My daughter wanted a small ladder to hold blankets and magazines so we made it our weekend project together. It did take several hours to make and do wait for the paint to dry fully. It ended up really cute with some lights on it and saved us hundreds of dollars!
Step 1: Materials
two, 1-3/8" x 8 foot unfinished poplar poles (Lowes)
three, 3/4" x 48" round rods
one can of white spray primer
one can of metallic silver spray paint (Valspar)
one can of satin brown velvet spray paint
200 grit sandpaper
Electric drill and 3/4" bit
Handsaw or electric saw
Step 2: Construction
Decide how tall and wide you want your ladder to be. We cut the two long rods to 7'. The ladder rungs were cut to 6 different lengths and laid out to see how it looked.
Dowel #1 ( top rung) 17 1/4"
Dowel #2 18 3/4"
Dowel #3 20 1/4"
Dowel #4 21 3/4"
Dowel #5 23 1/4"
Dowel #6 24 3/4"
Measure and mark where your drill holes will be on your long rods to hold the rungs. Place a piece of tape on the drill bit to a half inch so you can drill all your holes to the same depth. It is helpful if someone holds the rod steady while drilling. Be careful to not to drill all the way through! Place tape around the holes before gluing as any glue left on the wood can affect the stain or paint you are using. Shimmy the rungs in the holes with a bit of wood glue and secure with a few bungee cords to dry.
Step 3: Painting
We decided to prime the wood with a spray on white primer and then lightly sanded before and after. Measure how far down you want your silver metallic spay to go. We wanted it 3" above the first rung. Tape it off accurately on both sides. Spray paint with the ladder standing and a drop cloth protecting everything. If possible, spray outside as the spray really carries. We did two coats of the brown waiting a half hour in between coats. Let that dry thoroughly and the move the tape to the brown so you can paint the silver. Then we sprayed the metallic silver. That needed 3 coats to fully bring out the shine. You can finish it with a polyurethane seal, but we didn't do that.
The ladder cost about $55 to make and is a great addition to the apartment!