I remember when I used to live in a dominantly Portuguese neighbourhood in Toronto, the smell of the fermenting grapes when it was wine making time. It wafted all the way down the street. Almost every house had empty reddish stained pine crates sitting out for the garbage truck. At the time, I didn't think anything about the empty crates or what I could make with them. However, now I would jump at the chance to get a few of those crates. So when I was last at my in-laws for lunch and I saw a bunch in the garage... I asked for them since they were headed to the garbage. Score!
They still had the stickers on them and were just plain pine crates made of scraps of wood. But the potential was there. I removed the stickers and cobwebs and started thinking of how I could 'age' them a bit.
Coffee. Left over coffee. I saved left over brewed coffee and grounds mixed together in one bowl, for a day or two in the fridge so it wouldn't go mouldy. Just until I had enough saved up. I also added a little extra boiled water to the mix to get a little extra out of the grounds. Once I was ready to go, I strained the mixture to remove the grounds (throw those in the garden and make your plants happy). Then took an old paintbrush and brushed it on outside in my backyard. Front, back, inside, outside. All six crates. Let them dry out really, really well in the sun, flipping them over after a while so all sides dry.
Again, let the boxes dry out really well in the sun, turning over to make sure all sides get exposure to the sun. I did this on a really hot, sunny day. It was perfect!
In the end, this is what I ended up with! Love them! I thought about stencilling some other graphics on them, but decided the existing graphics / logo's were just enough. I might use them for some open craft supply storage or turn them into shadow boxes.... I'm still deciding on that part!
There are many ways you can age wood at home. Coffee, vinegar with a steel wool pad and old tea bags (let them get rusty for a few days), brown shoe polish, beet juice if you want a colourful stain... you don't have to go spend a lot of money on products to get the job done!
*Please note, finish will vary depending on the wood used. Unfinished pine was used in this project.