Saturday, June 14, 2014

Don't Remove This Stain

I mentioned our New Glarus Brewing Co. crate in this post, as a plan to add to the bottom of our new entryway table. Photos like this were the inspiration to add some storage and pizzazz to the floor underneath the table.
photo source
However, the unfinished wood left something to be desired, and was super bright against our green hallway wall. I had thought about staining it when first bought, but was unsure how the color would affect the label on the side of the crate. If I wanted a blank one, I could stop at any Michael's and pick up a crate for 10 bucks, but I needed to make sure the stain wouldn't be so dark as to make the "New Glarus" text unreadable.
We perused Home Depot last weekend and compared the colors on the Miniwax wall. I really liked Cherry and Gunstock, but not for this project as they ran a little too red for our tastes. We picked up a small half pint of Special Walnut, thinking it wasn't so dark that it would overtake the wording on the crate, but still heavy enough to feel like vintage wood.
I set up shop outside our garage spot, threw a dust mask on my face to be on the safe side, and put down our painting dropcloth. 
Having never stained anything before, I made sure to read the directions a few times before beginning. The stain was opened, stirred and I did a quick color test on a random piece of wood in our garage. Right away I could tell we were on the right track.
Because of the unfinished wood, this piece barely needed sanding at all, but it is a good step to remember for future projects.

I used a clean white rag to apply the stain as opposed to a brush. I went with the grain and worked through the crate to get every nook and cranny. The first side seemed a little dark, so luckily the New Glarus wording shows up on both sides, so I had a second chance!
On the side that would be displayed, I went a tad lighter in application to make sure "New Glarus" was still easily visible, but other than that bit of carefulness, the process was quite easy. I wiped down the crate to get rid of extra stain that hadn't sunken in and then left it propped up in the garage for a day to un-fume itself and dry out.
I brought it in the next day and quickly got to work figuring out what it should hold.
Right now, I've got an extra blanket tucked into the crate, but I can see this being the home for scarves and hats in the wintertime. I love how it turned out, and think I just got on the staining bandwagon - what else can I tackle?
All that's left for this space is a TBD statue or decor piece for the other side of the crate to add some height. 

PS. We picked up the crate during Bob's 30th Birthday surprise trip to New Glarus - read about it here!

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