Upcycled Ladder Turned Planter

My husband rolls his eyes whenever I say I’m taking a trip to the town landfill. “Don’t come back with anything,” are the traditional parting words. He knows a drop-off  is never my primary purpose; I visit the landfill mainly to check “Treasure Central,” also known as the reclamation center. Used items with plenty of life left in them await their new owners in Treasure Central and there’s no telling when one might hit the mother load. Go early and often, that’s my motto.

I lucked into a tired-looking ladder with its tag sale sticker still on it- a paltry five dollars was the asking price for this diamond in the rough. I had a plan for it before the trunk of my Volkswagen Jetta was open.The ladder was in brilliant condition and could have been used for its intended purpose. But what fun would that be? I picked up a $2.97 sample can of Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint, tinted to the country cottage blue I had in my mind’s eye since Treasure Central.

I made a pair of decorative shudders years ago with this same technique that still adorn a bathroom window in my house.  The technique for refinishing these pieces is simple: sand, paint, wipe, sand. Done.

I used a fine grit sandpaper to remove any chipping paint.

Brushed a scant amount of paint onto the wood, immediately wiping off with a cotton rag. The drier the brush, the better.

Lightly sanded raised edges and corners for a shabby, weathered look.
I toyed with the idea of putting a layer of polyurethane as a top-coat, but decided against it as I’d like the piece to continue to weather naturally.

I planted some Clematis at the base of the ladder. Will my chickens eat it? Probably, but it can’t hurt to be optimistic, can it?  I chose flowers and plants that would climb up and flow down the ladder and focused on ones that would do well in part shade/part sun.

I screwed plastic flower pots and a window box liner onto the ladder from underneath. I planted the pots first and then attached them to the ladder because I needed to see how they would would look prior to committing to their final location. Empty pots could certainly be screwed into the ladder from the inside and then potted.
Now we wait to see whether the chickens will allow this container garden to flourish or not.

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7 years ago

WOW!! It's wonderful!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! I’m looking forward to seeing what you link up tomorrow evening!

Marlo RepurposeMyLife
8 years ago

what a great idea, visiting a landfill, er I mean, treasure island! I love the ladder! I'd be on my way to the landfill right now if it wasn't bedtime!
Thanks for sharing with Repurposed Ideas Weekly.

8 years ago

We used to have a Swap Shop at our local dump. We hit the mother load when building my new coop. My girls have Corian Counter tops in my part of the coop, along with a nice mirror to go over the sink. We got a whole roll of light beige linoleum for the floor. It was so heavy we had to had some men help load it. A beautiful light beige kitchen cabinet, just as nice as the cherry cabinets I have in my kitchen now. Also, a door to use for the girls to go outside to the… Read more »

8 years ago

I love this idea! I have a clematis that would be so pretty climbing up an old ladder! My hubby won't let me have his work one so I guess I'll have to be on the look out for my own 😉

8 years ago

This is a great project! I have Harry's grandfather's old ladder that looks alot like this one did. The splatters of paint on it are the colors of the different rooms in the old house.I never knew him, but I can envision him pulling out the ladder to do different projects around the house.

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