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Painter’s Ladder Shelf

October 24, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

A free standing storage tower, with varying size shelves. perfect for tight spaces that need extra storage, but still plenty of elbow room.

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Handmade from this plan >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
Painter’s Ladder Shelf
Dimensions: 
54" tall x 24" wide x 16" deep (approximate)

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

1 – 24″ wide shelf, 48″ long (or 1/4 sheet of plywood or 24″ x 48″ pine project panel)
4 – 1×2 boards, 8 feet long
4 – 1×3 boards, 8 feet long
2 1/2″ Trim Screws
1 1/4″ Screws
Wood Glue
Finishing Supplie

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
compound miter saw
nailer
sander
countersink drill bit

Cut List

Cut List: 

2 – 1×2 @ 55 3/8″ (Front Legs, ends cut at 15 degrees off square)
2 – 1×2 @ 53 1/2″ (Back Legs)
8 – 1×3 @ 25 1/2″ (Fronts and Backs of shelves)
1 – 1×2 @ 25 1/2″ (Top)
1 – 24″ x 4 3/4″ (Top Shelf cut from 24″ wide shelf)
2 – 1×3 @ 4 3/4″ (Top Shelf Side Trim)
1 – 24″ x 8 1/2″ (Second Shelf)
2 – 1×3 @ 8 1/2″ (Second Shelf Trim)
1 – 24″ x 12 1/4″ (Third Shelf)
2 – 1×3 @ 12 1/4″ (Third Shelf Trim)
1 – 24″ x 16″ (Bottom Shelf)
2 – 1×3 @ 16″ (Bottom Shelf Trim)

General Instructions

For the instruction for the smaller width tower, please visit my post on HGTV here.

Step 1

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Legs

Cut the legs as shown above. See step 2 for cutting the top corner of the front legs.

Step 2

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Tops of Legs

Cut the top of the front legs as shown above. Join the front leg to the back leg with screws and glue. I used pocket hole screws, but a 2 1/2″ trim screw predrilled from the back does the trick too.

Step 3

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Top

Now attach the top to the legs as shown above. Again, I used pocket holes, but 2 1/2″ trim screws would do the trick. I layed the whole thing on it’s back on the garage floor to make things easier. Set the whole thing aside.

Step 4

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Shelf Sides

Now just add the shelf side trim to the corresponding shelves. Super easy. I used pocket holes, but trim screws would work as well – and glue.

Step 5

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Front and Back Trim

Now the front and back trim. Make sure you also screw into the side trim and use glue.

Step 6

Painter’s Ladder Shelf

Assembly

Now if you are going to mess up anywhere, this is the spot. Take time to carefully prepare by cleaning your workspace free of sawdust. Now measure the legs and mark the shelf locations, as shown in the diagram above. Then mark each of the shelves 2″ in from the top front corners. This is the point where the shelves meet the marks you made on the legs. Lay the legs with the back down on the floor. Then start with the bottom shelf, screwing through the legs into the side trim for the bottom shelf with 1 1/4″ screws. Then work your way up. Check all the shelves and back legs for level – I did have to adjust mine.

This weekend, I spent most of my time in the garage, working on projects for HGTV.  And I'm so happy with how this one turned out.

What do you think of our Freestanding Painter's Ladder Shelf? I really went out of my comfort zone with the orange paint.  Loved how Pottery Barn went for white, but for whatever reason, I just had to use up a ooops quart of construction zone orange.  Yes, that is my magnetic steel wall in the background.

And while you are going to have to wait until the posts publishes on HGTV for this exact plan, if you fancy a wider shelf, today's your day.

The coolest part about this design?  Well, there is a couple of cool parts.  One, it's cheap.  Two, it's sturdy and free standing.  Three, it works in tight space.  Four, well, it looks so good in color!

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Perfect! I loved the bakery

Perfect! I loved the bakery wall shelf thingy, but we have a very smal area to fill. Thanks! =)

posted by Leah (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-10-24 21:16

This is perfect for my

This is perfect for my bathroom. Since my wife moved with me we needed to share the bathroom and she came with many stuffs. Thank you for sharing with us this great idea.

posted by nicolae | on Fri, 2013-01-04 17:05

I am soooooo making that.

