DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack

| |

Are you looking for an easy way to store your small garden tools? I will walk you through how to create a DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack.

This post was originally written in February 2022 and updated in April 2024.

A quick note that this post includes affiliate links and if you purchase items from links provided in this post, I will receive a small commission, but at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I am presenting you with my own opinion and honest review of the information provided. If you want to read the full disclosure statement, please click HERE. You can also read my privacy policy by clicking HERE.

If you are new to this blog: Welcome! My name is Anna and I share information on collecting antique/vintage items, refurbishing furniture and making small crafts/projects. The purpose of this blog is to share with you how to use creativity and antiques to make your home beautiful. In addition to information here on the blog, you can also follow me on the following social media accounts InstagramFacebook or Pinterest.

DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack

This garden tool wall rack didn’t start off looking like this. It was made by using a piece of scrap wood from an old piece of furniture. If I can create this – you can too.

Back Story

Now that the weather is getting warmer, many of us will be spending more time outside. Most notably, working in the garden. Spring is always the busiest season because it’s time to cut back last years perennials, add compost to the garden beds, plant annuals and clean up the debris winter left behind. I wanted something that would help to keep all the garden tools organized and within easy reach since I will be using them frequently. So much time is spent rummaging through a tote or crate looking for the right tool – a spade, snips, a small fork, etc. With this in mind, I realized by converting a piece of scrap wood into a wall mounted rack for garden tools, I could stay organized and find the tools I needed easier.

Of course, this DIY garden tool wall rack needed to have some character and patina. Read on to learn more on how to create this project.

DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack

If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you know that I refinish/refurbish antique and vintage furniture. Last fall, I purchased a dresser that was about 150 years old. It needed some work. For example, there was a decorative trim wood piece attached to the back of the top that acted like a back splash.

The only problem was – it had broken off. There was also another problem – there was no good way to re-attach it to the dresser without drilling new holes. So, I decided to leave it off of the dresser.

Broken piece from the top-back portion of an old dresser

As you can see in the photo above, it was a fairly substantial size and it was definitely ORANGE. As in that 1970’s orange wood stain color. Not my favorite colored wood tone. Still, I am not in the habit of throwing away a perfectly good piece of wood that is 150 years old and as a result it sat in my basement for a number of months.

As I prepared for spring, I realized that I didn’t have any place to hang my small gardening tools such as my garden spade, gardening snips, twine etc. So, I used this piece of wood to make a garden tool wall rack.

It’s important to note, that you can use any piece of scrap wood for this project. You can even use a new piece of plywood. The wood just has to be long enough and wide enough to accommodate some hooks.

I decided to paint this piece of wood using MMS Milk Paint because the existing orange stain just isn’t my taste. So, let’s jump in and I will show you how to create your own DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack.

Supplies

Below are the supplies you need for this project. Most of these items can be found at your local hardware store. Although I used milk paint for this project – you can use any type of paint you desire. Where possible, I have provided links to online sources.

  • Long piece of scrap wood
  • hooks you can mount on the scrap wood -this set includes screws
  • 150 grit sandpaper and random orbital sander
  • 220 grit sandpaper – for sanding by hand
  • Paint – I used MMS milk paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wax to seal the milk paint
  • Hair dryer
  • Putty knife or scraper
  • Screws (if the package of hooks doesn’t come with screws)
  • Cordless drill and drill bits
  • Lint free rag

Step 1: Prep the Wood

Milk paint is unique compared to other paints because it gives wood character and texture.

For this project, I wanted the piece of wood to look like architectural salvage. With layers of chipping and crackled paint. I did not want a smooth uniform finish. Only milk paint would give me the type of finish that I wanted.

Having said that, you can use any type of paint you want for this project. Latex, chalk or oil based paints would work too. They just won’t give your wood a chippy and crackled look.

Use your 150 grit sand paper and a random orbital sander to sand the existing wood surface. The goal is to scuff the surface well enough for the paint to adhere to the wood. The scrap wood I used looked like it had been sealed with an oil based polyurethane. In order for the milk paint to adhere to the sealed wood- it had to be lightly sanded. I decided to sand both sides of the piece of wood.

After sanding the wood, I wiped it down with a damp lint free cloth and some Mr. Clean. Now we are ready for step 2.

Step 2: Apply the First Coat of Paint

Milk paint comes in a powder form. So you have to mix it using a 1:1 ratio with water. I mixed up half a cup of milk paint with half a cup of water and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Here is a tip when using milk paint – if you use warm water to mix the paint, the powder will dissolve much easier. Also, you have to mix the paint for a good 10 minutes or so to eliminate any clumps and to get a nice smooth consistency.

