We are giving our half-bath a facelift and just finished the towel rack. I am head over heels for it! The bathroom theme is "subtle nautical" with touches of chrome and rustic wood and a few beach accessories.
The easy route would have been replacing our contractor basic towel bar with a new towel bar. But that would have been too easy! So after wandering around stores for a few weeks I realized what I wanted didn't quite exist in the dimensions I needed. DIY to the rescue!
Ideally I would have used reclaimed wood on this project. I tried I really did. I took apart one of my vintage apple crates, but the dimensions were off. So I ending up using a homemade stain on new wood.
How to Make a Nautical Towel Rack with Boat Cleats
Piece of thin wood (about 24" long)
White Vinegar, Steel Wool, Container with lid, gloves
6" Boat cleats. Unpainted (affil link) or in colors on Etsy
Screws for cleats and for mounting on wall
Pour vinegar into jar leaving room for steel wool. With gloves on tear/fluff the steel wool before placing in jar with vinegar. Seal tightly and shake a bit once a day for 7 days. The solution will oxidize (and will NOT look pretty).
Using a paint brush or rag, wipe vinegar solution on board. I went back after and rubbed off a bit of the solution. And if you are looking for a darker tone add another coat after first coat dries.
Lay out where you would like your boat cleats. This requires some math, in which I was a little rusty. Around this time in the project my husband said something like "you went to design school too babe" and I responded with a grumble. Ha! Mark where you want the holes in pencil.
The next step is pretty important. Make a pilot hole for each hole before screwing in the boat cleats and wall hooks. Skipping that could make the wood splinter.
I am thrilled with the result! Now we just need to hang the vintage painting and install our new faucet and our 1/2 bath overhaul will be complete. Adding personal touches to a room will make all the difference.