Coat hooks, with flowers

Playing hooky

Social media has a lot to answer for…

Most of the DIY projects I do involve – at some point or other – inspiration/ideas/solution finding on Pinterest, Instagram,  or YouTube.

That isn’t to say I find something on there and copy it – I don’t have the money, materials, equipment or talent for that!

It usually involves seeing something I like the idea of, and interpreting it using what I’ve got and am able to do.

The latest one is a coat hook rack – sounds thrilling, I know!

It came from seeing a a few pics online when looking for ideas for jobs around the house after I’d done the bathroom shelf thing.

I kept seeing coat hook racks on walls of ridiculously tidy and clean homes (I call bull on anyone actually living like that) and I reckoned it would by a nice little DIY project to could cobble something together using the last decent length of my salvaged floor boards (really need to find some more/similar!).

I kept my eyes open for some decent coat hooks – but while you can get ok-ish ones easily enough, it was hard to find something I really liked that didn’t cost a fortune.

Iron coat hooksThankfully the online tat bazaar that is eBay came to the rescue last weekend. We managed to  find some we fancied – cast iron North Yorkshire Moors Railway ones, so they’re obviously grand.

As we ordered on a bank holiday, they weren’t arriving any time soon, so that gave me time to sort the board out in the evenings. Cutting it to size, squaring it up, and sanding the crap off it (but not so much that it looked brand new) were simple enough – though I do fancy a circular saw and guide fence to make these a bit easier!

When it came to the finish, I tried a weird (to me) technique I’d seen on YouTube – can’t find link, but will add it if I do. Basically you load a decent brush right up (I used water based polyurethane) and just do one long continuous stroke along the length, starting with light pressure, then adding more to use the finish ‘stored’ further up the brush.

You don’t go back over the same bit if you missed any – get it on the next coat – and there’s only a slight overlap on the next ‘pass’. You carry on until the whole surface has had one coat – which for this was three passes with the brush.

Once dried (usually overnight for me as doing this after kids in bed) you do same again. And again. And again.

Yes, I did four coats.

Coat hooks, with flowersThis took three nights (managed to get an early coat in one evening and could follow up a few hours later) and I’m not sure if it was worth it or not… It’s a great finish, I’ll admit, but not sure how much better it is compared to usual – don’t use poly enough to have anything to compare it to!

Anyway, by then, the hooks arrived in the post, and I was measuring, drilling and screwing away merrily. I was super anal about getting them level and evenly spaced (not easy on these old distorted boards!) but I’d rather that than rush and have something crap that I regret messing up every time I look at it.

I wanted to hide the screws that would hold it to the wall, so put the pilot holes behind three of the hooks. Once I’d got it lined up level on the wall, I used the pilot holes to mark on the wall where the holes for the plugs needed to go.

A bit more drilling, mess making and screwing and the hook rack was up, and I reckon it’s not too bad looking – hopefully other folk think the same (and maybe you’ll see it on my social media and think about having a go at something like this yourself!).

That’s the great thing about social media comes – it helps you see that maybe, you could do something like this too. If this northern idiot can, you’ll have no problems!

I’ve also found it helps makes me accountable.

For example, I’ve spent most of this weekend in the garden moving stuff, digging stuff, and generally grafting away.

In  theory I could have decided to put my feet up and chill a bit, but a part of me wants to crack on with it so it doesn’t look pants when I’m sharing pics etc on Instagram or Twitter as we’ll soon (hopefully) be spending a lot more time out there now it’s warming up.

Also, the Northern part of me likes keeping busy, but I think social media is helping channel my energy to crack on with more aesthetically pleasing things I wouldn’t usually be too bothered about.

As well as the continuing garden saga,  I’m trying to decide what to try next – the Girl’s built-in alcove wardrobe is tempting me, but I need to get it measured up, designed and priced up first.

I have a vague idea what I want it to look like, but need to think about how best to make that work with my stock of tools, so it’s back to Pintererst/YouTube to see what I can find!

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