Turn an Old Ladder into a Rustic Outdoor Plant Stand Instead

There are so many creative ways to display plants at multiple levels. One such way is with a ladder. Rather than spending money on buying a new ladder, you can use an old wooden ladder that you already own, and are considering throwing away, to bring rustic charm to your porch, patio, or garden area. This guide shows you how simple it is to transform a wooden ladder from a home improvement tool to an eye-catching landscaping item.

Step 1: Procure the Needed Supplies

Even though you already have your old ladder, there are a few more items you'll need. So, gather these supplies:

  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • your choice of paint
  • one medium paintbrush
  • one small paintbrush
  • potted plants

Step 2: Sand the Ladder

Use the fine-grit sandpaper to sand the ladder down. This step is important to ensure the ladder is free of splinters and any peeling paint. The finer the grit, the more detailed sanding you are able to accomplish. This step might take a while, depending on the condition of the ladder. The more splintering pieces of wood, the longer you may need to sand.

Step 3: Paint the Ladder

Grab your paintbrushes and paint. Apply an even coat of paint over the majority of the ladder with the medium paintbrush. Use the small brush for the smaller areas and the joints of the ladder.

It may take more than one coat for even coverage, or if you prefer a bolder or darker color. Wait for the paint to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Arrange the Plants

Arrange your potted plants on the rung of the ladder. Set the heavier plants on the lower rungs to help ground the ladder, and place the lighter or smaller plants on the higher levels.

This simple project can add new life to your landscape or patio area and can be completed in one afternoon. It is an easy project to coordinate with your already existing landscaping by choosing a matching or complimentary paint color for the ladder. Ask your landscaper for more ideas on using old home items to display plants in your landscape.

Take the time to choose either matching or coordinating pots and plants. Keep in mind where the ladder will be placed to help you choose plants that are good for full shade, partial shade, or full sun. Consult your local home improvement store or plant nursery, one like Wagner Sod, Landscaping and Irrigation Co., Inc, for further guidance.


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