I scored a fluted column at an antiques shop for just $90—a bargain, considering its stellar condition and detailed design. To repurpose it as a coat tree, all I had to do was add some hooks and build a new plinth base to replace the missing original. But rather than make a base from scratch, I assembled one by stacking three prefab wood boxes beneath a round plaque that I secured to the bottom of the column's shaft. For $39 in supplies from Walnut Hollow, I saved myself hours in the workshop. The hooks came from House of Antique Hardware, where antique repros in a range of styles and finishes start at $3 each. To preserve the column's aged finish and guard against lead in the old paint, I brushed the surface with a few coats of clear polyurethane in a matte sheen before starting the job.
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    Tools List

    • carpenter's pencil
    • multi-bit screwdriver
    • paintbrush
    • drill
    • combination square
      Combination square

    Shopping List

    Wood column

    6 coat hooks with screws

    Circular wood plaque

    Three open-ended boxes
    (8-, 10- and 12-inch square)

    Wood screws

    Painter's tape

    Wood glue

    Paint (small sample pot)

    1 quart clear acrylic polyurethane