How to Refurbish a Wooden Crate

Want something new in your home? Want to try refurbishing a wooden crate? There’s nothing better than using your decorative skills to transform an old wooden crate into a new furniture piece. Wooden crates have been used for a variety of different applications in industries. These days, many people use wooden crates to store everyday household items, from magazines, CDs, and DVDs, to the TV remote. Creating a new storage solution out of an old wooden crate isn’t as hard as you think it might be. The following are some tips on how you can refurbish a wooden crate to suit your home décor.
Checking the Crate before Refurbishing
Before you refurbish any old crate, it’s important to check it thoroughly for damage or chemical residue.
Many wooden crates have been used for a variety of chemical storage solutions. This means they may have been exposed to chemical liquid spills from time to time. One way to find out whether it may have been exposed to chemicals is if it has a slight smell to it or if it features any dark discolorations from unknown liquids seeping into the wood. Although some people may refurbish old chemical storage crates, it’s advised against, as you can still be exposed to the chemicals when in close proximity to the crates.
Other Damages
From time to time you may find a crate which features some form of damage, such as cracks or boards coming off. This isn’t a big issue if you aren’t going to place anything too heavy in it. Cracks can add a more aesthetically appealing appearance, while boards coming off can easily be nailed back on. If you find the crate to be rough to the touch, a simple sanding with a wood sander can help to improve the look, feel, and texture of the crate.
What You Will Need

  • A wooden crate
  • Brush and/or rag
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Newspaper

Step #1: Cleaning the Crate
Depending on where you have purchased your crate and what it may have been used for previously, you will need to clean it. You can use the rag or brush to remove any dust particles or spider webs which may be on the crate. If the crate features plenty of grooves, it is best to scrub it using a brush. Although this may take a bit of effort, it can help to protect you at a later date from harmful particles that may be situated in the dust. Be sure to wear a dust mask and gloves.
If you notice some mildew, a smell, or any other blemishes, it is best to wash the crate using water and a vinegar solution. Wipe it down and let it dry before painting it.
Step #2: Priming and Painting
To make your crate come alive, simply apply a primer and the paint to your wooden crate. This will give it a new style and look which will decorate your home.  For those who are unsure what the purpose of a primer is, it helps the paint to stick better to the surface of the wood, keeping it from peeling off in the future.
Some things to remember include:

  • Use a white primer if you’re planning to finish coat using a bright or light color.
  • Select a gray primer if you plan to paint your crate a much darker color.

Spray paint or brush-on paints are both great options to use. When selecting the color, it all comes down to personal preference and what will match your surrounding area where you’ll be placing the crate.
When painting, simply:

  • Prep the area well to ensure proper ventilation. Lay down newspaper and have drop cloths ready for any spillages or drips.
  • If there are any decorative stickers already on the crate, make sure you place newspaper or painter’s tape over the top of them before painting. Make sure the painter’s tape isn’t applied directly to the sticker, as it may be damaged upon removal.
  • Apply your primer using a thin coat. Let it dry and reapply another two to three coats.
  • Apply your paint once the primer is dry. Let the paint dry before applying two to three extra coats.
  • Allow your crate to dry overnight before using.

Wooden crates come in a number of different sizes and styles to choose from. Refurbishing a crate doesn’t have to be hard; by simply following the tips above, you can easily create a new and fashionable item for your home and your storage needs. So, what color did you paint your wooden crate, and why?