Remember when I found an awesome stool to upcycle well I have been creating more wonderful things for my home from, what I lovingly refer to as street treasure. There is an abundance of wooden fruit and vegetable crates in Paris just crying out to be upcycled.
I simply collected my street treasure and painted them with a chalky eggshell. There is no need to sand as they are made with thin balsa wood so sanding would have little effect. It would be a good idea to pull off any loose bits of wood.
Once I had finished painting the crates, mine only took one coat, depending on the paint you use you may need further coats, I marked up and painted chalkboard paint onto the fronts of the crates. That way you can label the contents. I know you can see what is in there but I think it looks cute to write on the crates.