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An old fruit crate rehab (and a color test)

When my sister-in-law and I were cleaning out the abandoned house, I found an old fruit crate that was full of books.

old fruit crate.

Until I took the books out, I didn’t even realize that the bottom was barely holding together!

crate with broken bottom.

I never did get around to rehabbing this one during last summer’s painting spree, but since I have some time this semester, I decided to clean it up.

I brought it over to my dad’s garage at the same time as I brought my scuffed table, and I asked if he might have some scrap wood available to make a new bottom for the crate.

broken crate

And of course, he did! My dad has a lot of scrap wood in his garage attic, and he is quite prone to saving wood for reuse purposes.

crate with new bottom.

That’s way sturdier!

So, once I got it back from him, I sanded it all down.

sanded crate.

Then I primed it, using my Zinnser 1-2-3 primer (which I always use on my painting projects!).

primed crate.

primed crate.

Part of the reason I wanted to paint this crate was so that I could test a paint color on it before tackling my scuffed side table.

So, I got a quart of Mythic from Benjamin Moore. The employee told me it was a little iffy to try to make this color in the Advance paint I love, but that he could get very close.

And I said, “Oh, ok, close is fine.”

But oh my word, the color didn’t turn out at ALL like I was hoping.

light purple paint.

It was a very light lavender, which is not a horrible color, but man, it is not what I wanted. I was going for a super moody purple, thank you very much.

mythic paint fail.

please enjoy my socks/flip-flops combo

I went back to the paint store and the girl behind the counter tried so hard to darken this paint but it would not darken, no matter how much black she added.

paint stick.

At a certain point, you can’t keep adding colorant because then the paint won’t dry at all. So we eventually gave up and I just picked a new color (Benjamin Moore Almost Black).

crate with pillows in it.

Interestingly, this color is definitely giving the Very Dark Purple energy that I was going for with the Mythic color in the first place.

crate holding a blanket.

Butttt now I’m questioning myself. Do I like this color enough to use it on the scuffed table? I mean, it’s fine for the crate; I’ll just leave it with this shade.

crate next to brown sofa.

This color is sort of hard to photograph; it’s slightly darker than it’s appearing in most of these photos.

crate bottom.

I’m kind of invested in making this $5 scuffed table look really good, though, so maybe I’m overthinking it!

table with new top.

current scuffed table situation, to refresh your memory

I was thinking about maybe staining the top and painting everything below, but I am trying to figure out if I think this color is dark enough/neutral enough.

So, give me your opinions!

Also: I haven’t decided for sure what I want to use the crate for, but I think I might use it as a handy place to toss winter gear.

crate holding winter gear.

P.S. EVERY TIME I try to branch out from my usual black/white furniture, I start to regret it. Color is way harder than neutrals!

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Jen from Ottawa

Friday 7th of April 2023

I don’t think this color is right for the table, but it is a cute accent color for the crate. Are there felt or rubber feet under the crate to protect your wood floors? I like the idea of staining the top of the table a rich stain if you paint the base of it black or something… maybe a dark gray, or off white or taupe but if you stain the top and paint the bottom some color-color, it will be too busy. It’s expensive, but Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is perfect for this application; the Old White color for the base would make it look very antique, then you varnish it (or wax it), and you could stain the top as you said.


Thursday 6th of April 2023

I like the moody purple box. And I see it with casters on it! I think they would make it even better and more useful.

The purple would be nice for the table, or maybe the same blue as your dining table. I like what someone said about matching it with a couple of other items to make it look intentional.


Thursday 6th of April 2023

Yes, reluctance to choose colors is one of the reasons I’ve put off a large painting project. Notice I said ONE OF.


Thursday 6th of April 2023

Love that you salvaged the old crate! I'm in a blue phase and was thinking that crate would look amazing in a navy blue - add brushed gold drawer pulls on the sides to give it a bit of bling and provide handles for easy lifting/carrying. But that's my taste. You go with whatever color feels like home to you. I would definitely add handles to the crate, and paint the table to match with matching hardware. Can't wait to see the final results!


Thursday 6th of April 2023

I like the shade. Maybe try a little after you get the table top stained. I think a little more purple would givetge table a fun look. I love indigo blue just by the way!♥️

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