Last year I bought an old extendable wooden ladder on eBay and I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for. I was looking for an original coat rack for my sons' bedroom and the ladder gave me an idea to convert it into a magnetic board with hooks. The whole project required some planning and preparation in advance and I needed to wait for the boys to be out of the house to be able to work without any distraction. When the opportunity struck and the boys went to their grandparents for the whole weekend I got busy.
The boys' bedroom isn't considered to be big and I like to use all available space wisely. I think storage solutions are always the biggest dilemma in any child's bedroom. At the begging of the year, I wrote a related post about a DIY kids bookshelf to fill the narrow corner in their bedroom. Now I finally managed to complete this magnetic board/hook rack project too.
Here is a list of the main items I needed to buy before starting with the ladder makeover:
- wooden ladder
- galvanised steel sheet
- blackboard paint
- round cup hooks
- wall brackets and some screws
I decided to sand the ladder down first because there were some paint stains on it. Then I wiped the wood with methylated spirit to clean it from dust. I then applied a thin layer of beeswax paste to the clean, dust-free wood and I buffed it in.
I purchased Colron Beeswax paste in medium oak. I felt like the paste was very pigmented so it covered too much of the wood's natural colour. I didn't even need to do a second coat as I was worried to make the wood too dark. In the past, I used Briwax wood polish for a similar project and in my opinion, it's easier to work with plus to my preference, it isn't as pigmented.
Next step was to prepare the metal sheets. We needed to divide a big piece of galvanised steel sheet into a half. I asked my husband for help as it required a strong hand to cut the metal with tin snips. The easier way was to order a sheet of galvanised steel that was made to measure from a company that offers to cut it to the desired size but I was just put off by the cost of delivery.
On Saturday I painted the metal sheets with two coats of blackboard paint. I let the first coat to set for 5 hours before I applied the second coat in the afternoon. I allowed it to dry till the next day for the paint to harden properly.
The following morning my husband helped me to finish the ladder makeover. We attached the brackets to the back and we used small screws to hold the metal sheets in position. Then, we attached the hooks to the bottom side of the ladder.
The final and fiddly step was to secure the ladder properly to the wall. With a help of spirit level and a hammer drill, we hung the new magnetic board/hanger securely to the wall.
The whole project took us 2 days from start to finish. We were fortunate with the weather as most of the work was done outside. I have to say I am pleased with it. The ladder was up and ready on the wall when the boys got back home that afternoon. They both looked surprised and happy to see the new piece of furniture in their bedroom. They got involved in some final decorating and put a few of their favourite little toys on display as well as a photograph of themselves together.
The wooden ladder ala magnetic board with hooks fills an empty wall in the boys' bedroom nicely. I think it's an original, cute storage solution. I might make some fabric storage bags in another one of my DIY projects so the boys can store some of their stuff in them and hang them on the hooks.