You know how sometimes you’re walking down the sidewalk and do a double take because you’ve spotted a perfectly good half-ladder hanging out in the alley?


No? Just me?

When I saw this ladder hanging out, I was immediately reminded that my sister had been on the lookout for a ladder to turn into a chippy decoration. So I found a ladder in the alley for Allie (nevermind that no one has called her that since high school).

Here’s all the thangs you’ll need to make your own Allie Ladder:


  • Half ladder (OK, or a whole ladder. Whatever.)
  • Three coordinating shades of spray paint
  • Drops cloths (good quality so paint doesn’t bleed through!)
  • Sand paper
  • Time 🙂

Let’s do this!


Lazily sand any obnoxiously bumpy patches on your ladder. When I started I thought about sanding it smooth, but quickly decided I liked the texture of leaving some bumps (I also liked that fact that this took way less time).


Lay down your drop cloths. I’m serious about good quality here, or at least multiple layers. I may have gotten the teensiest bit of silver paint on my deck. I’m calling it art.

Liberally spray your ladder with your first color. This should not be the primary color you want shown. I chose teal. Here’s what progress looked like at this point:


Oooo, Ahhhh!

You’ll notice that I didn’t evenly cover the entire ladder and that’s OK, if not preferred. The chippy look is very forgiving and looks better when it’s not done “perfectly.” My kind of project!


Take a break and let your first coat completely dry. The time this takes will greatly vary based on where you live and the temperature.  

(Might I suggest baking these while you wait?)

Once the first coat is dry, apply your second coat. Again, this will not be the color that will primarily show in the end. I chose silver and for some reason it was SO much more fun to paint with it compared to the other colors.




 Great! Good job!


You’re going to have to take another break to let the second coat completely dry. Once that’s done, you’re ready to apply the final coat. Make sure you like this color a lot, since it will be the primary color of the ladder. I chose white!

I’d suggest letting this last layer dry over night, just to be totally sure it’s not even the littlest bit tacky-feeling.


Once you’ve patiently waited for all layers to dry, it’s finally time to sand! Go to town and sand all over, not necessarily evenly. I left more white in some areas and sanded more color through in others. I think it really adds to the overall look:



What do you think? Not too bad for under $10! Now if I could just get my sweet sister to haul it out of here…