Wood Crates- to stain or not to stain?

So I’ve been having this mental debate with myself for months… should I stain them? Will it really look different? is it worth the extra time and smell? Does anyone else even notice these kinds of things? Or is this just a wood-nerd thing? 🙂 

I decided that it was best just to try it out and see. I have three of our “early” crates that we built last summer, and they are definitely not the prettiest ones we’ve made. On the other hand, they have screw heads exposed and the ends are solid, so they have a very tough, rustic appeal. The problem was that they had stamps on the ends (from the lumber yard, only the slats were reclaimed wood), and some neon orange markings of some kind. Yuck! 

You’ll have to forgive me… my computer is in the shop so I don’t have a “real” before picture, but this is basically what plain, standard pine looks like in it’s natural state:

 

I took the plunge. I love the result!! 

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The ends got sanded with the palm sander until the markings were (mostly) gone. Then I applied a really heavy coat of Minwax Stain (Early American is the color, if you’re wondering). I let the stain sit on the wood while I worked over the rest of the crate – so that when I went back to wipe off the excess, there was hardly anything left to remove. What a difference it makes! 

You don’t have to seal over the stain – it’s a moisture barrier on it’s own. Just be sure to let it dry overnight (or at least 8 hours) before handling and storing things inside. 

I like them so much now they are in the living room, full of books. 🙂 

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What do you think? To stain or not to stain? 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

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