Skip to Content

How to Get a Stunning Finish on Wooden Crates With Stain

Sharing is caring!

Learn how to easily transform Michaels wooden crates into rustic farmhouse storage using barnwood stain and wax!

Refinishing Wooden Crates with Stain

The other day I was shopping at Michael’s (which happens to be my all time favorite store) and I spotted these crates. They were wood and only $10, and if you have a coupon you pay even less. 

Unifinished wooden create from Michaels.

This got me to thinking if I could use one, and if so, where.  I came up with the idea of placing it on top of the cubby unit I just made over, and I’d use it for newspaper storage. The only problem was the unfinished wood. Today I’m going to share how I transformed that crate and got a stunning finish with stain.

I walked around a little bit more and found this stain.  It’s from Michael’s private label Craftsmart.  I really liked that soft grey color.  And if you know anything about me at all, it’s that I’m all about soft and calm this past year. So I added that to my cart.​

Close up image of a bottle of Craft Smart Premium Barnwood Stain.

Materials Needed to Stain Wood Crates:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  If you purchase any of these products through the links, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. You can find our full disclosure here.

How To Stain Wooden Crates:

It was such an easy project. I started out by sanding the rough spots on the outside of the unfinished crate.  I didn’t bother with the inside because I had other ideas for it.

I brushed the barnwood stain (not affiliate link) on all sides and wiped back with a paper towel. Below you can see how it looked after one coat.

Michaels wooden crate after one coat of Barnwood Stain.

I used a sponge/foam brush to get into the tight spots.

Close up image of applying barnwood stain in between the slats of the wooden crate.

After the second coat it was done but I still needed to add a wax to seal in the stain.

There is actually a wax that goes with the stain, but I already had lots of wax.  So in the spirit of using up my supplies, I chose to go with the Daddy Van’s Decorative Wax in Farmhouse White.  I’m sure any wax will do just fine.

I went with the white to try and get a bit more interest in the wood color and also lighten it up a bit.

Just put it on and buff it off.

Because I didn’t sand the wood on the inside, it was not smooth and I ended up with this rustic goodness from the white wax which I’m really loving!

Now I’ve got the perfect container for my newspapers. 

I actually use them when I’m peeling potatoes or making a mess on the kitchen counter. I place them on the counter before I make my mess and then just throw them out when I’m done. A good way to use those newspapers and flyers and a great way to protect your counters.

The color is a soft grayish brown and not dark at all so it blends in nicely with the rest of the room. And it has that farmhouse look we all love so much!

I think it looks stunning, in a subtle kind of way!  In fact I love it so much, I may go back and get a few more. Have, I mentioned just how much I love shopping at Michael’s?

Barnwood Gray stain color on wood crate, #woodcrate #rusticcrate #farmhousecrafe #barnwoodstain #farmhousewhitewax #easyDIY #upcycled #paintedcrate How to get a stunning finish on a wood crate with stain

This was my tutorial on how to get a stunning finish on a wood crate with stain. It was such an easy project, in fact it only took me about an hour with the drying time.  Those crates never looked so good!

​Do you shop at Michael’s?

Learn how to easily transform Michaels wooden crates into rustic farmhouse storage using barnwood stain and wax! Photo tutorial included.

Additional Ideas using Wood Stain:

<img loading=
Make your own Stain!
Laminate table makeover with gel stain

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 12th of March 2021

I want to use this for a sign that I am going to put permanent vinyl on and use as a door decoration. Do I need to finish it with anything since it will be outdoors?

Curbside Mirror Makeover the Lazy Way - The Boondocks Blog

Monday 18th of May 2020

[…] multi surface color that I had gotten at Michael’s Craft Store – did I mention it is my favorite store?  The color is so rich, it honestly looks like brass to […]


Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

Interesting Piece of work. Thanks!

How to Repaint Cubby Storage Units the Easy Way - The Boondocks Blog

Monday 30th of December 2019

[…] more DIY project ideas involving storage, check out my painted Ikea wood crate storage unit and wallpapered […]


Wednesday 6th of February 2019

I love Michael's too. I get so inspired just by walking around. The crate looks superb. You took a lowly crate and made it blend with the rest of the room.


Wednesday 6th of February 2019

It was so drab and plain and now it has zing and personality!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.