DIY / Shoe Shelf / Ladder Makeover

Let me start out by saying this is probably my favorite home decor project we have done to date. I’d seen lots of home decor that used a repurposed ladder to make a desk, a clothing rack, or shoe shelving.

Between the two of us Ryan and I have… quite a few pairs of shoes so when we cam across an old ladder for cheap I knew what we were going to do!

This was our ladder, it was in good shape, just had a lot of paint splatter on it. First we washed it (Ted helped) getting rid of all the dust, cobwebs, etc. Then to paint. For the ladder we used a latex paint from Home Depot, Behr Paint and Primer in One in the color Rustic Taupe. If not for the paint splatter we could have gotten away with one coat, but since we needed a little extra coverage we did two. We used a cheap cheaper 3″ wide brush also bought at Home Depot.

We also purchased the lumber at Home Depot that would make the shelves. Ours were 1″x10″ but really the width will depend on how wide your ladder is. We really could have gone wider, because our ladder is wider than 10″ we just centered the boards on the rungs. We decided to purchase boards that were 10′ long and have them cut them for us to vary in length. So since our ladder has 5 rungs, we got two 10′ boards and had them cut so we ended up with a 2′, 3′, 4′, 5′, and 6′ board that way it formed a pyramid shape.

To paint the boards we used Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint in the color Glacial. This is the line of chalk paint that we carry at the boutique I work at, so I know it’s good! Once everything was painted it looked like this:

The rest is pretty simple, since the Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint needs to be finished we used a Satin Polycrylic Protective Finish on all the boards. After everything was dry we put the boards on the ladder and realized the rungs of the ladder and the steps don’t match up exactly. To even this out we painted small blocks of wood that were tall enough to make the boards level (this varied on each level) and propped it under the lower side. If you plan on moving the items on these shelves often I would recommend screwing these in place from underneath, if not propping them should be sufficient. Once everything was painted and level, it was time to add the shoes.

And voila! We had a super easy way to store shoes. I love this because my fancier shoes that don’t get worn all that often aren’t hidden in the closet, they’re on display!

This was a super easy project, the hardest part is finding the ladder! I encourage you to try some other ladder projects. I do love the ladder desk, although I am way to messy for that tiny desk cuteness!