in mere hours? I think yes.
Hot on the heels of the magical unicorn wall I decided that a day just isn’t right unless you’ve drawn a unicorn on your kitchen wall and done an entire project from conception to completion. Needless to say, I’m enjoying sitting down for the first time this morning since 6:10 am (it’s 5:00).
I think this project is the fault of the magnetic knife racks, and also a picture I saw at some point.
I checked around at a couple stores to see if this was a buyable thing. Alas. Except not, because making things is way more fun.
So. Let’s get dirty.
I looked at this wall and said to it ‘wall, you are so weird and tiny and boring and just aching to be covered in pot lids. And you will want to be blue to offset the fact that I just painted the only real wall in this tiny kitchen black.’
And the wall said ‘You are so right.’
My fake wall is 27” long and I have 33” worth of pot lids, so in my case I needed to make two racks.
If you want to make yourself a pot rack, go you! First you need to choose whether you want it to be black or silver. We made our bookshelf (which you’ll hear about soon, I promise) out of black iron plumbing pipe, but for this project I chose to use galvanized steel pipe (in this case, the only difference is aesthetic) because I didn’t want to introduce any more black into my kitchen—in fact part of the reason for remodeling this wall was to offset the black, so silver it was.
Here’s what you need to make one pot lid rack:
Everything is going to be in ½ inch diameter.
 plumbing pipe nipple (I swear this is what they’re called!) of an appropriate length (I went with 18” for one and 22” for the other*), or a length of pipe cut and threaded to the length you need.
 90º elbows
 1.5” nipples
 Floor Flanges
 Drywall anchors
 Screws preferably ones that fit the drywall anchors
Spray paint in the color of your choice
Tools you need:
A drill, and properly sized bits
A tape measure
A leveling device of some sort. If you don’t have an actual level, get creative! I’ve used a board with a glass of water on it to level things before.
A Philips head screwdriver
You only need the drywall anchors if you’re putting these up on drywall (you probably are) though you probably don’t need them, but better safe than sorry, right?
*we’ll come back to this later
Okay, so we’ve got our stuff. If you’re like me at this point you’re trying to figure out why floor flanges are so damn expensive.
I got a paint sample of Olympic’s Misty Surf, because I knew that would be just about the perfect amount for the fake wall. I call it the fake wall because it’s tiny and non-load bearing.
Also, paint samples are super cheap, and you can get them in any color. So if you have a smallish painting project, don’t discount the power of the paint sample.
When I got home I moved the stove and was greeted with this atrocity:
Ignore the fact that Tesla has somehow managed to get nearly an entire dinner’s worth of kibble under there, let’s focus on the fact that the ‘professionals’ were like ‘let’s just drill a hole here and slap an outlet on it and call it good’ and that they did the same thing with the tile under the stove as they did with the fridge, only worse. I don’t know how this is possible. They didn’t even bother to put linoleum under the whole stove, and there’s all this stuff that looks like finely ground drywall compound back there, and they didn’t even bother to secure the damn linoleum, so I ripped up a bunch of it moving the stove.
Then it was tape some walls and throw some paint up there. More painter’s tape is always better than less. If I’m painting around the ceiling, or any place where there’s wood (aka things that I really don’t want paint on) I put a few extra strips of tape to protect them from my clumsy painting skills.
I use a roller to do most of the work, and a chip brush to get into those annoying little places like corners. After dealing with chalkboard paint and metal paint yesterday, working with good ole’ latex paint was a relief. I probably finished this sucker in under 15 minutes.
Back to the pot lid racks.
Before you do anything else, you’re going to want to wash these, and if they have price labels or anything on them, you’re going to need to get all the goo from those off. It’s super annoying, but it can be accomplished with soap and water. I used the bathtub and a mixture of dish soap and Dr. Bronner’s, to fine effect.
Then you’re going to want to put them together, but leave the flanges off. Take those puppies outside and put them on some newspaper. It should look like this:
You want them to be nice and tight and everything sticking out the right way.
Good? Now spray paint them—read the directions on the can, and spray with the wind such that you do not get covered in spray paint. As with all things, less is more. You don’t want spray paint drips ruining everything.
And here’s how my pipes looked after a little paint. Shiny, no?
Then it was back inside to put the racks up. I was very excited until I realized something horrible. The longer of the two racks did not fit on the wall as I had planned because of the added width of the flanges.
And now, an indispensible pearl of wisdom you surely wanted me to share with you:
Follow the advice of the Hitchiker’s Guide and
I would say that I secretly like it when something goes awry in a project because it forces me to think creatively and usually things end up better than you had planned originally.
But that’s Bullshit.
No one likes it when their carefully laid plans end in wreckage, or horribly wavy because you used a belt sander on a door.
But it is true that it forces you to be creative, which I do like, and it is true that often I am more pleased with the creative results than my original idea.
We’ll come back to the sad pot rack in a little bit, but for now, how’s here to hang these the correct way:
Figure out approximately where you’re going to want to hang the rack, then, trace one of the screw holes on the flange.
Put the rack aside.
Drill a hole for the screw, or the drywall anchor. Always Pre-drill. (It’s so important it got bolded and italicized) If you’re not using anchors (because you’ve checked and you’re drilling into a stud) you want the bit you choose to be a hair smaller than the screw itself. If you’re using anchors, get as close as you can to the actual size. I’ve smushed and bent many an anchor trying to fit them into holes that are slightly too small. Pound in that anchor.
Now get your rack back, and screw that one screw in, using a screwdriver, not a drill. Don’t screw it in all the way, you want to be able to move the rack around. Be careful though, it might leave marks on your wall, or perhaps my wall was not dry for use.
Tip: There is a difference between dry to the touch and dry to use.
Got out your level and figure out where the rack is going to be exactly, and trace all the screw holes. An extra pair of hands is a good tool to use at this stage if you have them, otherwise, if you’re 5’3, trying to balance a 5 foot level, hold up a pot rack, and trace screw holes, worry not, you can do it!
Carefully let your rack go, they are metal and can ding your walls. At this point you’re going to want to put in all of your anchors, or drill all your screw holes.
Everything line up?
I alternated putting in screws on each side, and that worked really well, as things can shift a little bit and that ensured they were more even.
If you’re only putting up the one, congrats on a job well done!
If not, that wasn’t so bad, right?
Here’s the first rack installed:
You can see where I marred the wall, but that was easy enough to paint over with the chip brush.
And with lids:
At this point I had to get Nick from work, and was glad to escape the pesky sad second rack for a little bit, as the main solution floating in my head was to just replace the 22” nipple with an 18” nipple, but pipes are expensive, and I wouldn’t be able to return one that I had spray painted.
Nick came home, he thought the pot rack was awesome, it took him five minutes to realize I’d painted the wall as well (sometimes I wonder) and he thought that was awesome too.
Nick is an engineer, Nick is creative, Nick suggested the perfect solution (though he somehow says this is my idea) – hang it diagonally!
I was satisfied with this idea; in fact, I really, really liked it, I feel like it looks way cooler, more dynamic and artsy this way.
We tested just to make sure it was functional, and it was, so up it went, and here we are:
Don’t worry, I’m not so simple as to keep those towels directly over the stove, I just wanted to show you how nice these look and how nicely they go with my dish towels.
Interestingly, I already had this exact idea for hanging something else—the towels in the upstairs bathroom, so I think given how these turned out, they will look fantastic upstairs.
Till tomorrow, mes amis!