Well say that ten times fast – a vintage style unlacquered brass rail is a timeless addition to your home. I could easily see this being used for an outside mounted cafe curtain rod or hanging bar over the cooktop or behind a laundry room sink.
The unlacquered brass is a classic finish that will patina over time but can easily be restored.
These rails or rods can be purchased from Restoration Hardware but the cost of them quickly adds up. Today I am going to show you how I duped these unlacquered brass rods. It is so simple. Anyone can do this.
Like my seven year old could do this.
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Supplies for your vintage unlacquered brass rod dupe
The brass pipe is commonly used in lamp parts and so it is actually easy to find in tons of lengths. I found it up to 6 feet long – although the shipping was a little extreme.
- Male Threaded Unfinished Brass Pipe – 1/8″ips. This is the common term for the same diameter pipe you have seen at stores like Restoration Hardware which is 3/8″. So when you are looking for a 3/8″ cafe curtain rod and want to use lamp parts, the size you need is 1/8″ ips. Unfinished is what they refer to unlacquered brass. You can also buy your parts from Grand Brass, but their shipping might be expensive depending on how long of a pipe you order.
- Brass finial one per side. Unfinished brass finial if you are going with the unlacquered brass pipe. This finial looks similar to the one I bought from Grand Brass.
- 1/4″ wood dowel
- Cup hook/screw eye
- Rub n’ buff gold leaf if your cup hooks aren’t brass plated
- Drywall anchors (I didn’t use these because I went into the bead board and drywall with the screw eye/cup hook and that was enough) if you aren’t installing into wood or a stud. Make sure you paint these after you install them to hide the plastic part
Tools to install your vintage unlacquered brass rod dupe
- Measuring tape
- Drill bit
- Pen or pencil to mark screw hole placement
- Small paint brush to apply rub n’ buff
Steps to make your unlacquered brass rod
Decide what size unlacquered brass pipe you need
Measure the size you need. I had 22″ of room to work with. I bought 2 – 2″ finials and an 18″ unlacquered brass pipe. (I actually bought double this because I made two rails).
I also bought 1 – 3′ long wood dowel. If I had gone longer I may have used multiple wood dowels glued on the ends. The pipe is pretty sturdy at this length but I wanted to make sure it didn’t bend.
If you are hanging even heavier things you may consider lining the inside of the pipe with an inexpensive metal rod from Lowes. These can easily be cut with a grinder or on your miter saw in a pinch.
Cut your dowel
Cut your dowel to the same length as your unlacquered brass rod and push it inside the rod.
Add your unlacquered brass finial
This may seem self explanatory, but here we go, thread or screw your finial on to your male threaded unlacquered brass pipe.
Attach to your wall
Measure the distance between the finials and, using a level, mark your spots on your wall with a pen or pencil. Drill a small pilot hole.
If there isn’t a stud in that location add a drywall anchor in the right weight rating for what you plan to hang on the rod. Screw in your cup hooks.
Hang your rod. I had to remove my finials, place the brass rod through the cup hooks/screw eyes and then screw the finals back on.
Finish your cup hooks
If your cup hooks did not come brass plated like mine, you can add a little rub in buff in gold leaf to them.
Disclaimer: Working with power tools and DIY projects can be dangerous and post inherent risks. While we work hard to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the tutorials along with the information displayed on this website, Hambels Get Real cannot be held responsible for damages or losses sustained or incurred in the course of your project or in the use of the item you create.
If you loved this simple hack check out another one here on how I made cabinet pull backplates.