For about 13 years, as long as we have lived in this house, we have been piling our afghans on the speaker behind the TV cabinet door. Sometimes they’re in a neat pile, more likely though the pile ends up falling over the side and spilling onto the floor a bit. We use the blankets regularly so putting them out of reach in a closet, or even in some sort of storage container out of the way wasn’t really going to work for our situation.
Enter Pinterest! My mom was recently searching around and found the inspiration, or pinspiration, for this project: a whitewashed ladder that leans against the wall. As an added bonus we had all of the supplies that we needed for this project, so it was FREE! We needed a wooden ladder, white paint, paint brush and rags. There were three ladders to choose from in our collection. (Eliina’s note – I wish I had the storage space to be a pack rat, I mean collector, like you). Mom selected the one she wanted to use and set it up on a couple of saw horses to get it off the ground. She used a scrub brush to clean off the dirt that had accumulated on the ladder while it was out the in yard.
Meanwhile I researched how to make whitewash. There were quite a few different recipes out there on the web but we went with the simplest: a ratio of 2 parts paint, 1 part water. We used part of a milk jug as a vessel to mix the paint and water. I rinsed out an aluminum vegetable can and used that to measure the water and the paint. A half a can of water and one can of paint was more than enough for this project.
Before we started painting there was a small repair to do on the bottom rung of the ladder. One side of the rung was a bit loose after being outside in the elements. It was a really quick fix. After putting in a new screw it was sturdy enough to do the job.
Now for the real work. The process we used can be done by one person, but my mom and I tagged teamed it. She worked down one section at a time, painting in long sections and I followed behind with a rag to wipe off some of the paint to give the ladder the whitewashed look we were going for. There isn’t a hard and fast rule to how long to let the paint set. I found that after a few minutes it had soaked in a bit and I could go along and not wipe too much off. The other factor to keep in mind when doing any whitewashing is how aggressively you wipe off the paint. Lighter pressure will leave more paint on the wood and heavier pressure will remove more. We simply moved in sections, going back if too much paint was rubbed off or if there wasn’t enough coverage to begin with.
We decided that one coat was perfect. It left enough of the wood grain showing through but it still looked intentionally whitewashed, and not just worn.
We left the ladder out in the yard to dry for the afternoon and overnight, after checking the weather forecast for rain!
We had recently rearranged the living room furniture for fun, and there was a spot in the corner of the room that was screaming for a little something with texture and height.
After putting the ladder in its location mom took the six blankets we had previously stacked on the speaker (yes we like options when it comes to warmth) and placed one on each rung of the ladder. Doesn’t it look great there in the corner, and doesn’t the speaker look better without a pile of afghans on it!