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Easy DIY Coat Rack

These easy DIY coat racks are perfect for modern entryways and mudrooms!

Anyone else dealing with piles of stuff deposited by the front and back doors? I finally had enough and decided it was time to build some simple coat hook racks for my entryway.

And while I was at it, I made 4 racks to go near the door to the garage, one to hang up towels in the kids’ bathroom (now no one can claim they couldn’t hang up their towel!), and a couple for the guest room too… because I’m done having piles of stuff on the floor!!! Hear that kids???

Function (read organization) should always come first in an entryway, whether it’s a huge foyer or a tiny corner of the living room. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be ugly and utilitarian. I was inspired by these live edge wall hook racks from World Market. And they’re actually a good reasonably-priced option if you’d rather not make them yourself.

I needed my coat racks to be longer, and I wanted a lot of them, so I opted to make my own. My family isn’t that big, but we seem to have a lot of coats, raincoats, backpacks, masks, hats, and umbrellas. Oh, and a dog leash, harness, etc.

woman putting leash on a sheepadoodle puppy in a modern entryway with DIY wall hook racks behind her

Here’s something important I learned during this project and I want to mention it at the beginning so you don’t make the same mistake I did. Coat hooks need to be able to support a lot of weight. Hello my giant 20lb purse that I’m sometimes afraid to reach my hand into! And I know that the kids’ backpacks will only get heavier as the years go by.

We’ve had a few coat hooks and even wall hook racks fall right off the walls over the years, usually taking some drywall with them. I remember one memorable crash in the middle of the night several years back! With this much weight to support, drywall anchors are just not going to cut it. We need each hook rack to be anchored in at least 2 studs. So in this case, a longer board is usually better.

And I’m really pleased with how these faux live edges turned out! Enough chit chat. Let’s get started with the project.

Materials

Wall Hook Rack Materials: photos of cans of wood conditioner, wood stain, boards, wall hooks, etc.

1×6 pine board

pre-stain wood conditioner

wood stain

polyurethane

coat hooks

screws

Tools

Wall Hook Rack Tooks: photos of tools needed to make DIY wall-mounted coat racks - drills, tape measure, miter saw, sander, etc.

drill/impact driver set

orbital sander & sand paper discs

tape measure

reciprocating saw

paintbrush

chip brush

rag or paper towel

stud finder

1. Find the Studs

Use a stud finder to locate the studs. It’s important for the hook rack to be wide enough that it can be anchored into at least 2 studs. We used masking tape on the wall to mark the stud locations.

2. Measure

Now it’s time to figure out exactly where you want your wall hook racks to go, and how long you want them to be. I wanted mine in two rows- one adult-height, and one kid-height. Use a tape measure to determine the length you’ll need.

3. Cut the Wood

Cut your wood to the length you need. I used a miter saw for this.

4. Draw the Live Edge

I wanted to create a faux live-edge look, so I drew an organic-looking line across the top of my boards to mimic wood grain live edge.

close-up of a hand using a pencil to draw an uneven line across the top of a board to make a faux live edge

5. Cut the Faux Live Edge

Use a reciprocating saw to cut an uneven, angled line across the top of the wood. Notice that it’s being cut at an angle. Come back and carve a few of the sections a little more if you like.

close-up of a reciprocating saw cutting an uneven, angled line across the top of a diy coat rack

6. Sand

I used an orbital sander to smooth out the rough edges. I began with 180-grit sandpaper, and then finished with 220-grit to make everything nice and smooth.

hand using an orbital sander to sand a wood coat rack before applying wood stain
diy coat rack being sanded with an orbital sander before stain is applied
close-up of unfinished wood coat rack before stain and polyurethane are applied

7. Place the Coat Hooks & Drill Holes

We had five coat hooks for each rack, so we measured and spaced them evenly across each one. We drilled a pilot hole for each hook before staining.

wooden coat rack with 2 black metal hooks sitting on top

8. Apply Wood Conditioner

When I’m working with a soft wood like pine, I always use a pre-stain wood conditioner. It helps the wood absorb the stain more evenly and prevents ugly blotches. Apply it and let it dry according the the instructions on the can.

9. Stain

I used one of my favorite stain colors, Minwax Special Walnut. Apply the stain with a chip brush (cheap disposable paintbrush) and gloves. It’s oil-based and doesn’t clean up easily.

Let it dry for about 10 minutes before wiping it with a paper towel or rag to remove and excess stain.

special walnut-colored wood stain being applied to an unfinished wooden coat rack
wooded coat racks with wet wood stain

9. Second Coat of Stain

Wait for the first coat of stain to dry. If you’re happy with the color and evenness, you can skip this step. If you want it to be a little darker and/or a little more even, apply a second coat and wipe up the excess after about 10 minutes. I’ve generally found that two coats of stain looks better than one.

2 diy wall hook racks laying on top of sawhorses with wet stain

10. Polyurethane

Next apply one or two coats of polyurethane sealer. I used a matte finish for mine. Let this dry for at least 24 hours before mounting it on the wall.

can of polyurethane top coat being applied to a DIY coat rack

11. Attach to Wall

We used an impact driver to drill the screws into each of the studs.

diy coat rack with a faux live edge being mounted to the entryway wall with wood screws

12. Attach Wall Hooks

Finally, use a screwdriver to attach each of the coat hooks to the rack using the pre-drilled holes from step 7.

black metal wall hooks being attached to a wall-mounted coat rack

And that’s it! This is going to be perfect as we head into the cooler months and need more jackets and cold-weather gear at the ready. Next, I’m hoping to make a cool boot tray.

modern coat rack in a small entryway with a Boho purse and jacket hanging from it
diy wall coat rack with a live edge and coats hanging from it
small entryway with 2 live edge wooden coat racks and a boot tray on the floor beneath it
2 wall-mounted coat racks in the background with a black and white sheepadoodle puppy on a leash in the foreground

More Entryway & Mudroom Ideas…

12 Entryway Shoe Storage Solutions

Backpack Organizer: A Brilliant Mudroom Ikea Hack!

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