DIY Coat Rack for Small Entryways

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I have been dying to update the entryway to our little 1959  mid century rancher since we moved in about 6 years ago. My grandest idea consisted of shelves, seating and little nooks for the kid stuff, but since the space we have is extremely limited, my options were slim. No shelves, no seating and no nooks. However, I am LOVING the end result. 

This DIY coat rack for small entryways is the perfect weekend project! I stained mine, but paint it if you’d like.

Below are the steps I took to create this awesome coat rack. It’s really, really easy, but you might need a hand at the assembly stage. I probably could have done it myself, but opted for some help from my husband.

Step 1: Measure

The wall I was working with is about 6 feet wide. I had originally wanted the coat rack to span the length of the wall, but stopped short because the lumber I bought was thicker than the molding on the closet and the rack wouldn’t sit flush with the molding. 

Note: If you are putting this next to a door, like I did, you’ll want to measure the clearance from the wall to the door when the door is open. I had about 3” to work with. I wanted a wider shelve, but it would have hit the door and potentially broken a window, so I did what I could with what I had.

Step 2: By the lumber

I bought three separate pieces of lumber from Home Depot. 

5 ½” x ¾ “ (base)

2 ½ “ x ¾ “ (shelf)

1 ½ “ x ¾ “ (lip of shelf)

I had all these pieces cut to 5’ while at Home Depot.

Note: If you have the space, I’d increase the size of the shelf. I originally wanted to add the lip to the side of the shelf (not the top) to give me a little extra space on the shelf, but it wouldn’t have cleared the front door when it opened. 

Step 3: Paint or stain.

I’m a big fan of staining my wood. I just love the warmth it brings to a space. I used Varthane American Walnut stain and Varthane Triple Thick Clear Matte Poly. 

Quick tip when using clear matte poly: If I use a paint brush to apply the clear matte I find that any location that drips a bit does not dry clear. To get around this, I’ve been using a rag that I dip in the poly and apply to the wood. I make sure that I round the wood as I apply, looking under the wood to wipe off any access drips that may have taken place. 

Step 4: Assemble the pieces.

I’d love to tell you that we bought very specific wood screws to piece this together, and I’d love to tell you that I took pictures as we assembled, but I’m afraid I didn’t. My husband found screws that we thought would work in our basement and we used those. While at Home Depot, Lowes (or wherever) you may want to ask what screws you can use for the project. We just winged it. 

I assembled as follows because this is the only configuration that would fit in the space without the shelf hitting the door. 

Attach 1 ½ “ x ¾ “ (lip of shelf) to the 2 ½ “ x ¾ “ (shelf). Once assembled, attached that unit to the 5 ½” x ¾ “ (base).

Step 5: Mark your position on the wall.

This shelf is about 56” at its midpoint from the floor and it is centered on the wall (6” from each side).

Step 6: Hang the unit.

We drilled through the front of the unit with large wood screws directly into the studs. If this is how you want to do it, mark the wall where your studs are, start by drilling the middle screw through the unit into the middle stud and work out from there. You may need to pre-drill a hole into the unit and the stud to get you started.

No studs, you should have no problems using some sturdy anchors for your unit. If you don’t know which ones to buy, consult one of the experts at your home goods store.

Step 7: Add the hooks.

I saved this step until last because I used the hooks to cover the screws that we used to hang the unit in the wall. We bought these hooks from Home Depot. We wanted longer hooks, but the clearance just wasn’t there. Our hooks are 8” apart.

(Optional): Paint your wall.

For those interested, we used Behr Starless Night in eggshell.

DIY Coat Rack Pin
DIY Coat Rack Pin
DIY Coat Rack Pin
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