May Your Life Be Like A Basket...Useful...Bountiful...Beautiful...

Basketmaster's Weavings is about my passions, much of which revolves around basket weaving. I weave with reed and I love teaching others to weave. Many of the patterns and styles that I show in the blog are geared to the beginning weaver, or even the brand new weaver. If you have been thinking about wanting to learn to weave, then this blog is for you. Throughout the blog and videos I take you step by step through each and every process of weaving. I want you to be successful in weaving the very first time you try. For the intermediate and advanced weaver, my wish is that you take ideas that I show, mix them up a bit, and incorporate them into your own beautiful creations.

Happy Weaving and Baskets of Blessings to all my visitors,


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Staining a Basket with Liquid Minwax

My dear friend Anne from Kumon left me a message about wanting more information on staining baskets. Also over at We Are That Family, they are having Works For Me Wednesday where people show and tell ideas that work for them, so I want to show how Minwax works for me. Here is what I do.
I stain my baskets with Minwax. That's Minwax in the yellow can. Don't go for some off brand of stain. I repeat Minwax!!! Ok. ok....There are some really great basket stains on the market from basket weaving supply stores, but they just aren't as readily available as Minwax is. You can get Minwax, that's Minwax in the yellow can, at your home improvement stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Sears. If you have a lot of baskets to stain, go for the gallon size in your favorite color. If you are trying colors out, go for the smallest size you can get. Lay down a piece of newspaper and have a disposable foam brush. The foam brushes can be purchased at your craft store for sometimes 20 for $1.00.

Just lay down some newspaper, dip your foam brush in the stain and paint it on. Paint the outside, the inside, the bottom, the handle, everywhere. What is so wonderful about Minwax is that you do not have to wipe it off. It just soaks immediately into the basket and it doesn't leave a sticky feel to your basket. Please believe me when I tell you I've tried many other brands of stain, and for baskets, they can be a big fat sticky mess and make you just want to throw your basket in the trash. In the photo above, the left side of my basket has not been stained and the right side has. Usually one coat of stain is all that I will do on my basket. The Minwax stain is so thin and runny that it runs right between all the weaving and twining to give a nice even stain to it all and it soaks right into the reed. Do your staining in a well ventilated area and just let your basket dry overnight after staining. Then you are good to go the next day. (IMHO...Your foam brush is not worth saving after using on stain)

Minwax makes a spray stain and quite honestly, it is wonderful too. (I should do a commercial for this company) I use it when I am in a hurry, but it does cost more and again, I still need to let my basket dry overnight. It is just like using a can of hairspray or a can of spray paint. (Whichever you are familiar with using) Again, just be sure to spray all sides, inside, outside, top and bottom etc.

Remember, if you have used dyed reed in your basket, stain will alter its color. I do not stain baskets if I have woven light pastel colors because I do not want them to turn muddy. Dark colors such as burgundy and navy blue seem to do well with stain.

One final word. For those of you who stain your baskets the natural way with solutions made from walnut shells or other plant products I applaud you and in no way am I trying to say my way is a better way, it is just my way and that is what I wanted to share.

If any of you ever have basket weaving questions, please post them in a comment or an e-mail and I'll do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.

Baskets of Blessings to you all,



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the speedy tutorial, Nancy! My next mission will be to stain one of my ribbon baskets.

magnoliasntea said...

Excellent tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to do this for us.
It's much appreciated. I use walnut hulls to dye my baskets, but I know that's not practical for everyone; this is much easier.
Thanks again. :)

Vicki H. said...

So glad to hear you are learning to crochet!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I like to knit but I get bored with that occasionally. Looking forward to seeing your dishcloths. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Jessica said...

No after picture? I just stained some shelves with minwax and it's a bit sticky. Any suggestions?

Ann said...

Nancy, I use the custom color for burgundy at rit's website. I should warn you, I dye reed like I cook - if I don't like the color I start tweaking with the amounts of colors I add. The brown really tones down the reds to a country color. Another thing I do is add a little black to my navy to deepen the color.

As far as stain goes, I use both boiled black walnut stain and a mixture of Minwax. I use 1 part Minwax, 1 part ordorless mineral spirits and 1/2 part linseed oil. Mix these 3 together and then brush on. One difference I do is the bristle brush rather than the foam brush - I get in a hurry and don't do it light enough not to leave "chunks" of the foam behind on the basket! (Kind of like I brush my teeth too hard!) Good luck with the custom colors ~Ann

Anonymous said...

I may have missed it, but what stain colors work best? I'm thinking about starting with a "light pine", but would love your thoughts on other options.

Good post, by the way! :-)

Christine said...

I am fairly new to basket weaving and have been experimenting with stains. I was taught to mix in mineral spirits to my Minwax stain but don't know the reason behind it. A few times I've used Minwax straight up and like the result better. The color is richer and the seal of the wood and reed seems better. What is the reason for mixing in mineral spirits? i would like to know because in certain cases it would be helpful.

I'm loving this new craft!

Christine said...

I'm new to basket weaving, and although I've stained a number of baskets, I have some questions as I'm seeking to perfect what I think looks the best. I love Minwax but was taught to mix in 1/2 part mineral spirits. What is the reason for this? I prefer the look of straight, undiluted Minwax but would like to know the reason behind the mineral spirits mix in because in some cases it may be a good idea.

I'm loving this new craft!

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