Colorful Chevron Coat Rack – Easy Wooden DIY
Ok, so you know how I’m over-the-top, ridiculously picky about
home decor everything, and how that annoying need to “find the perfect thing” for every space in our home means we STILL have mostly blank walls throughout the entire freaking house? No, you’re unfamiliar with my particular brand of crazy? No worries; let me catch you up:
So almost three years ago (good lord, where did the time go?!), we closed on our first house, an adorable little starter home built in the sixties with lots of character and potential. Immediately after closing, we ripped the icky old carpets out to have the hardwood floors underneath professionally refinished (thanks again, Dad, for talking my stubbornly determined self out of trying to tackle that massive project on my own with no experience), and while they worked away on the floors, we had plenty of time to contemplate a color scheme and choose the perfect paints.
Afterwards, we set to work taking off all the wallpaper from EVERY ROOM in the house… layer after layer after layer… including in the closets… dear god, why people?! WHY?!! Needless to say, it took some time, but the transformation truly made our little house feel like home. No more butterfly wallpaper in the bathrooms or burgundy and gold swirlygigs in the kitchen; no more pea green ceilings (seriously, whoever thought that was a good idea?)—just cool, muted, lovely colors we adore.
Little did I realize that painting literally every surface in the house would prove the easier part of decorating. We knew what we wanted; all we had to do was paint. Next, however, came the paralyzing (for me anyway), task of decorating the walls, choosing decor we love, making bookshelves look fancy or fun and not purely functional… I pretty much froze up, unable to take a step forward until I could see the entire house in my mind, every surface, nook, and cranny decorated completely with these perfectly curated pieces designed to bring the light and beauty of nature inside.
Fast forward another year and a half, and here we remain with virtually no decor. STILL. With the exception of my studio, which has this ceramic tile gallery wall of lilies, a nifty cut paper coloring book piece, and a couple pieces of art (as well as my miniature bud vase DIY) on my bookshelf, we have only two walls in the whole house sporting more than paint alone.
Time to start moving forward—complete mental picture or not. I think the catalyst for this particular project came when a parent of one of my students casually mentioned that we should get a coat rack for people to put coats on in the winter: a completely logical, reasonable notion; I know.
Immediately thereafter, I felt so insanely guilty for not having a dedicated place for my students and families to place their coats during lessons that I dug out one of those over-the-door metal hanger things you might see in a college bathroom for robes or towels, and I hung that on the inside of our front door. The Front Door. Of our ADULT home. FOR MONTHS. I’m thirty, guys. THIRTY! And yet it looked far more reminiscent of the dorm room/apartments of nearly a decade ago. Sigh. Time for some change.
I knew I could just go to TJ Maxx or Target or IKEA… or Amazon for that matter, and find a coat rack. Inevitably, though, the ones I found didn’t quite “do it” for me, so we decided over Cory’s spring break we’d finally just make one! It took very little work, minimal hands-on time, and gave us a chance to try out a new technique. (In fact, while we waited for coats of paint/stain/poly to dry, I taught some lessons, and Cory made his awesome bottle cap catch and created these delicious healthy peanut butter chocolate no bake cookies, which I may or may not have eaten for breakfast most of the week.) While the entryway still requires far more work and remains pretty barren, we now at least have a splash of color against the gray and a place to hang our coats. Progress, not perfection, right? Every little step…
Grab some materials before you get started!
The Colorful Chevron Coat Rack:
- We achieved the look of this coat rack by first painting a design with white acrylic paint. After one coat of paint, we then stained over the entire piece with a rich cobalt blue stain, which gave the white paint a light blueish tinge.
- We had almost all of this (all but coat hooks) lying around the garage, allowing us to cobble the coatrack together from the remnants of other projects, making this an extremely cheap project for us! Bonus!
- Piece of wood (5 ½” x 24” was ours; we had this lying around in the garage, but if you’re buying lumber, just look for a 1”x6”)
- Coat Hooks and appropriate installation hardware (nails, screws, etc. Sometimes screws included with hooks may be too long for your board, so double check before beginning the DIY)
- 2 Sawtooth Hangers
- Painters tape
- White acrylic paint (craft paint or wall paint! We found ours at Lowes in the mistakes area for super cheap and have used it in several projects!)
