Thrift Store Treasure! A DIY Vintage Industrial Mug Rack

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Have you ever wanted a cool decor item but not wanted to actually buy one? lol I find I’m that way with anything remotely ‘trendy’. I started seeing these Vintage Industrial Mug Racks all over the place after one was featured prominently on an episode of Fixer Upper. I think they are super cool, but I didn’t want to spend my hard earned dollars on something that will look very 2016-2017 in a few years.

So wasn’t I tickled pink when I found THIS while trolling the thrift store one day! $10 and I knew I could DIY it into something with the same vibe and functionality as one of those expensive mug racks. 

BTW – Today is a Flea Market/Thrift Store/Upcycle HOP with some of my best friends from ECM Media – so make sure you check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what they all did this month!

First things first – Here’s the SUPPLY List:

The first thing I did was remove the dowels from every other rung using heavy duty sheers. The dowels are quite thin and snapped off easily.

Then I chiseled off the little bits that were left over and sanded down the entire piece.

From there, I busted out my table top spray paint shelter – SUCH a great tool to have for this type of project!! And I gave the piece two solid coats of Krylon’s Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Anytime you’re spray painting or using high-VOC products, it’s important to wear protection. Dan got me this half-mask respirator for my birthday (LOLOLOL) and it totally does the trick. PLUS, I look like a rock star, right? ;P

After painting it, I found it was still giving off  A LOT of stinky off-gases, so I let it sit on the back porch for a few days before bringing it in and hanging it up. But look how lovely it is in our teeny tiny kitchen!?! I’m THRILLED. 

I have inadvertently amassed a collection of dark teal kitchen items, so this photo is quite matchy and it’s honestly the stuff I use every day! I guess that says something about the textiles I love. A word about those drawers in the corner… I KNOW THEY don’t match at all… this is a LOOOOOOOOOOONG story.

But nutshell: That weird gap was created when we moved the fridge from that spot to allow the counters to continue to the wall. (The fridge is on the opposite wall now with our pull-out pantry). We went years with a small makeshift shelf in that spot until a few months ago when we found that set of drawers at our local Habitat ReStore for $50. They fit PERFECTLY. So I just need to find time to paint them to match the rest of the cabinets and then trim them out. That’s why it looks like that. But let’s focus back on the pretty mug rack, shall we? 

I’m happy I went with the Oil Rubbed Bronze colour instead of flat black. I think it adds a nice little pop of sheen that makes the tired wood look metallic and industrial. Le Love. 

It really compliments the black and white happening in the room as well. AND it frees up A BUCKET of space in the cupboard!!

Alright – this is a hop, as I mentioned…so make sure you check out these other Flea Market-Thrift Store upcycles to get inspiration for your next project!

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13 thoughts on “Thrift Store Treasure! A DIY Vintage Industrial Mug Rack

  1. WOW when I saw the first part of this post and you cutting off those dowels, I was actually mad! I was like omg, why didn’t she just leave this for someone who really appreciates it as it is! THEN, I saw the finished product and OMG, how wrong I was for thinking such a thing! You couldn’t have repurposed this in any better way than what you did! It is gorgeous, it is the perfect repurpose for this piece, and from now on I will keep my eyes/thoughts/mouth shut until I see the finished product! EXCELLENT JOB, EXCELLENT REPURPOSE!

    1. Thanks Laura! The precariously perched mugs are a disaster waiting to happen… hanging them up (I hope!) will be less stressful lol

  2. It looks good. What an amazing idea. This mug rack is turned out so well. I like it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow!This is soooo pretty! I love it! Very practical too …and I love the spray shelter also. I didn’t even know they existed!, definitely better than my newspaper-on-the deck-with-rocks-in-the-corners setup, LOL : )

  4. Love this! I really need to make some cabinet space in our small kitchen and something like this is perfect. I know I’ve passed these up while thrifting because I couldn’t see them being anything of use for me. Totally wrong! Pinned

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