Staining and Sealing Baskets
To seal a basket from moisture for the purpose of using it in a bathroom, kitchen or as a hanging planter outside-- just to name a few examples, the basket can be stained with oil base wood stain, water base wood stain or clear spray paint.
Several of the baskets listed on this website ( and more in store) are stained for your convenience. If you want to stain one yourself, here's some information!
The color of the reed will change accordingly-- a lighter Oak Stain will give all colors in the basket a brownish tint. In contrast, a Red Mahogany stain will, in most cases, obscure any contrast in color of reed or decoration.
Oil based stains tend to leave the basket flexible, the only down side being that it takes up to a week and a half to lose the "stain" odor.
Water based stains ( and paints, for that matter) will render the color change, as above with important differences: This sealing media is usually opaque, and dries in one or two days. The odor of paint usually dissipates in about that time. Water- based sealing tends to leave the basket rigid, so the basket will be water proof, but if bent out of shape it will creak and sound like it is breaking when pushed out of shape.
Clear Spray Paint, as mentioned above, will seal the shape as rigid, and all colors as previously seen, in a more user- friendly way than painting the basket with stain by hand. The spray paint smell goes away in a day or so.
"Natural" Minwax oil base wood stain leaves the basket slightly yellower in a warm woody color.
Helpful Hint: When staining or painting a basket, make sure that you are working over a surface that you do not mind getting drips of stain on, and well ventilated space. From personal experience, I tell you that any porous flooring surface will soak up drips and make them permanent, cement included. A large flattened cardboard box can help catch drips.