Category Archives: Wood Finishing Cloths

Create a DIY Mid-Century Planter on a Budget

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! Download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form and you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

Guest Blogger Jen of City Farmhouse is back to show you how you can have high-end home decor without the high costs that come along with it. Follow along with her tutorial to learn how you can create your own chic, mid-century planter for a fraction of the price.


Hi there friends! If you are one to spot trends then you have probably noticed the wood leg planter around town. I found them for the first time last year at Target and fell in love. I waited for them to go on clearance, then snatched them up. They have a clean, mid-century modern look that is super stylish & chic but can be a bit pricey. I found the ones I used for this project a few weeks ago at West Elm and knew right away that they were a great look. The mix of wood and cement were a perfect pairing of textures. Once I saw the price I knew a DIY was in order.

Growing up my dad would always joke with me that I had caviar taste on a McDonald’s budget and I am not going to lie, I did. But the most wonderful thing was that I had a mom who encouraged me to be resourceful.Anytime I wanted something expensive, which god knows we couldn’t afford it, she would help me get the look for less. So often it was easier than I thought and this project is no exception.



I am thrilled to be partnering on Minwax on this project as a part of their Blogger Brigade in 2017. The retail on this Wood Leg Cement Planter is $149 and I was able to make it for just over $20. This project is so simple, anyone, at any DIY level can do this.

Here is what you will need to tackle your own West Elm knock off planter….

cement planter

2-36″ lengths of square 3/4″ poplar or pine

Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths in Natural Oak & Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Puritan Pine. 

  • Wood Glue
  • 1.5″ finishing nails
  • 4 clamps
  • drill with small bit
  • sander or sandpaper
  • cotton cloth
  • latex gloves


Now you are ready to the make your “x” base after the stain is dry. You are going to attach your pre-stained pieces with wood glue and a clamp. Once the glue has dried you can flip it over and attach the fastener with screws and wood glue. See below images to get a visual.





Once your “x” brackets are fully dried you can attach the legs using glue and clamps. Once they are fully dry you can nail in a finishing nail, be sure to pre-drill first.



You can sand away any residual glue with sandpaper or a hand sander.




Thank you for stopping by! Have a happy day!

Jen shares DIY projects and thrifty decorating solutions. Her design philosophy is that bringing style to your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn more about Jen and visit City Farmhouse. You Can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

A Handy Recipe or Postcard Box

The other day I remarked to Leigh Ann that I needed to make a couple of small oak boxes to display postcards for an upcoming antiques show I direct. She then reminded me that I had also promised to organize our jumble of 5”x7” notecards with recipes taped to them. Suddenly, I had two reasons to start a new project.

I picked up some inexpensive oak strips from my local home improvement store, along with a package of eight Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths in “Natural Oak.” Each pre-moistened cloth contains both a water-based stain and finish, which makes them perfect for small projects like this one.

And since the Wood Finishing Cloths are water based, that means they dry quickly – and without any odor.

And in no time at all, my first notecard box was dry and ready to go. Now I just have to go back and make the one I promised Leigh Ann for our recipe cards…

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by.


Reduce Clutter with an Old Drawer and Mason Jars


I have to admit, even I was stumped over what I could possibly do with this old, small oak drawer that had long since been separated from its dresser, and was now taking up valuable space under Leigh Ann’s workbench.

But then I spotted a box of vintage Mason jars at a thrift shop for 50¢ each, and had an idea. I pulled the drawer out from beneath the workbench, cleaned it up and discovered the sides had never been stained or finished. Since I wanted both sides to look as nice as the front of the drawer, I slipped one of the eight pre-moistened stain-and-finish cloths out of a “Maple” package of Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths. In just a few minutes, and with just one cloth, I had stained and finished both the sides and back.

While the water based stain and finish dried, I started pulling Mason jars and their lids out of the box and getting them ready. I discovered I could fit five into my lone drawer, which was perfect for what I had in mind.

The old drawer then fit perfectly atop our kitchen counter, near the stove, where I now use it to hold wooden utensils, plus a few flowers to brighten up our work area.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Great Time at the Renegade Craft Fair

Renegade Craft Fair Entrance

I undertook my first wood staining and finishing project back in high school, long before craft projects and water-based products had captured everyone’s attention. Events like the popular two-day Renegade Craft Fair held in Seattle simply did not exist, so it was exciting for me to come out and take part in such a lively event last month.

Bruce Johnson with a Minwax fan and a dog

Bruce Johnson with fans and a dog

Seattle and the Renegade Craft Fair are definitely dog-friendly places, and as someone who lives with two rescue dogs (Daisy and Jasper think they rescued me!), it was fun to observe the assortment of dogs and dog owners filing by our booth.

Minwax Booth at the Renegade Craft Fair

The Minwax® team came out to the Renegade Craft Fair to demonstrate how far our line of products had come in providing DIYers and crafters with stains that go far beyond traditional wood tone colors and finishes that dry in minutes, not hours.

Minwax Finishing Cloths

By far the most exciting product that everyone loved was Wood Finishing Cloths. Eight pre-moistened cloths containing both a water based stain and finish now come in a re-sealable plastic package rather than a traditional metal can.

Bruce Johnson using Minwax finishing cloths at the Renegade Craft Fair

Give me a piece of wood and an opportunity to share everything I know about staining and finishing, and I really get excited. We had questions ranging from how to restore a vintage wooden shaft golf club to how to clean and refresh dirty kitchen cabinets – without refinishing!

Bruce Johnson chatting with Fair goersSunday night came faster than we expected, as we were still fielding questions right up to when the crew arrived to start dismantling the Minwax® booth. And while I still had lots of questions about the traditional oil-based stains and finishes I had learned to use in high school, it was quite clear that the people at the Renegade Craft Fair were excited to try our new line of fast-drying water-based stains and finishes.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by