Stain Wood Crates

How to Stain Wood Crates – Step-by-Step Guide


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Wood is one of the easiest materials to work with. When it comes to looking at a good way to decorate your house, DIY home wood projects are the best to use.

So, if you’re in a mood to improve your home or workspace, a wood project will make a good “addition.”

But when it comes to adding the right addition, there are so many things to keep in mind.

While creating something from the ground up would be perfect, there’s so much to think about and do. If you’re on a time-sensitive project, you should consider cutting corners. So, what you can do is stain wood crates to make good additions to your space.

Staining wood crates is a relatively easy process. If you’re looking for an easy answer to how to stain wood crates, then this is the place for you.

Steps to how to stain wood crates

When you think about staining crates, you should have some materials. Here is what you will need before we get into how to stain wood crates:

  • Wood crates.
  • Clean rags.
  • A wood stain of your choice.
  • Gloves.
  • Protective glasses.
  • Staining pads.
  • A block of wood, for testing the stain.
  • Brushes.
  • Sponge.
  • Staining pad (optional).
  • Icecream stick.

Step 1: Prepare the surface

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The first step to any type of staining process is to ensure that the surface is clean. In most cases, the crates that you have will not come with a finish. In other words, the crate’s surface will be untreated. That said, all you need to do is clean the surface.

Before you wipe the surface with a clean rag, make sure that you spread out some sheets of old newspaper. Any type of sheet of paper will help you. This is done so that you do not drop the stain on the surface.

So, start by spreading out some sheets of paper. Then ensure that all the tools you need are close to you. After that, clean the surface of the wood crate with a clean rag. Take away dirt, dust, and sawdust, if there’s any.

Before moving on to the next step of the how to stain wood crates wear protective glasses and gloves. This will help you protect yourself from any irritation later.

Step 2: Using the wood stain on the crate

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When your crate surface is clean and dry, you can start by using a stain of your choice. Gently pry the can open, make sure that it does not spill out.

Make use of the paint brush to draw some of it out. Use it on the piece of wood you had kept aside. This will help you to understand how deep or dark the stain is. If you’re not satisfied with the color, you can dilute it.

Read the instructions on the label to see how to dilute it. Once you dilute the wood stain, try to use it on the piece of the wood block once more. If it is bugging you even now, simply dilute it again.

When you’re happy with the color, you can use it on the crate. You can make use of an ice cream stick to stain the wood crate. Or better yet, you can make use of a sponge. These options work better than a paintbrush. The strokes and wood stain with a paintbrush sometimes come out uneven.

A sponge works the best. You can dip the sponge in the wood stain and paint the wooden surface over in circular motions.

Stain the slates of the crate first. This will give you a base to work with. Move to the sides once you finish the side you work on.

Leave it for a while to dry before you move on to the next step of how to stain wood crates guide.

Step 3: Check the wood crate

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This step is major to check if the wood stain has penetrated the wood or not. All you have to do is check for defects and how the stain was absorbed.

Always remember, wood stain absorption is different for different kinds of wood. Also, the stain becomes darker once it starts drying.

Step 4: Repeat the staining process

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If you’re not happy with the color, you can easily repeat the second step from our how to stain wood crates guide. It will help you find a better shade.

Making use of a staining pad could prove to be helpful if you have it. Simply put, staining pads cover a larger surface area and make the process easier.

Step 5: Wiping the crate

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When your wood stain has dried, which usually takes ten to fifteen minutes, wipe it once. Wiping takes away the excess wood stain. If you wipe the surface within 5 minutes, it gives a light color to the surface. And if you want a darker color, you can wipe it about 15 minutes later.

You can even repeat this step between applications of different coats. Always wipe the surface with a clean rag.

And that’s it! That covers all the steps of our how to stain wood crates guide.

Points to remember

  • If you can, get a staining pad. This will make your work easier and faster.
  • Adding a clear coat of sealant on top of the wooden crate is easy. But you have to wait for about eight hours after you apply the wood stain on the surface.
  • Make sure that the surface is dry before you add the clear coat.
  • Different wood stains have varied time limits for drying. Keep that in mind when you apply a coat.


When you’re staining your wood crates, make sure that you keep the aforementioned points in mind. Always remember to cover the surface.

If you want a fancy-looking wood crate, all the steps will be the same. But before you start staining the wood, you can add a stencil to it. This will give you a pretty design.

If you want a rustic-looking wooden crate, simply create dents with woodworking tools to get the look.