I am soooooo making that. Have been looking for something for a small-ish spot and now I found it. Thanks Ana.....I will post a pic when I make it. :)

posted by michelle (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-10-24 21:17

What are the chances of

What are the chances of Sending one down my way. lol THat is great I can't wait to see about making one for myself.. I love the coral color of it.

posted by Katrina klauer (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 04:41

Thanks Anna... I think one or

Thanks Anna... I think one or two of these could be useful to fill a spot in my workshop, especially since they're free standing. A couple casters on the bottom would be a great addition!

posted by Barrett (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 04:44

Ana, first of all, is there

Ana, first of all, is there nothing you can't do? Secondly, I see these posts from you talking about HGTV and some other things you're involved in, but where do I find more details? Are you going to be on an HGTV show or something? Not only do I love your plans, I love to follow where your career is taking you! I love it when good things happen to good people!

posted by Mary Anne (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 04:50

GReat job Ana! It looks so

GReat job Ana! It looks so fun and easy!

posted by virginia (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 05:10

This one seems like a great

This one seems like a great first project for me, what do you think? It's so cute and would look awesome in my bathroom! I actually prefer the slightly wider shelves of this plan. Thanks Ana!

posted by Jessie (Bites and Pieces) (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 05:12

Wow, this looks like it could

Wow, this looks like it could be really cool out on the deck to hold plants like herbs and other potted goodies... mmmm the possibilities!

posted by Julie (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 06:55

Did you come into my hall

Did you come into my hall bathroom and see that I have an empty spot right next to the counter that is PERFECT for this project, a spot that I was at a loss for what to put there? This is soooooo on my to-do list now and down here on the Mexican border the weather has finally become cool enough for such projects.

posted by Robin E. (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 07:14

Ooohhhhh, I can see one of

Ooohhhhh, I can see one of these on each side of my bed! Thanks, Ana!
I would also like to know how to get to your HGTV items, and better yet, see you in action :)

posted by Nan Tovar (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 12:18

Maybe a second project? The

Maybe a second project? The angled cuts can be tricky.

posted by Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 13:25

I can definitely see this

I can definitely see this made of redwood and exterior grade materials as a patio piece.

Or ... fill the compartments with padding and call it a cat storage unit.

posted by Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 13:27

I think this would be great

I think this would be great for my front room/office to store all books!! It's hard to find space for a full time mom & college student's things when you have little ones taking over!!

posted by Vanessa Fuson (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 15:46

I love this and have just he

I love this and have just he spot for it in my bathroom. Now the courage to build it...

posted by kate @ www.brownleeallday.weebly.com (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 16:51

I love this one. This has so

I love this one. This has so many uses. Thanks Ana.

posted by Theresa (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-25 18:03

Seems you can find some of

Seems you can find some of Ana's work for HGTV on a google search of Ana White HGTV, but if you are on HGTV's site and search it doesn't bring you to all of her posts....here is one I found_http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/reclaimed-wood-wall-shelves/index.html

posted by Sarah (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-10-28 15:32

This reminds me a bit of the

This reminds me a bit of the high chair I have been dying for! Please make it for us!
http://www.onestepahead.com/popup/zoom.jsp?productId=536833&imageDir=ens...

:)

posted by Melissa (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-10-28 19:08

http://products.onestepahead.

http://products.onestepahead.com/assets/images/ensemble/detail/20396_2.jpg

posted by Melissa (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-10-28 19:10

So awesome! I really want to

So awesome! I really want to make the smaller one... Are the plans up on HGTV? The HGTV site is really hard to search. Can you let us know when they go up and where Ana? Thanks!!

posted by Melissa M (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-11-03 16:51

www.healthy-looks.com

www.healthy-looks.com Hi there to every body, it�s my first pay a quick visit of this blog; this website carries remarkable and really good material in support of readers.

posted by furqan123 | on Mon, 2013-03-18 05:16

From

From Danielle
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs931.snc4/74467_461312858753_521443753_5393670_1096129_n.jpg

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 18:44

Hi everyone Im confident with

Hi everyone
Im confident with power tools - but Im terrible with wood - can someone tell me what type of wood I should buy to make this - I am searching on our local hardware store for the above wood (pine panel or 1/4 plywood etc)... but Im too unco to figure out what Im meant to be buying for (just so I can budget the project).

