Once we moved into Winter we found we needed to set ourselves up for the colder months. Buy kindling, logs, smokeless coal, fire guard and irons. Rather than have kindling knocking around in a plastic bag, we decided to convert a crate we had into a holder for kindling.

The wood the crate was made from was quite poor and dry, as soon as I put paint on it soaked it up. So first I pre-primed with a wash of diluted PVA to seal the wood. Then used my favourite paint of the moment, Johnstone’s All Surface Primer, that covers most surfaces, even old gloss paint and is water based to boot!

Then three coats of Farrow & Ball Purbeck Stone No 275, followed by two coats of satin varnish. We wanted to line the crate, and used hardboard cut to size with hessian stuck to it with 3M Craft Spray glue, both back and front so the hessian would be seen through the slats in the crate.

I’m very pleased with the end result, which transforms a necessity into something that is quite an aesthetic thing to have in your lounge.