Vintage Berkey Water Filter Floor Stand

I have owned a Berkey Water Filter system for years and I love it. I don’t love it taking up valuable counter space in my tiny kitchen. I’ve had this vision of a vintage Berkey water filter floor stand and finally found the perfect solid wood pedestal while thrifting one day.

Vintage Eastlake sitting chair next to the ornate wooden custom floor stand made for my Berkey water filter.
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Why Not Just Use the Standard Berkey Stand?

Berkey sells perfectly capable stainless steel stands but there are a couple of good reasons they don’t work for me.

  1. They don’t match my preferred aesthetic. The stainless steel system is enough of a draw to the eyes, I didn’t want to add to it.
  2. The price. They come in right around $50, which feels high to my pockets despite being of the finest quality.
  3. It wouldn’t solve my problem. They still sit on the countertop, which doesn’t solve my initial problem.
Berkey Water filter sitting on the custom made ornate wooden pedestal floor stand.

What’s the Big Deal About Berkey’s? Why Are They So Popular?

Scientifically tested and proven that Berkey filters and purifies the disease-causing microorganisms and volatile organic compounds in drinking water. Using this, the family is now safe from certain diseases and toxic organic compounds found in drinking water.
Vintage inspired ornate wooden Berkey water filter floor stand with the Berkey sitting on top. It's in a corner in front of my dining room. Two ornate metal frames with vintage prints are on the wall.

The honest truth is I live in a small city, I have no idea what is in our water. But from the look of my garden after it has depended too long on being watered with it, I’m not confident it’s good for us to drink.

Investing in an Imperial size Berkey water filter was a top priority when we moved to the city and lost our healthy well water. I needed peace of mind that I was providing clean, healthy water for my children to drink.

If you’re interested in learning more about their independent lab tests and results check out this article from

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Tools & Supplies to Build a Vintage Inspired Berkey Water Filter Floor Stand

Step One – Finding Center

For this step, you’ll need a Measuring Tape and a Pencil.

To attach your 12″ wood round to your wooden pedestal first you will need to find the center of your wooden pedestal.

How To Center Your Wooden Round on Your Pedestal

  1. Using your pencil mark the 6″ mark horizontally and vertically so you get the true center.
  2. Then measure the diameter of the top of your pedestal. Mine was 5 1/4″.
  3. Center the diameter of your pedestal on the 6″ mark, 2 3/4″ on either side, and mark each end.
  4. Mark this horizontally and vertically so you have a visual to center your round on your pedestal once upside down.

Step Two – Secure Your Wooden Round to Your Pedestal

For this step, you’ll need Wood Glue, 1 1/2″ Brad Nails, and Brad Nailer.

To ensure your wooden round is completely secure you’ll want to use wood glue and nails.

How to Secure Your Wooden Round

  1. Spread wood glue all over the top of the pedestal.
  2. Turn your wooden round to where the side you marked is facing downwards.
  3. Carefully and slowly center your wooden round following the marks you made earlier.
  4. Hold it secure while you shoot a brad nail dead center.
  5. Shoot several more brad nails at an angle towards the center of the pedestal so they don’t shoot through the wooden top and out of the other side.
  6. Hammer in any nails that aren’t sitting flush.

Step Three – Wood Filler and Sand

For this step, you’ll need Wood Filler, Putty Knife, 120 Grit Sanding Disc, and Orbital Sander.

Brad nails don’t leave large holes, but I just like the smooth finish I get when they’re filled in with wood filler. Especially since I chose to paint this project versus stain it.

This step is super simple

  1. Fill in the holes with wood filler
  2. Let it dry
  3. Sand it completely clean
  4. Wipe all excess dust off the Berkey water filter floor stand with a damp rag

Step Four – Paint & Distress Your Berkey Water Filter Floor Stand

For this step, you’ll need your Paint of Choice and 2″ Angled Paint Brush.

I chose to make my homemade chalk paint by adding a mixture of 50/50 plaster Paris and water a 1/2 pint of Iron Ore Latex Paint by Behr.

Paint a single coat over the entire Berkey water filter floor stand and let it dry. When it has dried thoroughly (10-15 minutes) use a 120 grit sanding disc to distress it.

Chalk paint tends to dry with a matte finish. Once distressed or even sanded lightly and covered in a top coat you will never notice.

When you reach optimal distressing (I wanted mine pretty heavily distressed) use a damp rag to clean all the excess dust off.

Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe

  • 1 Sample Size Latex Paint
  • 1/2 Cup Plaster of Paris
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water

In a separate cup thoroughly mix the plaster of paris and water until it is a smooth consistency with no lumps. Add the latex paint and stir it thoroughly to combine.

Step Five – Apply a Protective Coating

For this step, you’ll need Furniture Wax and Rags.

I love using furniture wax for a couple of good reasons

  1. It’s really quick and simple.
  2. You get a very historic finish appropriate for the era I was going for.
  3. Furniture Wax is a really great protective finish with only a slight sheen.

How to Apply Furniture Wax

  • Add a small amount of wax to a clean rag.
  • Apply it liberally all over the pedestal and top.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Buff the wax with a second clean rag until you see a nice sheen.


There are seven different sizes of the Berkey Water Filtration System. The Go, Travel, Big Berkey System, Light, Royal, Imperial, and Crown.

The filters come in two different types, the Black Purification Elements, and the Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements.

There are basically two types of filters for the Berkey Water Purification System.

The Black filters purify up to six thousand gallons per pair. The Berkey Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements eliminate 99.75% of fluoride and provide complete removal of arsenic (and other heavy metals).

What size water filter you need depends on how much filtered water you’ll need for your household size. The best option is to go a size larger Berkey so you will always have clean water on hand. The Big Berkey Water filter will suffice for most households with up to 4 members.

Berkey Water filter sizes graphic.

The composition of the Black Berkey filters is “a carbon composite containing high-grade coconut shell carbon combined with a proprietary blend of 5 other types of media”.

Replace your Berkey water every three days. For water that is in a cold environment, the water can keep for up to one week.

In our home, we typically have to fill it every other day. Optimally you could fill it at night so there is fresh filtered tap water available in the morning.

There are seven different sizes of the Stainless Steel Berkey System available. Choose the correct size depending on your household size.

  • The Go Berkey
  • Travel Berkey
  • Big Berkey System
  • Berkey Light
  • Royal Berkey
  • Imperial Berkey
  • Crown Berkey

New Berkey filters are high quality and last for 2-5 years of use. Test your filters yearly and purchase replacement filters if they fail.

How periodically the filter elements need to be replaced is something that varies depending on how much water is being filtered regularly through them.

To Store Berkey Filters Longer than 2 Weeks:

  1. Remove the filters.
  2. Dry off completely. To speed up the drying process put them in a sunny location.
  3. Seal them in an airtight bag.
  4. Remove any excess air from the bag.
  5. Store them in a safe dry place.

No. Never soak your Berkey Filters in Vinegar or any other cleaning product.

To clean wipe away the calcium scale with a ScotchBrite pad or soft brush then rinse with clean cold water.

The stainless steel Berkey system chambers are dishwasher-safe.

To Handwash: Use clean lukewarm water and mild dishwashing soap. Wash all chambers and parts of the Berkey System and then rinse. It is not advised to wash either of the Berkey Water Filters. Allow all rinsed chambers and parts to air-dry completely.

Yes, Berkey filters are recommended over Reverse Osmosis as the Berkey gives you purified drinking water without taking the good healthy minerals out.

Reverse Osmosis eliminates good minerals with contaminants. So, it doesn’t contain enough minerals, and when consumed, actually can leach minerals from the body as well. 

According to the independent lab test results, it successfully filters out Arsenic, Lead, Aluminum, and Chromium-6.

Heavy Metals

  • · Arsenic: >99.9% Reduction [16]
  • · Lead: >99.9% Reduction [17]
  • · Aluminum: >75% [18] to >99.9% Reduction [19]
  • · Chromium-6: >99.8% Reduction [20]

Yes. The Berkey will remove chlorine to undetectable levels and chloramines over 99.9% from drinking water.

Besides the Berkey Water Filter System, they also sell stainless steel bottles, glass bottles, Stainless Steel Stand, Stainless Steel Spigot (with a new look), Stainless Steel Berkey Water View Spigot, Black Berkey Primer, Berkey Biofilm Drops, Maintenance Kit, Carrying Totes, and various replacement parts.

Close up ornate chalk painted and distressed Berkey water filter floor stand after the furniture wax was buffed and gave it a nice warm sheen.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope I have inspired you to step out of your comfort zone, keep your eye’s peeled for treasures when you’re thrifting, and try to create something custom for your home. Don’t settle for ugly.

If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to check out my DIY Wall-Mounted Laundry Drying Rack which was made from a repurposed mirror frame.


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→


    1. Thank you! I am so happy to have it set up in its new home and off my counter. Plus, this beautiful stand adds to the character of the room.

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