How to Paint a Weathered Crate with Image Transfer


Wood crates are awesome because they’re storage pieces and there are so many ways to give them a creative makeover.  One of my favorites is absolutely to decoupage them with napkins, but this time I upcycled one into a painted weathered crate with image transfer.  I have a few more crate makeover ideas but I’ll save them for another time…

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

**Woot!  Today is Trash to Treasure Tuesday with some of my talented blogging friends! Stay till the end of this post to see their makeovers too.  Also, this post contains some affiliate links so that you can easily the products I use and recommend.

First things first – if your crate is rough and splintery, give it a good sanding.  This one was pretty bad so I started with 150 grit and ended at 220 grit.

Next comes the first layer of paint – I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco.  It doesn’t need to cover everything perfectly, just get most of it.

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

The next layer was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  I let a lot of the Coco show through on purpose – this is all part of the distressed/weathered technique.

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Next it’s time to get messy again.  Get the 220 sandpaper again and sand all the sides until your heart’s content!

This makes the surface really smooth, softens the colors, and lets you see some of the natural woodgrain again through the paint again.  (The photo below is after sanding.)

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Finally it was time for the image transfer.  There are many different types of image transfers that I’ve done, but this time I used a method that I use sometimes for painting words on signs.

You need a pencil, Graphite Paper (also called transfer paper or carbon paper), and a thin-tip paint marker.

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Print off a graphic that the letters are small enough to fit on the wood slats.  The graphic below is from The Graphics Fairy – and the word “Madeleine” (see it a few photos down) is from the image Here.

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Center your paper over the crate with the graphite paper underneath, then trace the letters with your pencil.  Press hard on a textured surface like this crate.  The image will lightly transfer like below.

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Then go over the lines with your thin-tip paint marker.  I was a little too impatient and ended up with a couple smudges – but no worries!

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Once the ink is dry, use the sandpaper again all over the words – especially on any mistakes.  Ha

And that is how to paint a weathered crate makeover with French image transfer:

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

I only painted one side because this will be heading to my booth for sale, and its future owner can decide to display it with or without the words.

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Smudges – what smudges?  Those heavily distressed parts add character!

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

Here’s the before and after again:

How to Paint a DIY Weathered Crate with French Image Transfer - Girl in the Garage

I’d love to know if you’ve made over crates before – if so, share your ideas in a comment below.  I love when we can all learn from each other!

Now it’s time to see what my friends are up to for this month’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday.

Trash to Treasure Tuesday

Below are the Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the After and learn how they did it.

Trash to Treasure Tuesday - January 20181. Bless’er House
2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
3. Artsy Chicks Rule
4. Prodigal Pieces

Talk soon, my friends!  Jen

Don’t forget… The full list of all my favorite DIY products is now available – Click below…

Favorite DIY Products - Girl in the Garage

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10 Comments on How to Paint a Weathered Crate with Image Transfer

  1. Marcie Lovett
    January 9, 2018 at 9:08 am (5 months ago)

    Great technique, Jen. Looks authentically aged now.

    Reply
  2. Allison
    January 9, 2018 at 1:55 pm (5 months ago)

    I am going to try that graphite paper next time I do a graphic – lot easier than my usual projector method. I have done lots of crates (and really like making them) but for some reason, they don’t sell well here in my booth. They just sit and sit. Maybe I price them too high but a lot of time goes into making them. 🙁

    Reply
    • Jen
      January 13, 2018 at 7:23 pm (4 months ago)

      Allison, that’s interesting you said that – the decoupage crates do usually sell better at markets than in my booth. It must just be a different type of customer. And yes, graphite paper is definitely easier than a projector (I have one also) unless you’re doing a larger project. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Dyan
    January 9, 2018 at 2:04 pm (5 months ago)

    A friend wanted a box to hold wedding cards and with 200 guests, we needed something substantial. I bought a crate, stained it walnut, and made a top with plywood that I attached with hinges. I lined the crate with burlap so the cards wouldn’t fall through. The bride chose walnut, but frankly, I would rather have done something like your gorgeous finish! Thanks for detailing the process.

    Reply
    • Jen
      January 13, 2018 at 7:17 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you, Dyan! That sounds like a wonderful idea for a card holder!

      Reply
  4. Jane Doe
    January 11, 2018 at 6:18 am (5 months ago)

    You’ve done it again and I love it! Adding the stencil is just the perfect little twist and gives it a sweet finish. My favorite this week!

    Reply
    • Jen
      January 13, 2018 at 7:16 pm (4 months ago)

      Aww thank you so much!!

      Reply

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