How To Clean Old Wooden Crates 1

Do you enjoy that old country charm and nostalgia inherent in old rustic wooden crates?

Vintage wood crates have survived years of heavy use and have emerged as a form of modern decor for your home. They are useful too; you can keep them in the house as decoration and use them to store books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, and other small items.

Whether you got the crate from your parents or bought it from an antique shop, with a little scrubbing you can restore it to its original luster so that it complements your decorating style. In this article, we’ve assembled few tips on how to clean old wooden crates.

Materials For Cleaning

Firstly, decide whether you need a simple cleanup or a new coat of paint. Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Brush or rug
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Newspaper
  • Painter’s cape

It’s likely that your crate is covered with dust and cobwebs. Use a dry rag to remove the dust, and if the crate is made of rough wood (or if it has grooves), use a brush to scrub off the dirt.

If you have an air blower you can use it to displace excess dust particles.

Does your crate have a musty smell to it, or blemishes? Spray a small amount of vinegar and water directly to the wood and use a dry rag to wipe out any grime. Give it time to dry completely before using the primer and paint.

How To Apply Paint

Start by applying a primer before you apply any paint on the wood; this will make the paint appear sleeker and more consistent.

If you want to paint the crate a light shade, use a white primer. On the other hand, if you prefer a darker tone, use a gray primer. To get the most from the primer, apply several thin coats and give each coat about 1 hour before applying the next one.

Select a well-ventilated area to apply the paint and lay down some newspapers so the paint doesn’t spill on the floor. When scrubbing, try not to ruin the patina and the cool old labels. Start in the morning so the crate has plenty of time to dry out in the sun.


Remember that even the oldest, most beat up crate can be saved. Just think of the way you want the box to look in your house and get started on the cleaning process. Once refurbished, it can be used for a very long time.

And if you’d like to neaten the edge cuts of your crates or even build new ones with precision cuts, you might be interested in checking out the best CNC router¬†or looking into the benefits of a CNC router.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share or leave a comment below!

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