If You Like It, Then You Should Put Some Stain On It!

Isn't frustrating when you are on the search for something in a specific size and color, and you look and look and just can't seem to find that oh so perfect piece?  And then when you do, you drop over in disbelief of the sticker shock?

That seems to happen to us all of the time.  We find these really expensive inspiration pieces, and then it is our job to do what we can to achieve that same look on our budget.  That was the story of some baskets I was on the hunt for.  They had to be a specific size for a space we are working on, and they had to come in a specific finish that was appealing to us and worked with the room.  Finding baskets that fit just a few simple standards can take months!  You would think with all of the options out there, that it wouldn't be all that challenging, but this is one thing I haven't been able to master on a whim.  And baskets can be crazy expensive!  My inspiration ones came in between $45 and $90 each {similar to this}!  No thank you.

HomeGoods and TJ Maxx are typically my "go to" spots for trendy baskets on a budget, but I even fell short there, as they didn't have three in the same shape and size I needed.  I was getting desperate, so when I finally found three baskets that fit everything I needed, with the exception of the finish, I pounced.  The bonus is that they were 65% cheaper than the inspiration baskets I had been eying up, so I knew they were something I had to make work.

The reason the baskets were so inexpensive is because they came in a natural, unfinished state.  Definitely not the highest quality or weave, but I was able to see the diamond in the rough.

Our inspiration baskets all seemed to run in a deeper tone, something that matches our lower level floors and feels nice and classic.  So although some may find these baskets beautiful in their natural state, we were looking for something a bit darker.  Say hello to our favorite stain.   

We use this stain on all sorts of projects {you can see one here}, and I couldn't wait to give it a try on the baskets.

Of course, anytime you take paint or stain to something that you didn't find on clearance from a thrift store on half-off Tuesday, it can be a bit nerve inducing.  So, I always be sure and give things a try in a secret spot first, just to see if I think I can pull off what I am trying to achieve.

Once I realized that the stain was going to be the perfect solution, I went for it with that all-in attitude.  Out in the ventilated garage with gloves and brush in hand, I started covering the basket with the stain.

I just used a cheapy brush and found that it worked really great at spreading the stain in-between all of the weaves of the basket.  The basket sucked the stain up like a sponge, leaving very little to wipe off as the directions recommend.  Here is a quick look at how the first coat compared to the original finish.

And after two beautiful coats and time to set and cure, they are now exactly what I had initially set out to achieve!

I am so happy that I didn't let the finish be the end all determining factor while on the hunt for the perfect solution for our design.  You can't necessarily change the shape, size and material of a basket, but the finish options will always be endless!

The best part is that this project was super simple and quick, and anyone can easily do this to all sorts of baskets, old or new!  Aren't those projects the best?  I always love the instant gratification and being able to achieve what I am looking for without having to spend hours on something finicky.

Anyone hacking baskets lately?  I am thinking that tackling those liners would be a fun little project to tackle next to bring in some pattern and color.  Anyone had luck with sewing liners, and is it something that a newbie sewer could take on?

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