Milk paint and supplies

To protect your work surface, you may want to cover it with paper. Also, you can use small wooden pieces to elevate the wooden piece as it is being painted.

Painting the scrap wood

When applying paint, try to keep your brush strokes with the grain of the wood. After the first coat of paint, you might think that the wall rack looks pretty terrible. As you can see in the photo above, the first coat of milk paint looks splotchy. Never mind the splotchy paint. Don’t be deterred!

If you use a hair dryer on high heat to help your paint dry quickly – something amazing may happen.

Chippy crackle finish from milk paint

When applying heat from the hair dryer to the paint, you will get a chippy and crackle finish. If you don’t like this type of patina, wait for the coat of paint to dry completely without using a hair dryer. At this point we are ready for step 3.

Step 3: Layer the Paint

This is the secret to getting a time worn look to your paint job. Layering the paint. If you need to, mix up more milk paint. Using the putty knife and some 220 grit sand paper, gently remove the flaky areas of paint. Now apply another coat of paint and if possible – try to apply the paint a little thicker. Use your hair dryer to help the paint dry between coats.

The heat from the hair dryer creates a crackling in the finish and promotes chipping of the paint. Keep repeating this pattern:

  • Apply paint
  • Use a hair dryer to help the paint dry quickly
  • Use the putty knife or scraper to gently remove flaking paint
  • Lightly sand dried paint with 220 grit sand paper
  • Apply another layer of paint

As you repeat this process it will build up layers of paint and will create a texture that looks like naturally aged paint. It’s important to note, this technique only works if you use milk paint.

For this garden tool wall rack, I applied 4 coats of paint and used the process above. Some coats of paint were thicker than others.

When all the layers of paint were completely dry, I applied MMS wax. Using a small wax brush, I applied the wax in circular motions and wiped off any excess with a lint free rag.

Step 4: Add Hooks

Measure the length of your piece of wood and then divide it by the number of hooks you want to attach.

Add hooks to the wood

The wall rack shown above is 40 inches long and as a result, I decided to use 5 brass hooks. I measured out where the hooks should be mounted and used a ruler to ensure they were evenly spaced.

Important Tips!

Use a pen to mark the holes for each hook and then use a drill bit to drill a small pilot hole into the wood. This is important! If you don’t drill a pilot hole – the wood may crack. That would be very sad after all the work you put into painting the wood.

Another important tip – make sure your screws are not longer than the thickness of the wood. You don’t want the screws to come through the other side of your wood rack.

Garden Tool Wall Rack with milk paint

You can see the hooks attached to the wood and also how the layering of the paint created a time worn and chippy affect that gives the garden tool wall rack character and texture.

To mount the wood to the wall, I simply used some larger screws and drilled a hole through the wood into the wall.

Step 5: Enjoy your DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack

Congratulations! Your garden tool wall rack is now complete and ready for use! This wall rack provides great storage and keeps everything organized and within reach. No more digging through a bucket or bin to find your gardening snips.

DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack

Speaking of spring and gardening – I am SO excited for the season. Won’t it be wonderful to see green grass and flowers?

DIY Garden Tool Wall Rack

Summary

Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you found some inspiration and a way to keep your gardening tools organized. Wishing you success with your garden this season and that all your flowers bloom profusely.

Anna Signature Block

Other Projects

If you enjoyed this post, you might also the following projects. Simply click on the image below to learn more.

DIY side pine table makeover
DIY Small Table Makeover

Shop this Post

Similar Posts

8 Comments

  1. Such a creative repurposing idea, love this! The hair dryer for crackle tip is brilliant. Thinking of all the wood planks in our shed, this may give new life to one of them. Gardening season is coming, yay!!!

    1. Hi Susan-
      Hooray for gardening season! Wood planks would make a perfect rack. I can’t wait to see grass and have flowers.
      Thank you for commenting!

  2. This looks amazing, Anna! Thanks so much for the blow dryer trick. I love how it gives a more authentic patina than what sanding alone can do. It’s really beautiful! This definitely has me excited for the late spring and early summer planting season. I’m hoping to get our hydrangeas in the ground this weekend before it gets too hot and this rack would be the perfect way to dry them after they bloom so I’m on the hunt for something similar now. Thanks so much for the fabulous tips and awesome idea! Big hugs, CoCo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *