Tuesday, July 3, 2012

repurposed faucet handle coat racks & tool racks

This project is one that combines several things that have been popping up on Pinterest lately: chalk paint, old cupboard doors/drawers, and old faucet handles used as hooks. Luckily for me, the two local rebuilding stores and a free paint coupon from Benjamin Moore made this project (which resulted in two coat/tool racks) really inexpensive.

An old cupboard door and drawer front, for example, cost $1 and $1.20 from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

In addition to the boards, I bought a leftover box of unsanded grout at the Re-Store for $1.50. The box also contained a pint of grout sealer and some little square slate tiles, which I'll have to find a project for later. The grout is one of two ingredients in Martha Stewart's chalkboard paint recipe.

Basically, stir 2 Tbsp. unsanded grout into a cup of flat paint. My paint came free with a Benjamin Moore Facebook coupon a couple of months ago. I mixed up a half-recipe (since this project is pretty small), making sure to get rid of as many lumps as possible while stirring.

Most of the directions I've seen for using chalk or chalkboard paint on various blogs say that you don't have to sand down your surface first; I did a brief sanding with 100-grit, because frankly, "no sanding" sounds a little too good to be true.

I let it dry overnight, then sanded the surface with 150 grit sandpaper. The edges got special attention, so that some amount of wood showed there to assist in the "rustic cottage industrial" look I was aiming for.

On the longer of the two racks, I drilled two holes for hanging. Because most modern construction standards require wall studs to be 16 inches apart (on center), and because this rack is for my mom's recently-built house (Happy late Mother's Day, Mom!), the two holes are 16 inches apart.

You can see how, on the back, there is a little splintering from the drill. I knocked down the sharp edges with a bit of sandpaper. You can paint over the exposed wood too, if you want, but I chose not to worry about it, since this is meant to be a rustic piece anyway, and the splintering is on the back.

And these are the "hooks". These faucet handles were 25-cents to 50-cents each at BRING. If you find them still attached to their heavy brass bases, you can expect to pay between $2 and $5 apiece for them (a couple that I bought for the second rack were in this price range, though I went on a sale day and got them for half off). The nuts, with original paint, were $2 a pound, as is most hardware at BRING. (Portland also has a wealth of rebuilding stores, and I know Habitat for Humanity has Re-Stores in most states; check around!)

Beginning assembly. You'll need wood screws between 1.5 and 1.75 inches long, depending on the depth of your handles and nuts, and the thickness of your board. Mark your spots, pre-drill the holes, stack your pieces, and screw everything together.

I prefer that all the handles be different, for the look of something that's been collected and assembled over time. But if you can't find these pieces used for a price you like, you can also buy new outdoor faucet handles for a couple of bucks apiece at the hardware store (at Jerry's here locally, they're $2-3 each).

I also added a layer of beeswax over the top of the paint, since I don't plan to actually use chalk on the chalkboard paint. Also, there was a little more chipping than I like (maybe because I didn't thoroughly sand first?) and I thought the beeswax would probably help seal the finish. I've read some people use paste furniture wax, but I preferred not to buy a can because it's expensive, and I'm not sure I'd use it all before it went bad. The beeswax is something I had on hand.

Cost Breakdown:

(2) boards (an old cupboard door and drawer front); $2.20 total

(8) faucet handles; $6.50 total

(8) large, paint-covered nuts; $2 total

(8) screws; 10 cents ($2 per pound) total

unsanded grout; $1.50 total (with a bunch leftover, plus spare tiles and sealer)

8 oz. paint sample; free, with half leftover

beeswax; $1, if you don't already have some

Total for two coat/tool racks: $13.30, with leftover grout, paint, etc.

Here's a similar project on Apartment Therapy using indoor faucet handles to make a bathroom towel rack/shelf combo.

Here's another from the Our Vintage Home Love blog, in which she uses dowels and rubber gaskets.

And one more from My RePurposed Life, with new handles on the side of a shed.

Thanks for reading! When I find a permanent home for the one we're keeping, I'll post a little blog about it for you. Until then, I'd love to see links for your own repurposing/upcycling projects in the comments section below.

Enjoy your holiday!

(p.s. you can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.)

Linking up to:

Sherry, Katie, Kate, and Michelle

Simple Design's Thrift Haul

Catch as Catch Can at My RePurposed Life

Nifty Thrifty Sundays

The CSI Project


Interior Design Berkshire said...

Very creative dear, keep the good work up.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

What a cute project...love it! Thanks for visiting and I am now a follower.

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

I love your repurpose of the handles and the doors. very colorful, and useful!