Tips and Guides

4 Easy Steps for a Shoe Rack Makeover Under P500

Give old, forgotten items a new purpose to avoid clutter at home

Photography: Cecil Jusi Baltasar

Recycling old items at home gives you a threefold benefit. First, your clutter pile gets smaller because you’ve taken one item out of it. Second, doing a DIY project allows you to work with your hands, and if that is your thing, this activity will be as relaxing as meditation. Third, you get a new item out of the old one at almost zero cost.

This is a regular exercise I do at home whenever I’m hit with the purging bug. Our house has a bodega full of forgotten items that my husband wants to keep and one of these items is an old shoe rack, circa 1960s. It’s metal, rusted, and big enough to carry only four pairs of shoes so I took it out of the bodega to use as an umbrella rack. However, I soon realized this purpose didn’t fully appreciate the shoe rack’s potential. I decided to turn it into a phone station in 4 easy steps plus I didn't spend much!

Be inspired to do the same and be guided by the steps below:

  • Old shoe rack
  • Sandpaper
  • Old cloth
  • Spray paint
  • Hooks
  • Old newspaper
Step 1: Use the sandpaper to remove the rust and existing paint

I could have used a wire brush to completely remove the rust, but it wouldn’t have worked efficiently because the shoe rack has narrow, round surfaces. Instead, I worked with course sandpaper. This step is necessary to not only remove rust and paint but also to make sure that the surface you will be working on is smooth.

RL Tip: If you are doing this project indoors, it would be best to place old newspapers on the floor to prevent dirt and paint from messing up your floors.

Step 2: Wipe off all surfaces

With a soft, damp cloth, I wiped away the rust and dust away from the rack. I followed that up with a dry cloth to remove all moisture.

Step 3: Spray paint the piece

To make it the happiest shoe rack ever, I painted it red. Spray paint was better at getting to the crevices and corners than paint applied with a brush.

However, it was at this point that I discovered I didn’t sand the rack enough. I’d left small spots of the original beige paint, and these spots, under the new coat of red, made the rack take on the surface appearance of a red quail egg. To fix this mistake, I just gave the rack several coats of red paint, hoping that the gloss would distract from the egg-y spots.

RL Tip: Avoid spots and uneven paint by making sure you've removed all the remnants of the old paint. When choosing colors, make sure you pick a hue that works well with your interiors.

Step 4: Install the hooks for the phone

When the paint was completely dry—just 20 minutes later—I used wire to attach small plastic hooks onto the upper bar. This was where I was going to hang the phone.

Originally, I was just going to use the smallest S-hooks I could find, but I realized that this would cause the phone to swing. So instead, I used two of those transparent hooks that come with adhesive, and are meant to be stuck on flat surfaces. Since I was going to attach them to a narrow bar, I disregarded the adhesive and wove thin wire through the hooks to secure them onto the bar. 

You may place your finished project in the living area or bedroom! Depending on the size of your shoe rack, you may also use it as a bookshelf.


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