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Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Made to protect a house's entry points, vintage metal grilles can transform into an interesting kitchen fixture

a pot rack that is made from a vintage window guard
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Because of their strength and enduring style, many vintage iron window guards still adorn homes and beautify city streetscapes today.

But for those that have found their way to salvage yards as a result of a remodel or demolition, there are myriad other ways to use them inside and outside the house. Follow my example and turn a window guard into a rack for hanging pots, oven mitts, and utensils in the kitchen. Read on to learn how to boost storage in your cook space with a guard-turned-pot rack.
 


Steps // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard
1 ×

Iron Window Guards

 
Step One // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Iron Window Guards

old window guards at Demolition Depot in NYC
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Ornate window guards, like the ones shown here at Demolition Depot in New York City, range from $300 to $3,000. Simpler ones can be found on eBay and at house-part recycling centers for less than $100.

For my wall-mount rack, I bought a simple 3-foot-tall wrought-iron guard with two widely spaced twisted rails from Pasadena Architectural Salvage for $90.

Hang your rack within arm's reach of the range so that pots will be easily accessible. You can get hooks at Eagle Emporium.

 
2 ×

Protect the Iron Surface

 
Step Two // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Protect the Iron Surface

Amy Hughes polishes an iron window guard with metal polish
Photo by Kristine Larsen

from rust by rubbing on metal polish, such as Renaissance Wax (about $20; Amazon). Then buff to a soft sheen.

 
3 ×

Prep the Fasteners

 
Step Three // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Prep the Fasteners

spraypainting the screws with Rustoleum black paint
Photo by Kristine Larsen

by spraying them with black paint formulated for metal, such as Rustoleum American Accents ($5.20; Kmart), so that they'll match the iron rack.

 
4 ×

Determine Locations

 
Step Four // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Determine Locations

Amy Hughes and helper mark locations for the fasteners using a pencil and a level
Photo by Kristine Larsen

for the fasteners. Hold the rack against the wall where you plan to install it; ideally there will be studs to anchor into. Use a level to check alignment, and mark the center of the rack's existing holes with a pencil.

 
5 ×

Drill Pilot Holes

 
Step Five // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Drill Pilot Holes

Amy Hughes drills some pilot holes before installing a pot rack
Photo by Kristine Larsen

for the fasteners and anchors that work with your wall type. For drywall, I used 1½-inch-long ¼-inch lag bolts with plastic anchors. Because the bolt heads were smaller than the rack's holes, I added washers.

 
6 ×

Steady the Rack

 
Step Six // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Steady the Rack

using a ratchet wrench to screw in lag bolts that will hold up a pot rack
Photo by Kristine Larsen

on the wall and use a ratchet wrench to twist in the lag bolts. Make installation easier by screwing all four bolts loosely in place before going back and tightening each one.

 
7 ×

Arrange the S-Hooks

 
Step Seven // Make a Pot Rack From a Vintage Window Guard

Arrange the S-Hooks

Amy Hughes puts S-hooks on a newly installed pot rack
Photo by Kristine Larsen

on the top and bottom rails. I used 10 hooks for my 3-foot rack. Now pull your favorite pots and pans from those dark cabinet recesses and hang 'em on your rack, where they'll be easy to grab.

 
 
 

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