Inspired by this West Elm photo…

West Elm Towel Ladder

…and an amazing tutorial from A Beautiful Mess I decided to build a towel ladder for our Master Bathroom.

I followed Mandi’s tutorial with some slight changes to make the ladder fit better in our space. It came together really quickly, especially since I used my dad’s drill press to make little holes for the dowels to sit in.

Towel Ladder Drill Press

Wow. I had no idea how much I would love this tool! Seriously. Drill press all the things! Okay…moving on…

After the ladder was all glued together (I only used wood glue, no screws) I gave it a good sanding to get it nice and smooth.  Then it was time to stain – to get a weathered wood look I used the tutorial from The Friendly Home to oxidize the wood with tea & steel wool. I think I let my mixture sit for a bit too long because it was very dark, but after watering it down I got a very nice weathered grey on my test piece:

Towel ladder - watered down stain

…but the stain looked completely different on my ladder even though it was the same wood!

ladder close


It’s BROWN. I’m so confused. But, whatever, I still really liked the colour so I decided to just go with it! Two coats of Minwax Polycrylic and the towel ladder is good to go.

ladder in place

Doesn’t it look so pretty? Waaay better than throwing towels over the shower door! I had to go buy new towels just to celebrate the occasion.


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