A wall mounted coat rack can save space in a small mudroom or entryway. Learn how we made this simple DIY coat rack out of upcycled plywood siding.
Nothing gives Handan greater joy than to build something (or better yet, have me build something) from free(ish) materials that have been lying dormant in the house for years. This simple DIY coat rack was made from a spare piece of grooved siding plywood – the same stuff on the side of our shed.
When we cleaned out the shed a couple of years ago, we found a stash of unpainted siding up in the rafters. We had to chuck a lot of them, as they had become house, home and toilet to untold generations of freeloading mice living high on the hog in my warm and comfortable shed. But some pieces were pristine, and those, Handan ordered to be carried to the basement until such time as she saw fit to press them into upcycled servitude.
So down into the basement they went, carried by a bitching and grumbling Yours Truly. A week hasn’t passed without me glaring at them and judging them and wishing I could throw them away. They were rough-looking, and I didn’t like them. They looked like cheap plywood rejects that couldn’t make the cut. I just didn’t like them, and I never gave them a chance. In short, I was a jerk to those poor boards.
But as is (almost) always the case, Handan was right to keep them, because now we have a free(ish) wall mounted coat rack.
Why free(ish) and not free?
Well, for one, we had to buy the actual coat hangers.
And if you want to get technical, those “free” pieces of siding came with a hefty mortgage.
The Birth of a Simple DIY Coat Rack
“Hey babes, I want you to build a coat rack for the laundry room and do that wood aging thing with the stain.” Handan said not long ago.
“Okay, my babes!” I said. Oh, I had so many ideas!
I went to the basement and whipped up three possible coat racks – one from leftover cedar, one from some shiplap I had lying around, and one from some mystery board that I found in a corner.
But none passed muster with
The Commandant Handan.
Okay, so what now?
“Come!” She said, and led me back into the basement.
We poked around here and there. You’ve seen our basement – that’s a lot of poking.
And then she saw The Pile.
“That’s it, my babes!” She said, and a smile overtook her face. Normally my heart sings when a smile steals across her face. But this time…
She had grabbed one of The Boards from The Pile and thrust it in my general direction. “This is what I want you to make the coat rack from!”
I sputtered and gagged. Surely this loon of a woman didn’t want to hang this…this… garbage… in our beautiful new laundry room?
“Anything but that!” I said. I would stand my ground on this one. I had my standards! I had my pride! I’m a man, dammit, and I would have my way!
*Schnell is German for “Quickly!” or “Fast!”
Building The Wall Mounted Coat Rack
Five minutes later, I had caved like a rookie souffle and was cutting The Board to the dimensions specified by
The Commandant my lovely wife for the wall mounted coat rack.
Well, I was hooked now. No sense fighting it. I took another look at the rough-cut siding, and I started to see it in a new light.
I mean, it wasn’t entirely without its charms.
It had some pretty cool (faux) mill marks running against the grain.
And that grain! Southern Yellow Pine – just like the turned legs that I used to make our farmhouse console table.
Okay, I could make this work. I would make this work! And (spoiler alert), I’d come to love that stupid cheap siding as much as Handan does!
I started by sanding it a little, as the siding was pretty rough. But not too much – I didn’t want to lose those mill marks. They were the best part!
I knew I’d need to use a few different stains to achieve the look I wanted. Normally, to age pine with stain, I’d start with a mid-tone brown, then go to a gray, and then finish by streaking with a dark brown.
But I already had my mill marks, and they were prefect streaks.
I started with Rustoleum Kona – probably my all-around favorite stain.
I applied it thick enough to seep into the mill marks and then wiped off the excess with a rag.
Here is the difference between the sanded and non-sanded stained areas.
When I finished sanding, it looked like this:
Way too much contrast, and way too yellow.
To tone down the contrast and get rid of that yellow (they don’t call it yellow pine for nothing!), I stained it with Varathane Weathered Gray.
I didn’t flood it like I did with the Kona. I just worked it in a little at a time.
And then I wiped it off immediately.
This was better…
…but still not what I wanted.
The light areas were still too light, so to darken them a bit, I used Minwax Special Walnut. It’s a nice brown without too much red.
It was looking better, though perhaps a little too dark. Here is one picture taken when it was lying flat on the table under the lights.
Not bad, right? But here it is standing up on the floor.
I love the color, but it was just a little too dark and too gray for what we were going for. I decided to give it another light sanding to get rid of some dark stain, and then I again stained it lightly with special walnut.
I was back at the right color and the right lightness, but there was still too much contrast.
Figuring what the hell at this point, I decided to try something new: Varathane Antique White stain.
I started wiping it on here and there, and then immediately wiping it off. I like this stain! As I was wiping off with the other end of the rag I was applying with, I noticed that I kept blotching the applicator end of the rag onto the board. It left some cool-looking splotches, so I went with it to see how it would turn out. It was an interesting look…
…but ultimately, not the look we were after.
Fortunately, I was able to wipe off the blotches before they dried. The white did a great job of evening out the contrast, but it left the whole board a little too gray.
As a final step, I again lightly stained with special walnut. This was later in the evening on the day that I started, and Handan was home from work, so she helped with the photos. You can always tell when Handan is helping with the pics, because I have a ton of them, and they include all sorts of random shots like this one.
And then she’ll start making fun of me, which will prompt my four-fingered British salute.
But after all the fun and games, we ended up with exactly the right color, shade and contrast.
Next, I screwed in the hangers. I’m not sure if my head is actually as big as a watermelon, or if Handan just likes to make me look like brainy alien from another galaxy.
And then we put on a bunch of Command Strip Picture Hangers.
We are being careful about what we screw into the laundry room’s faux brick wall, just in case we want to mix things up in the future. Filling holes in the faux brick is not as forgiving as filling drywall. Command Strip Picture Hangers make changing our minds a breeze. Well, they make it easy and stress-free for Handan to change her mind. Let’s be honest here – I’m a guy, so I can hang something once and be perfectly happy with it until bell bottoms come back into style. Which they may….any day now.
Using a level, I lined up our simple DIY coat rack on the wall…
…and pressed it hard.
But will those Command Strip Picture Hangers be enough to hold the weight of the coats? Time will tell, but I’m betting they will.
Let’s have a look at how it turned out.
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