- Water-based stain, in whatever color makes you happy
- Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finish for finishing
- Foam brush or rags for stain application and rags for stain removal
- Synthetic Bristle Brush for poly application
- Ruler or measuring tape, if desired, for creating a pattern
- Sandpaper or Random Orbit Sander (120 and/or 220 grit, depending on the wood’s starting smoothness)
- Saw, if needed to cut your piece to size
- If necessary, cut your board to the appropriate length for your space, or ask the helpful people at your local hardware store cut one to size for you! We had this piece lying about in the garage, a lonely reject from our Bottle Cap Sofa Table project that now has purpose, since the minor bowing in the board won’t impact its usefulness as a coat rack!
- Sand the board down, starting with 120 grit (or coarser if necessary) if appropriate and finishing with 220 grit for additional smoothness. I didn’t want the board having any rough surfaces on which to snag fancy jackets or coats.
- Plan your pattern, and cover all places you’d like to have stained with painter’s tape, leaving exposed the portions you want painted with the white acrylic paint. When I mentioned my plan of “just winging it” for the chevron design, Cory looked mildly horrified and instead assured me I’d be happier if I let him measure and create an even pattern. Inevitably, he was right… again. He drew out the pattern first on butcher paper, transferring it to the wood with pencil once satisfied with his measurements.
- To create Cory’s pattern, reference the template above. Start by marking every two inches along the top and bottom of the board. Mark in pencil and very lightly, so the marks erase easily and don’t show up in the final product. Next, begin the pattern by drawing a line connecting the first mark at the bottom to the third mark at the top. Connect the second mark at the bottom to the fourth mark at the top, and continue this for the length of the board. Flip the board over and do the same thing, creating lots of diamonds across the board. Now, decide where you want the stain; this will be the area you tape off. We taped off the areas colored in blue above. Tape all sides of the board as well. Press edges of tape down firmly to ensure a clean line.
- Erase any visible pencil marks.
- Shake/stir your paint; then paint the open areas with white acrylic paint, using your foam or other brush. Let dry completely.
- Once the paint has dried (check your product for dry times), carefully remove the tape.
- Erase any visible pencil marks.
- Stir your stain. Using rags or a clean foam brush, apply stain evenly across all sides and the entire surface. Let stain sit for desired time (longer = darker. I let it sit about one minute). With a rag, remove all excess stain. DO NOT go back over the paint with more stain; it will likely just pull the stain up, leaving the white paint whiter instead of a nifty light blue (or whatever color you’ve chosen). If, however, you don’t want as much color over the white, you can wipe off a little more stain with a damp cloth, or you can add stain back to the painted section and immediately wipe it off; it should pull off more of the stain.
- If you want the colors darker after it has dried, you can add a second coat of stain.
- Once all stain has dried, use the synthetic bristle brush to lightly and evenly brush on one coat of polycrylic finish.
- Let the poly dry, and very lightly sand before the next coat of poly with 220 grit fine sandpaper by hand. Wipe off dust.
- Repeat steps 11 and 12 two more times, for three coats of poly. However, after the final coat of poly, DO NOT sand.
- Attach sawtooths to the back of the board.
- Decide on your hook placement, and mark holes where your screws will go.
- Drill pilot holes about a third of the way into the board, or just enough to get the screw started. If you’re uncertain what size bit to use to drill pilot holes, use a Screw Thread Size Gauge to determine screw size; then use a bit two sizes smaller than the screw.
- Wipe away sawdust, and attach hooks, using a screwdriver instead a power driver to minimize risk of cracking the board.
- Hang and enjoy!
Can you empathize with my slow house progress or decision making paralysis? Do you have an area around the house you’ve been meaning to improve or a project you’ve been putting off for a while? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe (box on the right towards the top!) to get email updates for all our new DIY projects and healthy, tasty recipes!
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