Month of Makeovers Day 12: The rust of the story

Usually rust is not my thing. There are vintage dealers who have entire booths of rusty stuff that I’ll look at, admiring the strong shapes and the complete honesty of the metal, but I’m rarely tempted to bring any of it home. It’s just not my style. There’s something for everyone out there in flea market land, and other lucky people get to love and live with the rusty stuff without any competition from me!

But when I spied this rusty antique wire toothpaste & toothbrush holder, my makeover instincts immediately overrode my “Rust? meh” instincts.


It’s got some curves, huh?

Mr Luray—we’ll call him Blues-Ray—immediately said, “There is no way you are putting that rusty . . . thing in my new bathroom!” Hello, Blues-Ray, it’s my new bathroom too. Fear not, though, I have better plans for this than just a toothbrush holder.

Keep reading for my better plan!

First, let’s deal with the rust. There isn’t much, really. There is some old paint that appears to be well adhered. To keep it from flaking later, I give the whole piece a quick blast of acrylic sealer.


Now it needs a backing of some sort to give it a bit more presence. I dig out a little piece of new baseboard left over from a long chunk that Mr Darcy, our builder, installed. He shaped it to exactly match the original baseboard in our 1929 house. Do you know how many miles of this stuff I have sanded, spot-primed with BIN to seal the knots, sanded again, primed, sanded again, and painted? Yeah, I don’t know either. I lost track long ago. Twenty or thirty miles, easily. At least it feels like that much.


The baseboard looks too new, so it gets a heavy sanding, especially on the sharp corners. Then I use my trusty P-square to mark some lines on the back for adding hanging hardware later.


Now to pick a paint color! Graphite? Duck egg blue? Antibes green? Scandinavian pink? French linen?


(Yes. I know the rims of my paint cans could use a good cleaning. I promise to do it as soon as I’m done with this project!)

The graphite and the French linen aren’t enough of a contrast with the metal, so I set them aside.

The three finalists vie for attention . . .


. . . the envelope please . . . it’s duck egg blue!

Two coats of paint and a coat of wax later, it looks pretty good. I add two key-slot hangers on the back, so it’ll be nice and stable on the wall.


A rummage through my Old Hardware Hoard yields a pair of matching tarnished brass slot screws that could pass for the originals.


Okay, Love the duck egg blue, love the wire, but I think it could use one more thing.


While I was rummaging through the Old Hardware Hoard, I found this little brass key. How perfect! Now I’ve got a great spot for the new front-door key to Lurayville. The wire tray is reserved for my vintage catseye-frame sunglasses. Where o where did I put them?

See the entire list of projects for our Month of Makeovers HERE.

One Comment on “Month of Makeovers Day 12: The rust of the story”

  1. afternoonlattes says:

    rust usually isnt my thing either but it has been this season!
    when you get a chance could you please check out my blog?