Small wooden project refurbish - project #1

Submitted to Community Chat

Normally I am not one to be refinish wood projects by sanding and staining.
Now-my attitude has changed. I will be more friendly and better acquainted with the orbital sander.  

The first instinct to upstyle tends to be chalk paint- I didn’t want that option in my two situations. I had two smaller wood items that were likely more than 20 years old, purchased from the thrift store which I wanted to be changed to a stained wood tone.

The first project completed is an older wooden half bucket made in Maine- looked like wall display container looking at the rear mounting hardware.  
I had intentions of using it in the laundry room at a previous residence but never did that uptyle-refurb. This pine bucket was unfinished - raw wood with very dated pink and blue 1980s stenciling going around the middle. You might remember that style if you're old enough-those days of chalky blue and dusty rose colors. Attached below is an example of a comparable basket found on the Internet. It will show a similar “before” situation. I wasn’t sure how this is going to turn out -sanding the stenciled design off - probably one reason I didn’t do a before photograph was that I had very low expectations. After sanding, I removed the rope handle. 

Bucket eagerly soaked in the Varathane Oak stain - immediately turning a little darker than I expected in a good way -delighted with the end results. Sealed with Rustoleum aerosol clear matte enamel.

I wish to put this bucket in the hall bathroom near the pedestal sink to offer a little storage option if someone needs a bit of storage during an overnight stay. Pedestal sink top surfaces offer very little usable space. The wooden bucket could easily hold toothbrush toothpaste shower cap and some other small toiletry items. I had thought about putting a small shelf in here but delighted by the buckets discreet out of the way placement. I wanted the half bucket to blend into the sealed cedar log wall in a disguised manner- the main reason I did not want to use a color paint product.
Thanks Varathane! I think I am now a sanding and staining convert.

On deck -Next up to refurb- and repurpose
A blue painted tole painted floral plaque with attached wooden clothespin clip. Once a wooden (magnetic) memo holder fo my fridge from the late 1990s