Introduction: Reclaimed Wood Canoe Paddle Hat Rack

Picture of Reclaimed Wood Canoe Paddle Hat Rack

This Instructable will show how to reclaim an old and tired wood canoe paddle and re-purpose it into a beautiful piece of home decor. An amazing Wood Canoe Paddle Hat Rack.

Please vote RECLAIMED WOOD contest.

Purchased 4 paddles at a garage sale for $1 each. The varnish finish was pretty much gone, and a couple paddles were cracked, but I figured I could get some use from them.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

  • The paddle is just a standard wood paddle. When I first got the paddles there was some mold and mildew starting to take them over from being stored in a damp place, so I hit them with some anti mold and mildew solution and a little sandpaper.
  • Propane Torch: Used to slightly burn the surface of the paddle to give it an older antique look.
  • Wood Burning Iron: used to personalize the paddle
  • Sandpaper: Use a 150-200 grit paper to sand out the torch marks.
  • Tack Cloth: Use to get the sanding dust off before finish coating.
  • Polycrylic Protective Finish: Clear satin finish coat.
  • Decorative Hooks

Step 2: Torch the Wood

Picture of Torch the Wood
Before going right at your paddle with the torch, I recommend practicing on a scrap piece of wood to experiment with the effect of torching your wood.
  • Torch your wood paddle by running the torch past the wood creating a random pattern that appeals to you.
  • For a lighter effect, keep the torch 4-6 inches away from the wood.
  • For a darker effect, 2-4 inches away from wood.
  • Don't let the paddle catch fire! You just want to scorch the wood to give it some aged character.
  • Use a 150-200 grit sandpaper to soften the torch patches.
  • Repeat the process with torch and sand paper as you desire until you get the style you want.
  • Give the entire paddle a good sanding.
  • Use a combination of air compressor and tack cloth to remove sanding dust.

Step 3: Personalize the Hat Rack

Picture of Personalize the Hat Rack

Plan your hook placement with any wood burned artwork.

If you have a wood burning iron handy, now would be a good time to personalize your paddle. I've pixelated our family name from the image. See the top right where there is space for any wood burned artwork.

Step 4: Finish Coat

Use your favorite stain and/or clear coat on the paddle to give the finish you desire. After torching and scorching, I thought a satin clear coat would be just fine.

I applied 4 coats to this paddle, as I am still not sure if it will be used indoors or outdoors.

Step 5: Add Your Hooks

Picture of Add Your Hooks

Found these hooks on Ebay maybe 10 years ago and had a few laying around. Needed more to do a paddle for a friend. They were hard to find, but finally found them at a Menard's about an hour from my home.

Wildlife Hooks at Menard's

Step 6: Complete!

Picture of Complete!

Now just need to figure out where to mount it.

Strong enough to hold a 7 year old boy! Ha Ha!

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Bio: Professional Educator for over 25 years. Avid DIYer! Why pay somebody to do what you can do yourself? Active in web design and development for ... More »
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