At this point if I were a rule follower I probably would have sanded these babies a bit before jumping right in with the paint... but like I said I'm impatient ... and well you only live once... live on the wild side! So I dove right in and for the first and second coat painted them a medium gray.
After both coats of gray dried I did a little experimenting with a bar of dove soap and rubbed it on all edges and then just sporadically everywhere else for a little surprise! There was no rhyme or reason to my soap placement, in fact I think I was a little soap happy. After the soap rubbing I added an aqua paint color on top of soap chunks and all. Don't do as I do, I'm not really sure if you are supposed to have chunks or not that you paint over.
Now it's time for a little power tool action. A word of warning ... I started with a sanding sponge and that was not cutting it for me. The distress was very subtle and was taking entirely too long. This is where the power sander comes in handy... yeah daddy! Apparently my retired neighbor does not share the joy of power tools with me... he yelled from his doorstep that I was being really loud. Well what can you do? I apologized like a nice neighbor and then turned the sander back on... :)
My last step was a glaze of unmeasured watered down paint from the first step that added just the perfect amount of aging to my crates. Finally all the painting was done! Yeah I love the way the color and distressing turned out. The hubs and I discussed how he could build a basic frame to hold all of this together... I argued one way ... he argued another ... he won... and this is how it turned out. Love it ... and the hubs for his fabulous handy ways... ;)