This is the website for the local hardware store - can someone tell me what type of wood I should be getting??
Hope thats okay Ana... I just thought it might be easier the someone trying to explain it in more detail and me still not knowing what to get. Feel free to remove my comment if this is not okay!

posted by Kristen (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-11-19 03:01

Hi, Ana. I've been

Hi, Ana.

I've been puttering around your site looking for ideas for a tiny bit of extra nursery storage, and something like this could definitely work...

Quick question, though -- If I make a shorter version of this (like, changing table height), how does it affect the cut angles on the legs? Does it affect the angles?

As always, thank you so much for your creativity, plans, and inspiration. This is seriously becoming my "go to" blog for the house. :)

posted by Lauren (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-12-03 12:28

Has this posted to HGTV yet?

Has this posted to HGTV yet? I couldn't find it on their site and I'd really like the plans for the smaller one.

posted by NichyB (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-12-21 09:57

I found the link to the plans

I found the link to the plans on HGTV.com:

http://www.hgtv.com/bathrooms/build-a-storage-ladder/index.html

posted by tallmich (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-01-02 20:47

I just realized that I could

I just realized that I could reply directly to your comment. Here's the link if you haven't found it yet.

http://www.hgtv.com/bathrooms/build-a-storage-ladder/index.html

posted by tallmich (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-01-02 20:48

This was so easy to build,

This was so easy to build, and even had enough scrap wood on hand to do it. Took me less than an hour to build it. I love having more storage. Thanks Ana!!

http://eightmuddyfeet.blogspot.com/2011/01/ladder-shelf.htmlhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/25321770@N03/5344557874/

posted by Tasha (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-01-10 16:31
clips
SingleMomThriving's picture

Exactly What I Was Looking for....

I have been looking for something I could put on the covered patio to hold pool towels, sunscreen and swim goggles and this fits the bill perfectly.

I found the original plan on HGTV website, but was very confused by the materials list on that site.... so I found your link and found exactly the information that I needed.

I have a weekend project and I am so excited. I will let you know how it goes!

I'm so glad that I found you.

posted by SingleMomThriving | on Tue, 2011-05-17 19:01
clips

I am so making this for the

I am so making this for the hall bath.

posted by cmsake | on Wed, 2011-05-18 20:24

HGTV Messed up instructions!!

I can't believe no one else has said this...I followed the link you posted, and the cut lengths that HGTV gives and the quantities of wood are wrong!
They took your shelf and made it 12" wide instead of 24", which I actually like. My space is small and the smaller size is great, but they told me to cut 8 - 24" long pieces for the front and back of the shelves. I ended up buying way too much of those pieces and now I have nothing I can do with them because I wasted a bunch of time cutting them. By the way are they 1 x 3 or 1 x 4? Because they say 2 different things in the instructions. And lastly they tell you to only by 1 - 1x2. So I had to go back to the store and get more. Because 2 - 6 ft lengths of wood doesn't make all 4 legs.
I love your design, but could they have messed up the plan any more? I don't think so.

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-03-15 21:29

HGTV plans incorrect

Yes, I was just looking at that too! The HGTV plans for the smaller shelf are incorrect for the materials and cut list. It appears as though the larger shelf was mixed up with the smaller shelf. Ana, maybe you can correct it for them. I figured it out in the mean time. The diagrams are correct though.
If anyone's interesetd in the corrections (smaller shelf):
Materials--- 1x2 6ft (4) legs, 1x3 8ft (2) trim
Cut list--- 1x3 cut 13 1/2" long (8), not 25 1/2"
Cut list--- 1x2 cut 13 1/2" long (1), not 25 1/2"
I'm starting today! Looks fun! This will be perfect for my small bathrooom. Thank you, Ana.

posted by Heather Sitton (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-10-17 10:43

I'm making one as we speak

I actually found a pic searching google images and I'm pretty sure it's from here. Thanks for the great post. ;)

Regards,
Gage

posted by Best Kratom (not verified) | on Fri, 2013-01-04 00:26

26" trim piece or 25-1/2" trim piece

The cust list shows "1 – 1×2 @ 25 1/2″ (Top)", but Step 3 shows a 26" trim piece connecting the legs, I believe the 25 1/2" piece to be the correct dimension, since a 26" piece is not in the cut list.

Did anyone else catch that ?

posted by Guest - Chris (not verified) | on Sun, 2013-01-20 23:19

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