Repurposing a Vintage Crate

By Bruce Johnson

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Wood Cabinet Cleaner
  • Minwax Water Based Polycrylic
  • 4 casters
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Dust cloth

Old vintage crate ready to use in refurb project

I’ve had this old wooden beer crate so long I couldn’t recall where I got it. But when my son Eric, who enjoys a good craft beer, asked me to keep an eye out for a vintage beer crate, I was still able to recall where I had stuck this one.

1. Clean the wood with a wood-cleaning spray

Using Minwax wood cabinet cleaner spray to clean old vintage crateNeedless to say, it had accumulated some barn dirt, so the first thing to do was to clean off the dust and grime with Minwax Wood Cabinet Cleaner and a soft cloth.

2. Apply a protective polycrylic finish
Minwax polycrylic spray

As soon as it dried, I applied two coats of Minwax Water Based Polycrylic, knowing the clear finish would protect the original stenciled letters without affecting the color. The aerosol can made getting the polycrylic inside the crate even easier than using a brush.

3. Attach casters to the bottom of the crate

Attaching casters to old vintage crate makes it mobile

Then to make it easy for Eric to move it around in his apartment, I added four low casters to the underside of the crate.

Finished vintage crate project with casters

And with his birthday coming up, Eric will soon have a unique, vintage beer crate in his apartment for magazines, books — or whatever he chooses to store in it.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.