I found this ladder at Goodwill for $8! What a steal. It was originally a ladder to a bunk bed set. I’ve seen some nice displays with ladders on Pinterest and at some local antique shops. Although this ladder isn’t very tall, I thought it would make a nice addition to my living room.
The ladder was a little rickety when I got it, so I disassembled it and re-glued the rungs. I filled in any remaining gaps with some wood filler and then sanded those areas.
After my chalk painting class I was inspired to work with some color! I normally have a difficult time committing to a paint color that is not neutral. It’s much easier for me to pick a gray, brown, tan, black, or white shaded paint than it is for me to nail down a shade of yellow, blue, green, or red. My living room is mainly tans and deep blues, and I wanted to paint the ladder something that would coordinate, but not a brown or blue color. I decided on Annie Sloan’s Primer Red. It is a brick red color that is dark and somewhat muted. I bought a sample can for approximately $13 and a can of dark wax for approximately $26.
I wanted to try the two-color distressed style on the ladder. The first coat was French Linen Chalk Paint. I had a quart can left over from another project and knew this would be a good color to show through for the distressed look. I painted the entire ladder with the French Linen Color. I wasn’t too particular about my strokes and left it kinda messy so there would be areas I could sand down later to show through.
I applied the primer red color the next day. The hardest part was having to wait for the paint to dry so I could flip it over and paint the other side.
After the second coat dried, I started the distressing process. I used 150 grit sand paper and started sanding various corners and edges to remove some of the red paint. I sanded each step to make it appear worn, as if someone had used the rungs in the ladder.
I wiped down the ladder to remove all of the dust from the distressing. You definitely don’t want to get that dust in your wax! I then started the waxing process by applying the clear wax on a small section of the ladder. You will want to put a scoop of wax on a paper plate and work from that, instead of working directly out of the can. Especially, when it comes to colors like this Primer Red, you will discolor the wax in the can, as a small amount of paint bleeds into the wax. After you apply the clear wax on a small section, wipe it off with a lint free cloth. You will know you have removed enough wax if you run your finger over the area and it doesn’t leave a mark. Next apply a coat of dark wax over the clear wax and wipe it off using the same method as before. I worked my way down the ladder until all areas were coated with both the clear and dark wax.
I waited a couple of days for the wax to dry. You will want to make sure your piece is inside away from the heat, humidity, or other extreme temps. I then buffed the wax to finish it off with a lint free cloth and by rubbing back and forth vigorously. The dark wax definitely darkened the red paint and makes it look almost brown in these pictures. But over all I’m pleased with the results!
Over all I think the ladder turned out well and is a nice addition to this corner of the living room!