Remember how I made the shower towel rack back in June when Hunter was gone?  Well that one didn’t work out for two reasons: 1. The wood I used was slightly bowed (oops), and 2. After the floating shelves were installed, we decided we wanted the towel rack wood to match that color instead of being different.  So, this past Sunday we got our supplies, and worked on the new towel rack.

Towel Rack, Take 2

What you’ll need:

  • 1″ x 6″ piece of wood
  • Saw
  • Sander
  • Rustoleum dark walnut stain
  • Tung oil
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brush
  • 2 cloths
  • 4 towel hooks & screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 2 wood screws
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder

Start by cutting your piece of unbowed wood to the dimensions that perfectly fit your wall.  Since Hunter was around this time, he was super helpful here (aka did it all with me safely away from the blade).  He pulled out our slide saw, and made a clean cut.


Next: Distress the wood.  Our shelves have a great distressed and rustic look, so we wanted to duplicate that on the towel rack.  We used a hammer, screw driver and the driveway to scuff up the wood.  Hunter threw the wood down our driveway, and rubbed it on the concrete, which was actually one of the most effective ways to beat it up.

Once it’s distressed, sand it.  Using the hand sander, we rounded the edges, worked on the corners, and basically sanded down the whole thing with 80 grit paper.

Now it’s time to stain.  Mark, from M&M’s Woodwork, told us which stain he used, which we found at Lowe’s.  Apply the stain to the wood, let sit for 1-2 minutes, and then wipe it off with a cloth.  It if sits longer, it’ll start to dry and get goopy.  Let the stain dry for an hour.


When the stain is dry, apply 2 coats of tung oil.  Using another clean cloth, rub the tung oil in.  When all stained sides of the wood have tung oil rubbed in, let it dry over night.  We did our second coat in the morning before work so it had all day to dry.


We decided to sand it down here and there a little bit more to match the shelves.  After that, we wiped the wood down, and sealed it in with polyurethane.  Hunter found a spray version of polyurethane which was quicker to apply than the brushed on kind.   Again, let it dry before moving on.


Now that the wood is distressed, stained, sealed, and dry, it’s time to screw the hooks in and mount it on the wall.  Hunter wanted to mount the wood into the studs in the wall first, and then hide the screws with a hook.

While I was off trying a new wine and cheese place, he used the stud finder to find the best place to hang the rack centered on the wall, then screwed it in place, in the stud.  This rack will never just fall out of the wall..

Finally, screw your hooks into the wood.  Measure where you want the hooks to go and make marks with your pencil, or the tip of the screw.  Use your drill or a hand screw driver to screw the hooks in.


Voila!  The new shower rack now matches the wood from the floating shelves, and finishes of the toilet paper holder.  Plus it offers more places to hang towels, and bathing suits.



Now onto the next project…


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