for Crates

Good morning! I hope you are all staying warm and toasty on this FREEZING Monday. I plan on staying in my house the rest of the day with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a good book, only to brave the cold when Keeda decides that she needs to go out. The -23 degree weather is not something I wish to be a part of today (thank you again, Minnesota). 

A couple of months ago, I decided to try something completely new and make some of my own living room furniture. If this sounds crazy to you, don't worry because I had similar thoughts when getting into this. I had been seeing a lot of things on Pinterest about making furniture out of crates. I was instantly drawn to the rustic, natural look of the things that I saw and thought it would match my living room perfectly.

My first step was to get some crates. I found these at Jo-Ann Fabrics and ended up saving quite a bit of money on them (Jo-Ann almost ALWAYS has a 40% off coupon online). Each crate was originally $11.99 and I ended up paying $7.99 for each of them. 

I wasn't a fan of the light color of the crates. They looked unfinished and incomplete. My next step was to figure out a way to stain them. I wanted these crates to look like they've been sitting in a barn for the last 10 years. My decor in the living room is more "rustic" and I didn't think that something traditionally sanded and stained would so the trick.

I ended up finding something that worked out really well and it was cheap and easy to do.

You will need:
-1/2 cup coffee grounds
-steel wool (don't get the stainless steel wool like I did at first... it doesn't work!) 
-white vinegar (about 6 cups)
-a container than can be sealed

Combine the ingredients and cover the container. Let it sit for 24 hours (this is where being patient comes in handy...a quality I wish I had). 

Put a pair of rubber gloves on and get the steel wool out of the container. Rub the wool on the crate, covering the surface and dipping the wool in the stain as needed. Note: you won't see immediate coloring on the crates but they will change as they dry. I did a second coat on all of the crates after waiting about an hour for the first coat to dry.

There will be coffee grounds remaining on the crates once they dry but it's easy to brush off and sweep or vacuum up! 

Here are my finished products:

I'd say my first "adventure" with DIY stain was a success! 

Until Next Time,


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Kate! I remember seeing these at your house. I was in awe, that you made them. Because I loved them so much. Welcome to the world of blogging. It's VERY addictive.

  3. How sturdy were those to hold up that TV? Was it pretty strong to withstand the weight?

    1. Yes, there were no issues holding the TV! It's a flat screen so it's not very heavy, either.

  4. Love this♡♡♡ How did you attach the crates together to make the one tv stand? Is it pretty sturdy? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it's sturdy. I didn't attach them to anything, but simply stacked them and set the TV on them :)

  5. I have old crates as shelves on the wall and thought it would be a great idea to put this on the other side of the room. Can you please share with us if the crates held up to the weight of the TV ? I don't want to invest in the time and energy trying to put it together if it will not stand the test of time. And what size was your TV? Thanks so much.. hope to hear soon...right in the middle of a remodel in our great room

    1. My TV is 46" and they held up just fine :)

  6. Very creative! I would've never thought that coffee grounds and white vinegar would create such a nice look. Did you prep the crates for finish first by sanding them, or apply the stain with the natural look?