Chris and I were pondering what we were going to do about the coffee table/ottoman situation in his office. The space is small so a normal table would be far too big, but not having anything would leave the space looking bare. After hunting on Pinterest I found a few tutorials on making a table out of crates. I loved the idea of having a reclaimed wood looking table to go with the manliness of the space so I went on a search for some crates. A lot of the tutorials I saw called for four crates, which would have been too large for the space so I opted for two placed back to back. I found the crates at Michaels for $22.99 each, not including the 40% off coupon! These crates were the perfect size and shape however looked way too new. Combining various techniques I found online, I gave the wood a worn, reclaimed look. This was super easy to do with most of the supplies found in our home already.
Here’s how I did it:
First I set the crates up on a “table” and gave them a quick scuff with some 80 grit sand paper to rough them up.
Next, I used Minwax stain in Driftwood and stained both crates all over using a brush.
Once the stain was dry I concocted a white wash from a small amount of white paint diluted with water. I used a cloth soaked in the white wash and rubbed it over the surfaces I wanted to look faded/worn out. While it was wet, I blended it in with a steel wool pad so there were no blotches from the cloth. You can really do this any way you want – you can not screw this up! I just played with a bunch of techniques until I started to get the look I wanted. It’s best to find a photo of the way you want the wood to look and try to match it the best you can. Check our inspiration for the finish here.
When the white wash was dry, I gathered up an arsenal of weapons (pic below) and beat the shit out of the boxes. Originally the box’s edges were very straight and perfect. I made sure to knock down the sharpness of the edges with a hammer. I also used my hand sander and sanded the corners back to the raw wood so the next coat of stain would soak in more.
Before laying the smack down, the edges were too perfect for something that should look old.
After, you can see the edges are more round and there are a few dents and scratches.
After I wiped the crates down with a tack cloth to remove the dust, I took another Minwax stain, this time in Special Walnut (which we already had around as a test stain for the slat wall), and applied it around the edges of each side with a brush. I let the stain soak in for a few minutes before wiping it with a cloth and buffing/blending the edges of the stain into the white washed areas. I wanted the crates to look worn in the middle but still maintain the colour around the sides. Again, I played with a few random techniques until I got the look I wanted using my inspiration pics as reference.
I left the crates to dry for 24 hours. I then clamped them together and took a drill bit big enough to fit my screw and pre drilled the holes through both crates. The crates were then bolted together with a screw in each corner.
Next, I flipped the boxes over to reveal what would be the bottom of the table and attached the castors to the wood. For a bit of reinforcement I hammered a nail in to each wood strip the wheels would be attached to since the slats were only affixed by small staples. I made sure the screws I was using to attach the castors to the crates were short enough so they weren’t poking through the other side as that would be the inside shelving area used for storage.
Once it was done we put it in the office and filled it with the magazines. The table is great for Chris to throw his books and hot bev on while studying. The height is perfect for putting your feet up and because it’s on wheels, it can roll to the side of the couch and act as an end table if more floor space is required.
Here’s how it looks!
We are pretty happy with the result! Now we just have to finish the rest of the room so we can do the big reveal.