Ladder to Shelving Heaven

I tend to instinctually go against the grain in many ways, and my choice of shelving is no exception to that.

My artsy side yearned for a shelving unit that was a little different and a lot cute, but very cheap in cost. Where was I going to find that?!?! A stroll through IKEA, and even HomeSense showed itsy bitsy shelving units for more than I wanted to spend.

After trying to build “industrial” looking shelves out of pressed board (major fail by the way,) I hit the net in search of ideas.

My heart soared when I saw this post from a creative soul who used an old ladder to add some rustic panache to her living space.

Ladder Shelf Inspiration    

Super cute, right?!

So I was immediately inspired, and I set forth to scrub antique malls looking for an old ladder.

I finally found one for about $25. It was close to 10 feel tall, so Mr. RQ had to cut it down for me to get something closer to 7 feet. (The ladies at the antique mall literally clutched their hearts when I told them I was going to cut it! haha.)

For the actual shelves, I went to my local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and found a box of nice slate grey hardwood flooring pieces.

The ladder shelf sat in its original rustic charm in our living room for nearly a year, but I always knew it needed an extra something to bring it to life. It just looked dull to me.

Ladder Shelf Before

I decided (and it was actually a tough choice) to paint it. I used some rather inexpensive ColourPalace latex paint I purchased from good ol’ WalMart. Went with a dark grey in a mat finish.

It didn’t take too long to paint the ladder with a regular brush (2 coats), then I used a small artist’s brush to paint all of the rusted hardware with dollar store metallic Artists’ brand acrylic paint.

Painting Ladder Shelf

And that was it. Took me about an hour from start to finish, and I’m quite pleased with the results.


Ladder Shelf Collage 1

Ladder Shelf Collage 2

Ladder Shelf Collage 4

Here’s what I paid for my project:

Ladder – $25

1 gallon latex ColourPalace paint – $21

1 case of hardwood flooring tiles – $11

Total –  $57 (But truly it’s much much less because I purposely purchased a full gallon of paint with the intent to use it for other projects. I probably used a tenth of the tin for this ladder.)

~ RQ



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