You know what’s strange? I love fall but I never ever decorate for fall. I have several huge storage bins full of Christmas decorations but absolutely zero fall decorations. I just never took the time or energy to do it. So this year I decided to change that! I needed some decor to go with my salted caramel pumpkin candles from Bath and Body works. I can’t describe how amazing they smell. It’s like your house took a bath in a salted caramel pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. SO GOOD.
I wanted some old vintage-looking crates to use for decoration but everything I found at the antique store was either too expensive (for a wooden box) or it was rickety and falling apart. I went shopping at Home Depot one afternoon and passed by some wooden crates for only $10 each. I purchased several and then brought them home to stain. A few common household products can actually create the perfect “aged/antique-looking” stain.
Here’s what you need…
Apple Cider Vinegar
Steel Wool-I used #0000
Old/disposable paint brush
Pour 3 cups vinegar and 1 cup water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Pour into a container and add 5 black tea bags. Once it has had time to cool, place one pad of steel wool into the mixture. Place a lid on top and let it brew. The longer you leave it, the darker the stain will appear. I let mine brew for 48 hours before I used it.
I used the steel wool to wipe on the stain mixture all over the crate. For the areas that were a little more rough I used a cheap disposable paint brush. This can be super sloppy. You don’t need to apply this as if you were applying minwax stain on a table top. Remember this is supposed to look roughed up and aged so no need to use neat and even strokes. Just cover it! Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a color change right away. The color tone will deepen over a couple of hours.
This stuff STAINS. Big time. Wear gloves, clothes you don’t care about and do it outside! It also smells AWFUL. I clean with vinegar in my house so it doesn’t bother me but it’s definitely strong. I brought my crates into the house right away after they dried but you might want to let them air out for several days if you can’t handle the vinegar smell.
Here is what the crate looked like before.