Monday, July 8, 2013

Ladders Aren't Just for Climbing

When we pick things up on the side of the road, there isn’t always a plan.  A perfect example is the 28 foot wooden extension ladder that we found a few years ago.  When I saw it laying there, I was excited but Deanne wasn’t quite as sure, so our compromise was to only grab half of the ladder.  Luckily, our neighbors never saw us pull into our driveway with the trunk wide open and a beat-up wooden ladder sticking out 6 feet behind my Honda Accord (at least they haven't said anything to us about it).

The ladder sat in our basement for the past two years collecting dust, but a few weeks ago we came up with the plan to use it as a light fixture on our screened-in porch.  The only lighting out there was a small rusty spotlight that did a terrible job of lighting the porch at night.

We started out by cutting the ladder to a shorter length (around 6 feet) and cleaned off all of the dirt and grime.  We had considered sanding it down to remove all of the old paint marks but we really liked how the paint gave it more of a rustic look.  To protect it from the elements (and deepen the wood color a bit), we applied two coats of poly.

Next, Deanne wrapped the ladder with a strand of lights that she picked up at World Market (looks like they only sell frosted bulbs now), while I got started on the wiring.  Since the old spotlight was in the corner of the porch and the new light would be in the middle of the room, I got to put my limited electrical skills to the test.  I won’t bore you with all of the details but I took down the old spotlight, ran some conduit, and installed an outlet (which is controlled by the old light’s switch) on the ceiling in the center of the room.

To hang the ladder we just used an oil rubbed bronze chain from Menards (from the lighting section) and some matching hooks.

Once we got it hanging level, we plugged it in and stepped back to admire our work.  We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  The screened in porch was already our favorite part of the house but now we love it even more.  For our neighbors’ sake we are trying our best not to stay out there too late on weekends but with the warmer weather, that has been a real challenge for us.
(The first picture below was taken while we were trying to figure out the 
proper height - hence the extra chain)

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  1. This is fabulous you guys! I've never seen anything like this before...what a creative and unique idea!

    Can we come hang out on your patio? Looks perfect for a fun summer night! :)

  2. This is awesome. You two are allllll over it. So nice to have a place to enjoy during the summer months. We love sitting on oun back porch with the pergola. We just had some neighbors over tonight for a very spontaneous, everybody is worn out from a hard day ... beer, glass of wine and some snacks at the end of the day. Nice to enjoy the beauty of the evening and visit. Janet and Dick

  3. that ladder is right up my alley...pinning love follower. Christine from

    1. Thanks Christine, and thanks for stopping by!