BESTA "white" board and keyrack

Materials: BESTA door, paint, nails, polymer clay, glue

Description: My front entrance hall – like many front entrance halls – suffers from a semi-perpetual pile of clutter. A little while ago, I started fixing this by making a coat rack/bag hooks by up-cycling a plank from a shipping pallet a friend gave me.

I’ve been wanting a key rack for that space, and am also planning to build a shoe rack from the remainder of the pallet.

Then a recent trip to IKEA yielded a BESTA cupboard door in the seconds section for $10, and this weekend project was born…

As always, the first (and least fun!) part of this project was surface prep. The door not only had that dirty great sticker on it, but had been wrapped in sticky tape, as well as having some minor chips and dents in the paint work. Getting the sticky residue off proved interesting. The frame was not such an issue, as I needed to sand it lightly anyway to create a good surface for the paint to adhere to. The glass…believe it or not, I ended up using a toothbrush to scrub the residue with TOOTHPASTE and white vinegar, before polishing off vigorously with a towel.

Next up, I created the “hooks” for the key rack along the bottom. Previous experience making the bag rack taught me that polymer clay by itself tends not to be strong enough to use as a load bearing material. So I used bullet head nails to create the sub structure of my hooks (Baker Boy very kindly bent the ends of them for me to create the hook shape).

I deliberately left the final portion of my nails “bare”, so that at assembly time I would have a uniform diameter for drilling the holes for them. It also helped in ensuring that the front of the hooks was even after assembly – as I made each hook, I lined it up with the others to make sure the length of blue clay from the bend to the start of the bare nail, was the same. That way, once the nails were placed in the holes to sit flush against the start of the blue, all the hooks lined up.

Then, painting everything. First, I cleaned the glass REALLY well, then spray painted it on the “wrong” side in Dulux Ultra Chrome, to create an opaque back for the “whiteboard” surface. You could use any light colour for this. Then I used some Jo Sonja greens to paint the frame, after masking the edge of the glass with tape so I didn’t over brush onto the glass. I wanted the slight “streaks” with the white showing through, to match the somewhat rustic finish on my coat rack – if you wanted a really smooth finish, I recommend REALLY sanding the existing finish from the door to give the paint a good surface to adhere to.

Finally, time to put it all together. I measured out equal spacing for the hooks, and then drilled holes just wide enough for the portion of nail that was extruding from each hook, then fixed them into the holes with glue. I also glued the letters on to the top of the door and…ta-da! we hung it on the wall. I’m pretty stoked – it gives us not only a key rack but a great place to leave messages, reminders, etc.

See more of the Besta whiteboard and keyrack.

~ Kath, Adelaide, Australia

Jules Yap