Design & DIY

Keep your floors (somewhat) cleaner with this DIY boot brush

Photo by Liam Mogan

“Clean off those boots before you even think of coming into this cottage!” I’ve heard that warning how many times? And I stomp the boots, but the stomping never gets the job done. I could buy a boot brush to scrub off the muck but, hey, why not design and build a better (and cheaper) one myself?

What you’ll need:

  • 2 deck scrub brushes
  • 3/4″ dowel
  • A few offcuts of 2x lumber and 5/4 lumber
  • Deck screws
  • Outdoor wood glue
  • 1 recessed finger pull

1. I picked up two 9″x3″ wooden-handled scrub brushes—the kind that screws onto a broom handle. I sawed them in half: two halves for the bottom and one for each side. Use caution when cutting such small pieces.

2. Since a boot brush isn’t needed every day, I found a clever way to hide it—between two deck joists. My deck uses 2×6 deck boards, but you can adapt the project to other sizes. Find a good spot and mark the deck board for the boot brush base, so each end overhangs the edge of the joist by 5/8″. Remove the board and cut the base.

Boot brush stored in deck boards
Photo by Liam Mogan

3. In the edge of a 10″ piece of 2x lumber, drill a hole for a 3/4″ hardwood dowel. The dowel should extend 1 3/8″ above the edge. Use outdoor wood glue to secure the dowel. Make a duplicate piece and sister these supports to the deck joists, centering the dowels between the adjacent deck boards and aligning the 2x pieces so they’re flush with the tops of the joists.

4. Drill 7/8″ holes in the 2×6 boot brush base so that it sits squarely over the dowels. I installed a recessed pull in the base, but you could easily devise another way to lift it, such as drilling a couple of finger holes.

5. Flip the base over. Glue and screw the two brush halves to the middle. Screw the side brushes to 2 1/2″ x 5″ spacer pieces, cut from 5/4 deck boards. Glue and screw these assemblies to the base. Drop the boot brush over the dowels, ready for duty. When you flip it over, most of the dirt will fall to the ground below. Now, you can go back inside, maybe even with your boots on.


boot brush top view illustration
Illustration by Jacques Perrault


boot brush illustration side view
Illustration by Jacques Perrault

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