We haven’t nailed down great shoe/jacket/bag storage points in our home yet. There are always at least 5 pairs of shoes strewn just inside the garage entryway, backpacks and purses on the kitchen table, and jackets draped on the chairs. We’re all responsible for the mess. The kitchen is the dreaded drop zone of convenience.
It seemed like a sign when I came across a junky coat rack at a yard sale this summer. It was priced at $5, but nearing the end of the sale and inching suspiciously close to that box of “free garbage shit” at the curb, so the seller told me “please just take it.” Yessir.
Structurally, it wasn’t in terrible shape and just needed some tightening up, and since it had nice lines, I figured it had potential in our home.
That particular sale, I remember, was really awesome. We were far from home and it was a super rural farmhouse’s estate sale. We picked up the always gut-wrenchingly-terrifying game of Perfection (anyone else remember?) and a few odds and ends like random screw drivers. There was a beautiful teak midcentury credenza and some killer faux-leather chairs with sleek wooden bases for like, $15 each that I would have gone and found a U-Haul for had we not just installed the lightest of hardwoods throughout the house. Blonde midcentury furnishings, dreadful to find.
I digress, the free coat rack. There was really nothing I could do about the rustiness on this piece, so I figured a washdown with Bar Keeper’s Friend and a coat of matte black would take care of things, which it did.
The lines of this metal coat rack were, all along, what made me think this piece could be saved, and though not directly reminiscent of something as iconic as the Eames Hang-It-All Racks, I thought it had the potential to be polished up in that direction.
Can’t say that the idea of popping wooden beads onto the metal ends came as a very intentional design plan; I had one laying around from a previous project, bore out one end a little with a drill bit that matched the size of the spokes on the coat rack, and squeezed it on to realize that capping each of the 16 points on the rack would, in effect, look nicely finished.
Pretty much all craft stores sell plain wooden beads of some sort; these are 1″, and the hole for the bead goes all the way through. If you’re looking for larger wooden balls–which I did–you’ll find some 1.5-2″ round ones marketed as drawer pulls which only have the hole going half-way through one side, but those also have a flattened surface around where the hole is so that when installed, the round pull rests completely flush with the drawer. Nice for the drawer install, but not great when you want something completely round like for this project. Catch my drift?
So, I worked with the 1″ bead size, bore out one end of the 16 beads so that they would fit snug over the points on the coat rack, and then filled in the other end part way into the hole with wood filler. The putty dried overnight, and then I was able to sand it down.
I satin spray painted each of the beads as opposed to hand painting, choosing a minty green, red-orange, and a sunshine yellow to contrast with the matte black base of the coat rack. All of the beads wedged on tightly (no glue needed) and so far seem to have no interest in turning or wiggling free.
The ragged out coat rack has really turned into a piece that I think we’ll get a lot of use out of in the next few years. It’s both highly functional and organization-inducing, and is easy on the eyes too. Who would have thought it might turn out lookin’ so fresh?
The rest of the kitchen updates are coming along nicely; I’m still in the middle of reinstalling our kitchen cabinet doors, so you’ll be able to see a before + after of those soon on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade, and next up after that is a refresh of the countertop and backsplash, so stay tuned.