Reclaimed wood ladder upcycled into a decorative wall ladder
This project is so simple, anyone can do it. All you need is some sandpaper, varnish and… a wood ladder. Ok, so maybe that last part has you cocking your head quizzically at the screen thinking “isn’t the whole point of this article to show me how to build the ladder”? Well, no, it isn’t. But not to worry, I’ve got you covered too.
As many of my home decor projects begin, I found an old wood ladder in the backyard under the deck. It was weathered, covered in green fungus and looked like it was about to fall apart. Nevertheless I thought I would at least try to sand it down and see if the ladder was somehow salvageable.
I started with 80-grit paper and sanded by hand – no way this ladder was going to hold up to a power sander! Once I got most of the grime off, I switched to 150-grit paper to get a smoother finish. But don’t sand too much, the idea is to keep the weathered look intact.
After that, just wipe down the ladder with a humid rag to get rid of all the saw dust. Let it dry off, then put on a few coats of clear varnish. That’s all there is to it!
Ok, right, what if you don’t have an old wood ladder lying around? Here’s an idea:
- Buy two 2×4’s and some wood broom sticks at your local hardware store.
- Lay the 2×4’s down flat next to each other with the wide side flat against the floor. Measure and mark the pieces every 12 inches.
- Cut the broom sticks into 12″ lengths. These will be your ladder rungs.
- Use a Forstner bit that matches the size of your broom sticks (typically 1 1/8 inch) and make shallow holes in your 2×4’s where you marked them. Be careful not to pierce all the way through the 2×4.
- Glue and assemble the ladder, using clamps to hold the ladder together while it dries overnight.
- If you want a more weathered look, use a stain of your choice.
The final result is a warm decorative piece that can be a feature on its own, or you can be creative by dressing it up with plants, magazines, or your favorite throw for those cold nights by the fire.