How to Create an Aged Finish on Baskets

Hey y’all…By now I think you know how much I loved aged finishes and weathered wood. In fact, this post is dedicated to how you can create an aged finish on baskets. I honestly hesitated to write about it. I second-guessed myself and that wasn’t a good feeling. I’ve hemmed and hawed and here’s the reason why. I have altered a Longaberger basket. I know, I know – I can hear some of you sucking in your breath right now…I can hear others cheering me on. Please don’t turn on me :) It wasn’t an easy decision for me. If you are not familiar with Longaberger baskets, they are hand made of maple splints by very talented artisans…and these baskets are never, ever to be altered as it takes away from their value. And so I have altered my basket – and here’s why I did it.

I have a lot of these pretty baskets. Many years ago I hosted a few Longaberger parties and I received ALL of these baskets for free from these successful parties.


The problem is I have them all over the house…the basement, in the craft closet and the baskets below are stored in the garage.

PicMonkey Triple Collage

The issue is, I don’t use them anymore. They are too yellow/orange to display in my home. Over the years my design style has changed and I haven’t used these baskets in over 16 years! They take up a lot of space to just sit in storage.

So, I decided to do something about it. I decided I own the baskets and I can change them any way that I see fit. I know by changing the finish of the basket I will use it everyday in my home which is so much better than taking up valuable storage space. I hope you’ll agree with me.

I used our steel wool and vinegar recipe.We’ve used it on quite a few projects and you can get the recipe HERE.

I took the basket outside and placed it on a tarp. I used the stain in a spray bottle to be sure to coat the maple splints thoroughly. The key to success is to use this stain on a bright sunny day and let your piece dry completely. I am always amazed by the transformation this homemade stain creates on finished pieces. This is how the basket looked right after I sprayed one good coat of vinegar stain…


…and this was just three hours later!!! I know – totally amazing, right? The longer this basket sits in the sun, the more ashy and gray it will become. The weathered aged finish is fabulous.


It looks beautiful hanging on our freshly painted front door. Our Georgia Dogwoods are in full bloom too.


This is a such a pretty greeting for our guests.




I love the new finish and I do not regret my decision to stain the basket. I will definitely be using the vinegar stain on a lot more of the baskets from storage and I can’t wait to display them in my home.

PicMonkey Collage

I hope that you support my decision!

Until tomorrow…


How to Create an Aged Finish on Baskets


  1. Trina Williams says

    Well done! I agree with , and support your decision to stain this basket. It looks beautiful! !

  2. Jo @ Simple Pleasures Vintage Reimagined says

    I read this with interest because I too have baskets everywhere. Everywhere! And I was a consultant for many years. So I had mixed feelings about what you did. I have to say – I love the look! Now I paint future for resale and I bring a basket in now and then. But I think I will try this and see how they sell. Shoot, I know another consultant who paints baskets and sells them. I don’t think I’m ready for that! Lol!

  3. Melise says

    As a long time Longaberger consultant, I applaud your decision and method!! Your basket looks fabulous. Much better to alter and use these wonderful items than to hide them away because of an outdated stain!! Kudos to you! I’m going to do this to my basket stash in storage!!

  4. Liz Bonin says

    Kudos to you for doing this! You are so right to say “this is my basket and I can change it if I like!” It’s not like you stripped or painted a priceless antique. It’s a basket for goodness sake! It looks absolutely beautiful on your front door 💙

  5. Bambi says

    I definitely agree with your decision to alter the basket. It looks terrific. I only wish I had done the same to mine before I sold them, for next to nothing, in a yard sale. Ugh…

  6. says

    Vicki, I have to admit I gasped a little when I saw the basket and read your title:). I sold Longaberger baskets for over 7 years and also have them all over my house. The basket turned out great and looks fabulous on your front door!!! Hope you are having a great week and take care, Tara
    Tara @ Lehman Lane recently posted…Dream. Create. Inspire. Link Party #41My Profile

  7. Karen says

    I love your basket makeover. I have a lot of Longaberger baskets, too and many of them are packed away. I will definitely try this on them. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  8. Alane says

    Vickie, I know just how you felt. Last year I did it too. My place is more primitive/early colonial style than country. I did not stain as you did though, and I do want to try your recipe on the next basket because It turned out so naturally beautiful. I like a bit of color and so used a combination stain and paint (acrylic “Old Century” colors) in several layers and a few tricks that I have for painting a primitive finish on furniture. I just love them now. I still have lots more baskets to experiment with. I’ve been selling some un-altered baskets that I won’t be using. I never would have thought there might be a market for the stained or painted baskets – something to think about…hmm.
    Thank you for the great article and pictures.

  9. Lorianne says

    What color stain did you use? I was just thinking of the same thing to do to mine but was very apprehensive. After seeing your results, i am doing this as my weekend project. Any helpful tips i would gladly welcome. Love the color of the stain result. was wondering what you picked.