Saturday, December 2, 2023

DIY - Updating An Old Coat Rack

If you read my last blog post, I wrote a tribute to my friend and long time Dunitz & Company office landlord. LQ Jones was our landlord for 24 years. He lived downstairs. And our offices were at street level. We brought our dog or dogs to work every day all that time. That translates into a lot of walks in the neighborhood. Every day when we returned to our office, we'd get a view into LQ's residence. And if you check out the red arrow, this is where we saw his coat stand which was next to his desk. What always amused me the most was hanging from this coat stand was a pink and white cowboy hat. That always put a smile on my face. I'm sure this hat was never worn by him! And I never asked him the origin of it. (I'm sorry I never did.)



LQ (McQueen to us) passed in 2022. It took a while for his kids to get the building sold. And when they entered escrow, I was given notice to vacate. What wasn't acceptable for charitable donation, was being discarded, both by us and LQ's family.  Charitable organizations will not accept many types of furniture including desks or any pieces that are NOT in perfect condition. What did I do? I asked if I could have that coat stand. (Yes, of course, it's yours!)

Obviously I had never examined this coat rack up close. If I had, I probably wouldn't have asked for it. When it was delivered to me by LQ's son, I discovered a old piece that was very charming, but also in very bad shape. The stand was discolored from fading and peeling, unstable and had some minor water damage. After assessing the piece, I knew there was no way I could restore it to its original mahogany finish. (I discovered it was originally mahogany when I completely took it apart. The areas never exposed to sunlight revealed this.) Those round circles, I thought those were metal. Nope. They are hard plastic and when I rec'd the piece they were flaking and spreading strange dust everywhere. 

A bit of hip shooting and I got to work. I intuitively knew the coat rack needed to be completely disassembled. It needed a lot of sanding. My gut told me after prep work, spray paint would be my best and easiest option for restoring this old piece to a new glory. I already owned steel wool and sandpaper. And a trip to Home Depot resulted in purchases of dark green satin paint and antique bronze paint.

The restoration work took place in my driveway. I spread out old sheets and cardboard. Did I take a photo of everything as I was doing the work? No. Of course not. But my neighbors all stopped to ask what I was doing. "That's a big project." "That's a nice color." All those comments definitely correct. Here are more before pics.

I was careful when I took the coat rack apart and saved all the old screws. They're bronze and aged and look fantastic on the finished piece. It's a good thing I took before pics because reassembling it was a giant puzzle. And there were two types of screws meant for different parts of the coat rack.









I completed the project over two days. And I'm delighted with how it turned out. My home decor utilizes a lot of earth tones, greens, tans, browns. Here are a couple of detail pics and then one of the completed piece. After seeing these you might find an old rack for yourself on OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. Why not?
As a tribute to LQ, I've hung an Australian cowboy hat I purchased on a vacation on my now refreshed coat rack. Did I mention that the stand no longer wobbles?

And perchance if you can see through my dining room window, you'll see this coat rack (with cowboy hat) proudly standing. I love it because now I think of my friend every day when I pass by it.-ND