The power of a mounted hook

Written By: Sarah Rose Humes

Mounting hooks may be small, but their functions are endless. In addition, when used solo, you can install them all around the home in clever places. The ease of installing a simple hook as compared to installing large boards across big sections of the wall is worth mentioning as well.


No matter the square footage of the place you live in, certain touches are needed to make a house a home. Functional hardware is an important factor. Upon entering a building, one needs a place to hang coats, hats and bags. Some homes and businesses offer coat racks for those situations. However, that is not an option for every place. Coat racks can take up precious floor space, and they are cumbersome and easy to tip. Even the wall mounted systems can seem bulky, especially if a minimalist approach is the goal.


There are many pros to mounting hooks on their own. In many older homes, archways are common, especially in entry areas. The archway may only be eight to ten inches across. When you mount a solo hook in that area, the space goes from solely decorative to being a functional bit of charm. It’s a clever place to hang coats, especially for visitors that may be staying just a short while.


It’s also handy to hang solo mounted hooks in other sections of your home so that various items have their own official spot. A mounting hook or two in the kitchen gives your apron or pot holders a place to belong. You save time and energy when you know where things belong. Do not forget the simple trick of mounting hooks for each child in the kitchen. Every morning, pull out a new washcloth for each child. After-meal cleanup for the little ones now becomes a breeze when they have their own hooks and their own washcloths! This works great for bibs as well.


This is a helpful technique for bedrooms. In a child’s bedroom, having one hook for their coat and a separate hook for their backpack helps them stay organized. If a child knows that their backpack belongs on the hook, it will save frantic morning searches for the missing bag. Having spots for items to belong increases the responsibility of the child and teaches them to care for their things. In adult rooms, hang hooks in the back of the closet for off season outerwear. A hook on the back of your bedroom door is a great place for robes.

Having a separate mounting hook for each person in the bathroom makes great hygienic sense. If each family member has their own hook in the bathroom, each person will be held accountable for their towels. Spaced properly, each towel can have the proper room to dry, without touching the others, helping stop the spread of germs.

Hooks are not just for day-to-day living space either. They are functional in a garage for umbrellas, sporting goods, and bags that need stored. Grilling season is made easier when all the grilling tools, often too large to store anywhere else, have their very own hook to hang on until springtime arrives. When mounted hooks are used by themselves, these tiny little tools can help out in really big ways.

From coat racks to armoires- It’s more than just the right stain

Written By: Robert Hoffmann

Staining a wooden coat rack, or any other piece of indoor or outdoor furniture, can seem like a fairly easy proposition. First of all, it’s cheaper to buy unfinished and disassembled wooden furniture than it is to buy finished and assembled wooden furniture, so it seems like an attractive option. However, while stain and brushes are fairly cheap, if one doesn’t know what they are doing, or doesn’t take the time to do the job thoroughly, the end result very well could be something practically unusable.

There are a few simple steps to follow when staining any piece of wooden furniture. Staining, like anything else, takes practice and patience to become proficient at, but by following these simple steps, anyone can end up with a piece of furniture that, at the very least, is presentable and usable. But remember, if one’s furniture is made from a cheap wood like poplar, just paint it. Stain brings out the structure and grain in quality hard and soft woods; staining cheap wood is an exercise in futility as cheap wood, stained or painted, is still cheap wood.

Sanding the wood

This is an often overlooked first step. People purchase disassembled, unfinished furniture and as they remove the pieces from the box, they marvel at how smooth the wood feels. Don’t trust your sense of touch in this instance. While the wood may be smooth to the touch, it still needs to be prepped by sanding.

Impurities and small pieces of detritus may be on the wood. In addition, the wood has been banging around inside a box. While there might not be any visible dents, the cellular structure of the wooden surface has become disrupted.

Using a fine grain sand paper, lightly sand the entire surface of the wood. This shouldn’t be a deep, hard sanding unless there are stains, such as oil, present. Rather, this is a generalized, light sanding to remove any foreign impurities and open up the cellular structure to be more receptive to the stain.

Open the wood

After one has finished sanding the wood to be stained, it is a good practice to wipe the surface lightly with a damp cloth. This will remove any sawdust that is still clinging to the wood. Wipe gently though, or risk leaving behind fibers from the paper towel or rag used to wipe the surface. In addition, the water is absorbed by the wood, making it more open to the primer.

Apply a primer

This is a step that is often skipped. Many stains advertise that they contain a primer and are ready to use. Don’t believe the hype. A quality primer will further moisten the wood. It will also help the stain to absorb evenly into the wood so that the grain is more visible and there is less chance of streaking. Only prime one piece at a time, as the stain typically needs to be applied to primer that is still damp.

Staining the wood

Patience and uniformity is key to doing an excellent stain job. Here, be sure to only apply a small amount of stain to the brush and apply it to the wood in long, even strokes moving with the grain. Use a minimum of stain. One can always make it darker by applying more coats, but one can’t lighten a dark stain job without sanding everything down to the bare wood.

Keep a small cloth or paper towel handy to wipe off drips. If one doesn’t wipe away drips, the inconsistencies in the stain application will result in streaks of lighter and darker coloring in the wood. Remember, though, that different types of grain in the same piece will absorb stain at different rates. Natural color differences are excellent for contrast, but unnatural differences are the mark of a poor stain job.

After the first coat has been applied, leave the piece to dry for at least twelve hours in a well ventilated and relatively dust free environment. The stain will will collect bits of dust in the air, so it’s very important to have it in as clean an environment as possible.

Almost done…

After the first coat of stain has dried fully, one can then decide whether or not it needs a second, or even third, coat of stain. If one desires another coat, very lightly run sandpaper over the stained wood to rough up the surface gently, wipe clean and stain again. There’s no need to use primer for a second coat.

As a final word, mixing different colors of stain in alternating coats can make for a unique look that captures the natural grain. Using a buttery stain with a darker stain such as a mild red can create a very attractive look. Staining wood coat racks, or any piece of furniture, is not difficult, but it does take time, care and patience.

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