White Tulip Designs » Inspiration, Design, and DIY for all of life's events.

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You scored an old ladder, now what do you do?

Early this summer, while out hunting and gathering (thrift store style!) I got lucky enough to find and old painter’s ladder. It has beautiful, aged, gray wood covered in paint specks that give it such wonderful character. It was terribly unstable, so I managed to get it for $10!  Woo-Hoo! The gentleman who rang me up kept shaking his head like I’d lost my mind. Clearly, he was new to the DIY-decor crowd in search of all things rustic, right?


Ladder Renovation - White Tulip Designs


When I got my treasure home, I didn’t know right away how I wanted to incorporate her into my decor.  However I put her to use, I knew I would have to tackle the stability issue first.  A blanket ladder or shallow shelves? Why not both?!  I started by cutting the front “stairs” away from the back “ladder” piece using my hand-dandy jigsaw (here’s the one I use!) It’s so easy a teenage boy can use it!



Once I had the “ladder” cut away, I let me handsome assistant remove the folding shelf. We cut it away so that it was still attached to the ladder. Since it’s only attached in one spot I knew I’d need to add support before I put her to use.



Now that the pieces are separated, we wiped them down with warm, soapy water to clean them off a bit.  Once that dried, we went back over them with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I wanted to keep the rough gray wood (even with the paint drips) so I didn’t paint or stain it. 


Ladder Renovation - White Tulip Designs


To stabilize the “shelf” at the top of my ladder, I used drywall screws to anchor the moving pieces to the sides of the ladder.  Two screws on each side did the trick.  Tip: Pre-lean your ladder and mark where you want the shelf will be level before pre-drilling your holes. Take your time so you get the screws exactly where you want them.


Ladder Renovation - White Tulip Designs


Here’s a quick pic of the leaning ladder while I was working on styling the corner of the living room. Someone’s not as impressed as I am with my cute new blanket ladder!


Ladder Renovation - White Tulip Designs


Ladder Tutorial - White Tulip Designs


She’s perfectly at home here in the corner with my sweet little plaid chair and some fall details! Now, to find a spot for the stair side!! Hmmmm . . .

Have a lovely afternoon!  See you soon!



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