DIY Farmhouse style hall tree for pool towels

I built my first piece of furniture this week and I am seriously so excited and itching to do the next one! Winking smile  But first let’s talk about this DIY farmhouse style hall tree that I built – this build went so easy and so fast and this piece of furniture could be used in so many places/uses in your home.   I hope this will inspire and challenge you to tackle building something soon!

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But first let’s back up… I have so been enjoying participating in the At Home DIY challenge each month this year.  A group of about 30 bloggers come up with a project and post it on the 15th of each month.   You can see the past month’s projects here:

Each month is assigned a theme and this month was “Build it cheaper than you can buy it”.  Well, that’s a pretty easy one because for the most part, anything you build will be cheaper in cost than buying it– one of the huge reasons that I have wanted to learn and tackle building for quite some time.  Not only will it cost less, but it will be so much better quality (and solid wood!) than most furniture nowadays.

So we had this corner on our back porch that looked like this…  yeah, not serving any purpose, and definitely not attractive in any way filled with various junk.  We have been working on building a playset on and off so all the supplies and randomness would get thrown back here.  This corner is quite awkward too since the bay windows jut out just leaving a walkway to it and then not much space there for anything.  We needed someplace to hang towels/goggles/swimsuits and pool stuff in between use or to dry overnight and I knew this spot would be perfect for that!  But since we didn’t really want to drill a bunch of holes into the wood siding to hang a board with hooks and then have a separate bench, I decided that a free-standing piece of furniture  – like a hall tree – would be perfect for this spot.

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I googled and searched a few sites just to see if something might be the right size/color and in the affordable range and came up with nothing.  Everything was well over $100 and this one that I liked the best was close to $200!  And none of it made of solid wood so even though this is a covered porch the moisture/humidity and occasional sideways rain could potentially ruin it.

I have had this plan from Ana White pinned for some time and was so excited to finally tackle building one of her plans.

I built the hall tree completely according to her plans not attempting any modifications on my first big build and it went so fast and easy!  4-2×4’s and 2-2×6 and a box of pocket hole screws were all I needed making my total right at $30 for a solid wood hall tree that will last forever!   I just used a Kreg Jig mini for this project and it worked just fine – I LOVE using my Kreg Jig  – it truly makes the building process so much easier/quicker and the final project so much stronger.

I won’t detail much of the build since you can just reference her plans but I will show you how I finished it.

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Here it was all finished and sanded!  I still look at this and can’t believe I built it (no help from hubby except for carrying to the back porch once it was done).  My 3-year-old little girl did help though! Smile  She helped hold several boards on one side while I screwed in the other side – I can’t wait to teach her more about building and DIY as she grows older. Smile

I really wanted a rustic/weathered/beachy raw wood look for this and I am still working on perfecting how to get that look, especially on pine wood that tends to look very yellow.

I started by staining it with one coat of Varathane Classic Penetrating stain in Early American.

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Then I sanded and distressed mostly the edges to reveal some of the raw wood and give it that rustic look.

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Then I mixed up some Rust-Oleum Milk Paint in Classic White doing about 6 parts water to 1 part paint and wiped on and then immediately off with a rag creating a whitewashed look.  And then I sanded again to distress.

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Since this is going to be used outside I finished it with a coat of exterior polyurethane to help protect the wood – the poly brought back a bit of the rich brown/wood look which was fine.

The hooks came from D. Lawless Hardware and I love these hooks!  At $1 each they don’t break the bank and can be used for so many things.  Then it was done and time to move to the back porch (which I pressure washed and cleaned all the junk off while the bench was drying).

I am so excited to finally have something pretty yet oh so functional in this corner!

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I have a bunch of these wood crates in various places in the house so I grabbed 2 that weren’t really being used and screwed some simple caster wheels (these are a great price!) to the bottom so we can use them for shoe or even floaties/goggles/flip flop storage.   Here’s to actually hoping the flip flops actually go in the bins and aren’t piled up all over the back porch anymore.  Smile

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This is perfect spot to hang up wet towels and even swimsuits to dry overnight when they will be used once again the next day.  And when it isn’t pool weather it can double as extra seating on our back porch too.

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I love how the finish came out and look forward to perfecting this raw wood/weathered look even more on other pieces.

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We have had the most gorgeous weather this week in GA – unusually cool in the 70’s/80’s instead of mid 90’s and seriously wish it could last forever.  I am a spring/summer outdoors girl and honestly do wish summers could just last forever.

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I CANNOT. WAIT. to tackle another build soon, like really soon!  It might just be something else for the back porch Smile

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I’d love to know if you have ever built a piece of furniture!  If so, what was it?  Or if you have yet to build something, what would you want to build?

Make sure to check out all the other projects below from other bloggers that did a “build it cheaper than you can buy it” project this month – you are sure to have lots of inspiration for a future build!


  1. This turned out great and what a great idea to build it for outside by the pool Now no more wet towels in the house.
    Toni | Girl, Just DIY! recently posted..DIY Wedding Card Box TutorialMy Profile

  2. Bravo you did a fantastic job. Love how you made it rustic looking.

    Enjoy your day


  3. I love this project because it is beautiful and it is functional. I love that you put casters on the boxes to make it easy to move around. Great job!

  4. What a great job! Beautiful and useful!

  5. That looks great. I am really impressed that this is your first build. It looks awesome. I follow Ana White too, she has some great projects although I have never done any. Kudos to you!

  6. WOW, great job on this build!! I wish I had room for it somewhere!!

  7. What a beautiful build!!! Great job!!! It looks absolutely wonderful!!!

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