Home Decor

Inexpensive DIY Home Decor – How to Make a Blanket Ladder

I just love all the decorative ladders I’ve been seeing on Instagram, in decorating magazines, on television home shows and in home decor shops.  It’s a great way to make use of a mundane item.  I decided we needed one in our house, but didn’t really want to spend money on buying one (although you can purchase them at quite reasonable prices in stores like Target and K-Mart).   Well as luck would have it, my son found an old ladder at our shearing quarters and brought it home for me.  I took one look at it and instantly knew it would be great in our house.  All it needed was a little care and attention.  Oh and a saw to cut it in half!


Because this poor ladder had been out in the weather for who knows how long, it was in rough shape.  There were several spots that had split and needed repairing.  I applied wood glue and then clamped the areas together.  Once the glue dried it was time for the next part of the process.  The ladder was about twelve feet in length so obviously it wasn’t going to fit in our house.  I measured it and decided how tall I wanted each section to be and took to it with the saw.  Next it was time to smooth out that rough, partially splintered wood.  I used my trusty palm sander (as I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s the only power tool that I’m game to use).  It took awhile, but I eventually managed to smooth out both ladders (and only got one splinter!)


Now time for the fun part.  I decided to start with the ladder that had the most hardware.  It’s my favorite.  As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t want to spend money on buying a ladder so I certainly didn’t want to spend any on restoring these two.  So I used supplies that I already had on hand.  I have a stockpile of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax and I chose Country Grey for the wood and Graphite for the hardware.


One of the many things I love about chalk paint is that you don’t have to be too neat when applying it.  I didn’t even have to be too careful around this cool hardware.  I could fix any mistakes later because I planned on painting it too.


Once I completed painting the ladder I used painters’ tape and taped the areas surrounding the hardware.


I wanted to accentuate the age of the ladder.  In order to do this I sanded it a bit by hand.  Because the wood was so weathered, it wasn’t necessary to do too much.


Now it’s time for the clear wax.  I don’t know about you, but I always have trouble remembering which wax to use first, the clear or the dark.  So I wrote myself a little note on top of the clear wax can reminding me to use it first.  Technically you’re supposed to apply the clear wax and then do your distressing, but I went ahead and sanded first because I had such a little amount to do.  When applying the wax I prefer to use a lint free cloth as opposed to a brush.


Once the excess clear wax was wiped off, it was time to apply the dark wax.  I again used a lint free cloth to apply and then wiped off the excess.  The dark wax gave the ladder a great, aged look.


And that’s the finished product!  It’s a great, inexpensive weekend project.  Now I just have to find somewhere in the house for the other half!














  • Clare

    Leigh, the ladder was beyond redemption but what a great effort you have applied to bring it back to a degree
    of beauty worthy of a place in your lovely home. Good one Jake for thinking of your mum when finding what must have looked like something from the very long, long ago past. See you on Friday Leigh, Clare

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