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DIY Projects

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DIY Projects

Monochrome Towel Rail Upcycle

DIY monochrome towel rail

When we moved into our new house earlier last year, the previous owner had left several bits and bobs throughout the home. Most were empty boxes, old lino, wallpaper and general rubbish, but there were some little beauties - a stack of old newspapers, (this may not excite everyone, but totally excites me!) a wooden vintage ladder, some massive chunky slabs of wood (kind of like railway sleepers, but much wider!) and this little vintage style towel rail.

Upcycling an old vintage towel rail

In my dream bathroom, I would have a traditional style victorian heated towel radiator. It would be gloriously warm and lovely, but since we currently don't have central heating (boo!), this just isn't an option right now. After having finished the bathroom a couple of months ago, we've been struggling with a place to hang our towels. The go to solution was to hang them over the bath making the room look somewhat mega scruffy!

We'd been using this old towel rail in the downstairs shower room, so I thought I would give it a new lease of life, a splash of paint and bring it to life in the upstairs bathroom. I've seen lots and lots of these style towel rails painted white and I wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided to opt for a monochrome inspired design. Apologies for the super awkward photos to follow - I decided to take this little project on one evening, it was dark, bad lighting, and in one of the most un-photogenic corner of our home. Super Soz!

I used an base coat of 'Winter Grey' in Rustoleum's Chalky Finish paint which I had leftover from upcycling an old side table previously. This is quite a white and bright grey and looks more white-ish  than grey in most lights. Since it's a chalk paint, it also meant the towel rail required no sanding - YAY!

rustoleum vintage towel rail

I then created a diagonal divide using masking tape to paint one side of the towel rail in Authentico's 'Pigeon Grey' Chalky paint. To be honest, it was quite fiddly taping the towel rail up as I had to go back over the masking tape on the opposite side to get a full wrap-around. I almost gave up a few times, it was much harder than I thought. But I did get there in the end.. Persistence wins!

upcycling a vintage towel rail

taping up a towel rail

Once painted I went over with a Finishing wax, which will provide the towel rail with protection against water and stains. This stuff also darkens the finish a little, which I quite like!

rustoleum finishing wax on vintage towel rail

And voila, it was really as simple as that! I love the finished look, it's simple yet a little bit different and quirky. The colours a great fit for the bathroom, I love that they continue the blue-y/grey theme but add an additional spectrum of grey.. Plus, it totally matches our new towels, ha!

monochrome inspired towel rail

upcycled towel rail

quirky vintage towel rail

black and white towel rail

vintage towel rail upcycle

It may not be my dream towel rail, but it's certainly much improved and will be a very suitable fit for our towel problems. Oh, if only it was heated!

What do you think? How would you have up-cycled this old towel rail?!


  1. I would love a bathroom big enough for one of these towel rails, I love the paint job x

  2. I would love a bathroom big enough for one of these towel rails, I love the paint job x


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