Reusing Architectural Salvage- Balusters

by | Jul 5, 2022 | DIY, Farmhouse Finds | 15 comments

Have you wondered how you can reuse architectural salvage in your home? In this post I show you how to reuse old balusters.

A quick note that this post includes affiliate links and I will receive a commission on items you purchase but at no additional cost to you. I am presenting you with my own opinion and honest review of the information provided. If you want to read the entire disclosure statement, please click HERE.

One of my favorite things to keep any eye out for is architectural salvage. I love old columns, mantels, trim work, and corbels. It’s always fun to incorporate them into your home’s design because they add character and are unique. These pieces bring personality and warmth into your home and make a home reflect the individual(s) residing there.

I recently came across some architectural salvage balusters and wanted to reuse them. Balusters, are normally the spindles you see in a porch or stair railing. However, these particular balusters were flat and were used where spindles normally would be placed.

Custom Porch Railing
Photo by Anthony Tieuli for This Old House

This Old House constructed a custom built porch railing for an 1872 house in Massachusetts that used flat balusters.

After purchasing these balusters, I had several people ask me – “What are you going to do with them?”. Whenever multiple people ask me the same question, a little light goes on in my head because I realize it would be a good blog post. If 3 or 4 people are asking me the same question, I can safely bet there are more people out in Google land who will have the same question. So without further delay, let me show you how you can reuse these balusters.

Reusing Architectural Salvage – Balusters

As with any project, the first thing we will need to do is gather our supplies. Let me preface this by saying – this is a ridiculously easy DIY. Really. You can do this.

Supplies

  • Antique flat balusters
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Screw driver
  • Tape measure
  • Hook
  • Screws for mounting the hook
  • Saw tooth picture hanger
  • Hammer and brad nails
Antique Salvaged Baluster

The photo above shows you how one of the balusters looked when I purchased it. There were actually a couple of them in good condition, so I purchased both.

Step 1- Clean The Balusters

This might seem obvious, but I don’t want to make any assumptions. The first thing you need to do is give your flat balusters a good scrubbing.

Scrubbing Balusters Clean

I used a stiff scrub brush and some dish soap to remove all the dirt and grime off each baluster. Then I set them outside in the sun to dry. Since it was in the mid 80s outside, the balusters took about 10 minutes to dry.

This is also a good time to mention that I like the look of white, worn, chippy paint. I like the existing character and patina on the balusters. So, I left them in their original condition.

Step 2 – Attach Hooks

Once the balusters are dry, we are ready to attach our hooks. So gather all the supplies listed previously and clear out a generous working area. Use the tape measure to identify the center point of the baluster.

Attaching hook to baluster

I set the hook in place and marked the location of where the screws would go. Then I drilled a pilot hole for each screw. I repeated this step for both balusters. Then I simply attached the hooks to the balusters using the screws.

Step 3 – Attach Saw Tooth Picture Hanger

Once the hooks were attached, I turned over the balusters and added a saw tooth picture hanger. I didn’t feel like the nails that were included in the package were strong enough to support much weight. (You can see the tiny nails included in the package in the photo above) So, I opted to use some brad nails instead since these offered more security.

Before attaching the hanger, I used the tape measure to find the center of the baluster and I marked it with a pencil. Then using a small hammer and some brad nails, I attached the saw tooth picture hanger.

Attach saw tooth picture hanger

Now repeat this step for any other flat balusters you wish to hang.

Repurposed Balusters

The above photo shows how both balusters looked after I added the hooks.

Step 4 – Reuse your Architectural Salvage Balusters

Below are some photos showing you how you can use your architectural salvage balusters. You pin these images to your Pinterest boards for future reference. So if you have a board entitled “DIY” – by pinning an image below all you need to do in the future is visit your Pinterest account and click on the image. It will automatically take you back to this post.

Reusing Architectural Salvage Baluster

Of course, hooks are endlessly useful. You can mount them in the bathroom to hang towels, or in an entryway for coats, hats and bags, or in your laundry room. The antique balusters adds a some character and patina to the space.

Reusing Architectural Salvage Balusters

I recently bought these dried daisies and I am in love with them. You can purchase a bunch of the dried daisies by clicking HERE.

Also, the hanging basket was a DIY project that was made earlier in the year. Click on the link to read about how to make this DIY Hanging Basket.

Reusing Architectural Salvage Balusters 5

Lately, with all the fresh herbs and vegetables that I have been gathering from outside, I find that hanging a jar of fresh basil has been useful. Hanging the jar frees up counter space and doubles as pretty decor. I simply use an old canning jar with the metal clasps for the lids and use the metal clasp to hang up the jar.

Reusing Architectural Salvage Balusters

Here is one more photo showing the baluster with the hook. Wouldn’t it look great having a row of these lined up next to one another?

Summary

Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you found a little inspiration and the next time you come across some antique balusters, you scoop them up and find a use for them.

15 Comments

  1. Cathy

    So many clever suggestions for repurposing old balusters! I would have never thought of them. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi Cathy! Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad you found some inspiration.

      Reply
    • Cynthia

      Love simple projects that give great and practical results really fast.

      Reply
      • Sky Lark House

        Thank you Cynthia! I appreciate the feedback! Easy and practical are two of my favorite words.

        Reply
  2. Susan

    Yes, it would look great having a row of them lined up next to one another! Love your unique and pretty repurposing ideas, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Thank you Susan for stopping by the blog today! I am happy you found some inspiration! Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
  3. James

    What a great use for them Anna, I think I have a bunch in my basement so I’m going to try this out. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi James! How lucky you are to have some in your basement! Have fun trying out this DIY!

      Reply
  4. Rachel

    Architectural pieces are some
    Of my favorites!!! I love these Anna…so pretty and can be used in so many different ways!!

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for reading the post and commenting. We have a lot in common when it comes to antiques and decorating!

      Reply
  5. CoCo

    Love the way you repurposed these so much, Anna! They’re beautiful and so practical too. I never knew you could wash these with soap and water – thank you for the tip. I’ll definitely try it! As always loving and pinning sweet friend, CoCo

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi CoCo- Thank you for commenting! I am glad this post provided some useful info for you! You can’t go wrong with Architectural Salvage.

      Reply
  6. Meagan

    What a fantastic and practical way to use antique balusters! I love this idea Anna. You will have so much fun getting all kinds of different looks from them. great job my friend.

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Thank you Meagan for commenting on this post! I appreciate your feedback!

      Reply
  7. Donna

    I love to see people make things out of old balusters and corbels! The gold hook looks fantastic on your baluster! I agree, it would look great to have several of them in a row! Love your creativity!

    Reply

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