Nautical Wall Decor with Vintage Drawer Handles

Nautical Wall Decor with Vintage Drawer Handles

As luck would have it, my friends are constantly offering up freebies for me to repurpose for my blog. And so was the case with these vintage drawer handles. My friend, Teri, had given her mother’s dresser a makeover for her daughter’s new apartment. When she asked if I wanted the old hardware, I eagerly took them off her hands. They looked JUST LIKE dock cleats or boat cleats to me, and I wanted to transform them into some nautical wall decor.

To bring my vision of coastal wall decor to life, I need a plank of wood and something else to spruce it up. After rummaging through my stack of scrap wood, and a quick flip through my stencil file, I gathered everything I’d need to bring this idea to life.

Upcycling the vintage drawer handles into the nautical wall decor

I just needed a little wood stain, some stenciling, and to paint the drawer handles with silver paint to make them look like dock cleats. I think this idea for nautical wall decor will work out, don’t you?

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

This post was also sponsored by Weatherwood Stains. Their products were provided to me free of charge, but all opinions and results are my own.

Nautical Wall Decor with Weatherwood Stains and Vintage Drawer Handles

I needed to enrich my plain plank of oak plywood with the right stain- so, I decided to give Weatherwood Stains a try. And more specifically, I used Restoration stain, which should pair well with my piece of oak plywood.

Weatherwood Stains in Restoration to be used on the coastal wall decor

Per the directions on the can, I sanded my wood board with an 80-grit disk against the grain to open it up and help the Weatherwood Stains work its magic.

Bosch orbital sander on the plywood before applying the Weatherwood stains

Then, using a clean rag, I wiped on 2 coats of wood stain.

Two coats of Weatherwood stains in Restoration on the oak plywood

Because Weatherwood Stains are reactive, the full color change happens over the course of several minutes. Check out this quick time lapse video (originally 15 minutes) of the second coat drying!

This is how the board looked after the two coats of Weatherwood Stains had completely dried:

Once the Weatherwood stains has dried completely on the oak plywood

Next, I needed to seal the nautical wall decor with a thin coat of Clear Maintenance OilThis will really bring the oak plywood to life!

Maintenance oil from Weatherwood Stains on the nautical wall decor

Vintage Drawer Handles as Nautical Hooks for Coastal Wall Decor

Is that gorgeous or what? I love how the stain brought out the nuances of the grain in alternating brown and gray tones. This color of Weatherwood Stains was perfect for my plan to make some nautical wall decor.

Wood stain on oak plywood to make the nautical wall decor

Ok, now onto the stenciling! The stencil I used for the coastal wall decor was actually an adhesive mesh stencil, which I had never used before.

Using a stencil on the coastal wall decor or nautical home decor

In some ways, I loved it (the adhesiveness ensured no bleed through whatsoever and didn’t leave any sticky residue).

But in other ways, it was annoying. Stippling the paint didn’t work very well through the mesh letters, so I swirled the paint instead. Which was fine, but gauging the right amount of paint to use was difficult.

In the end, though, it worked out beautifully- and my inability to gauge paint quantity lent itself to naturally distressed stenciling!

Coastal wall decor on plywood before adding the nautical hooks

Finally, I turned my attention back to the vintage drawer handles that launched this idea of nautical wall decor!

To transform them into dock cleats or boat cleats, I used a metallic silver spray paint that gave them a hammered silver look.

And then it was time to combine the stenciled sign with the vintage drawer handles to finish up the nautical home decor!

Nautical Wall Decor with Vintage Drawer Handles

Using a speed square, we carefully measured and drilled holes for the boat cleats.

I swapped out new nuts and bolts to extend the nautical hooks out from the wood, thus giving plenty of space to be used as coat hooks.

That was it! I had upcycled those vintage drawer handles into boat cleats or dock cleats. And now they’ll serve as nautical hooks on some coastal wall decor!

Upcycling the vintage drawer handles into boat cleats for nautical wall decor

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for coastal decor, then you may also be interested in these sea glass bottles that I made from my recycling bin!

Sea glass bottles for beach decor or coastal decor made with recycled wine bottles

Craft on!


Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Please subscribe here.

Join me on Social Media:

please follow sadie seasongoods on facebookplease follow sadie seasongoods on instagramfollow sadie seasongoods on pinterest





PIN ME!Vintage hardware as nautical hooks for coastal wall decor

 | Website

Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Awesome; those drawer pulls were MEANT to be boat cleats! I remember ripping a robe on pulls like that with stick-out ends;they’re much better as hanger hooks. Love those hammered finish paints you have tried recently; need a project to try it on!

  2. Those DO look like cleats! I can’t imagine them on a dresser! Love the sign.

  3. Great repurpose of old drawer handles…certainly looks like a boat cleats. Love it.

  4. Helen Boltin says

    I think these would work beside windows to wrap blind or Roman shade cords too in a nautical themed room. Great idea!

  5. What a fun coat rack! This would be perfect for my brother he loves his fishing. The last couple of stencils that I purchased were the adhesive mesh stencils. I like them pretty well, but your right you can’t stipple on them very well.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I didn’t even realize that was the kind of stencil it was when I bought it, LOL. Guess I’ll pay better attention next time… 😉

  6. Very cute and perfect for a lake cottage or someone living in a coastal community (wish that was me).

  7. Julia - Vintage with Laces says

    When I saw the picture I thought you had repurposed boat cleats, lol. Great idea to turn the handles into hooks. Your coat hook rack is beautiful, Sarah!

  8. This is such a cute idea. You are so creative, and those pulls definitely look like boat cleats!

  9. Very cool! They make great hooks!

  10. Debbie Boyette-Norris says

    Is the transfer from CC? I love that.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Chalk Couture? Nope, I’ve never tried CC before…and I link to the stencil in my blog post.

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.