Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Create a Weathered Wood Look

I'm a huge fan of salvaged barn wood or any wood that has been significantly exposed to the elements of Mother Nature. Old pallets even. The ashy gray is probably, in part, why I love it so much. I knew I wanted to achieve this effect for my unfinished craft crates. But how? 

I'm sure there are many ways to accomplish this task, but this is the approach I took entirely on my own. No research, I was simply winging it! And it worked!

Here is what I did:

1. I mixed light gray latex paint with a good amount of water. Using a standard paint brush, I painted the entire crates with this mixture. Think "white washing" a picket fence. 

2. Let it dry. I waited weeks, but that's obviously not necessary. Kids and life just happened in the middle of my DIYing. 

3. Lightly ding up the crates using a variety of materials and equipment such as a hammer, screws, etc. I focused mostly on the sides of the crates (near the handles). 

4. Choose a warm stain (I used Minwax Dark Walnut) and beginning staining one section at a time. 

5. Once the section is completely stained, use a rag to wipe off the excess. I did not let the stain sit long, and since there was already the paint wash mixture that had been applied, only a small amount of stain soaks through. 

6. Once finish, let the wood dry in a well ventilated area for a few days. 

7. You should now have a weathered - grayish wood toned look! 

If you applied this method to craft crates like I did, then there are several ways in which you can use them. I used mine underneath our wall mounted television in our basement family room. 

Originally, I wanted to find a small old dresser to use under the tv as a media cabinet. Then, after testing out various pieces of furniture (that we already had) I realized I needed something narrow. I didn't want to block the walking space, or the view of the fireplace.

Because the tv is mounted fairly high up, I knew I wanted to mount my shelves high enough so that I could place items underneath them in the future. 

You know me and my no-husband-needed hanging method. I hung these up myself (although I will say that an extra hand or two could be helpful). 

A hand drill, stud finder, level, tape, and four screws were all necessary to accomplish the task. 

I marked the studs with a small piece of tape because, unlike the smaller crates that I hung in the nursery,  I screwed these crates directly into the studs. This was a better solution for this project because we don't plan on moving these crates any time soon and needed the extra enforcement to ensure that they stayed put.

Just make sure to drill slowly so that the crate wood doesn't split. We had no problem with this (luckily), but I was a little worried. Schwoo!

 Monkey see, monkey do. #mommysbuddy

I grabbed a bunch of random decor pieces that we already had in the basement and began styling. 

Books, boxes, picture frames. 

Not saying all of these things will stay here, but you get the idea. I'm so stoked that we finally have shelves in the basement. For at least 3 years now I've only been able to display things on our mantel. Not anymore! :)

My very wise husband had a stern talk with our boys about how we are not to touch, climb on, mess with, or do anything to our new shelves. We may have threatened to give away a favorite toy if damage happened... That usually enforces our seriousness around here. ;) 

Loving the view from the couch. Well, the view around my bump that is. 

Feeling pretty cozy...


Considering these crates are only around $14 a piece or $14 total if you use two 50% off coupons at Michaels, I'd say it's quite a steal! 

Are you tired of seeing crates yet!? No worries, there aren't any crate projects in my near future. However, there are bathroom projects & nursery projects!!! Hope you are looking forward to those as much as I am. Happy Wednesday! 


  1. They came out gorgeous!! I too love weathered's the best! I just made a rustic sign for our kitchen using scrap wood that we had outdoors for years and I just love that I didn't have to do anything to them except paint on my letters. But it's not everyday that you get the perfect "naturally weathered wood" so your technique is perfect!!

    1. Thanks so much! I suppose I could have left them out on the deck for a few months to try for that natural look! lol Just kidding! I'm too impetuous for that. ;)

  2. I think they turned out great! I'm working on a distressed wood wall now and I may have to try this technique! ;)

  3. Oooo, sounds lovely! I'm sure it will be amazing! Thanks for commenting! :) xo