how to stain an old basket

I admit it, I’m a basket addict!

Baskets are one of the best ways to organize and accessorize your home but they can be very expensive when purchased new. Thrift stores are a great source of affordable baskets but they are often out-of-fashion colors and can have missing or broken pieces. Today I’m going to show you how to take those old, thrift store baskets and make them a beautiful accent piece for your home.


  • super glue
  • hand broom
  • stain
  • paintbrush


The first step in fixing up an old basket is to clean out any dirt or debris using a hand broom. Be thorough on both the interior and exterior.

before old thrifted basket staining

Next inspect your basket for any broken pieces. Use super glue to repair any areas that may need it.

stain old basket kona stain

Choose a stain for your project and prepare a work surface by covering it with paper or another disposable cover. Mix your stain well (always stir, don’t shake.)

how to stain a basket

Starting on the bottom of the interior of the basket begin applying your stain lightly with a paintbrush. Be sure to wiggle your brush back and forth over greatly textured areas to endure the stain reaches in all the crevices. Do not overload your paintbrush to avoid drips.

Continue staining the interior of the basket working your way up the sides and along the top edge. Allow the stain to sit until the top edge is no longer tacky (approximately 2 hours). Flip basket upside down and stain the exterior using the same technique.

stain an old basket

Inspect the basket for any uneven areas and go over them with a second coat to even them out. If a deeper color is desired, apply a quick second coat to the entire basket after the first coat has dried.

Allow basket to dry 12 hours before handling.

Fill your basket with pillows (or other items) and display it proudly! No one has to know it was a cheap thrift store basket!

stained thrifted basket

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Maybe next time you’re out thrifting you’ll look at those old baskets in a different light!

MelissaSignature~Learn more about Melissa~


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How to stain an old basket

2 replies
  1. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    Brittany, this is an awesome idea but how would you suggest to get rid of the strong smell of the stain? Whenever I’ve used stain for anything there is always that strong chemical stain smell.


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