Have you wondered how you can reuse architectural salvage in your home? In this post I show you how to reuse old balusters.
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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.
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.
- Antique flat balusters
- Drill and drill bits
- Screw driver
- Tape measure
- Screws for mounting the hook
- Saw tooth picture hanger
- Hammer and brad nails
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.
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.
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.
Now repeat this step for any other flat balusters you wish to hang.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.