DIY Tray Table Using A Ladder And A Crate

I LOVE collecting ladders! Old wooden ladders that are worn out and distressed that is! I’ve made them into shelving units and as shoe or blanket hangers. However, this DIY tray table is one of my favorites.

DIY Tray Table

diy tray table

I initially liked the layered and chippy look of all of the paint…however, I couldn’t find a spot for it to fit in with the rest of my decor.

So, I took on the tedious job of stripping and sanding all of those layers off before I repainted the ladder.

It WAS NOT fun!

I used Citristrip stripping gel from Home Depot which worked pretty well but I had a lot of old layers of paint to work with.  It took a lot of applying and scraping and then sanding……all for an old beat up ladder.  And, once I had started, I had to keep going to get all of the stripping gel off….yikes.  I wouldn’t have done that again unless it was for a nice piece of furniture.  Instead I would have just sanded what I could with my mouse sander and gone from there.   Oh well….live and learn.

Once I finally got most all of the paint off with the stripping gel and then a run through with my mouse sander, I wiped it down and got ready to paint.

Backing up a little bit….between my episodes of stripping and sanding, I had picked up a great old vintage crate:

I decided that I wanted to make a tray table with this crate and that I would use the step ladder as a base.  This helped me to decide on the color for the ladder and I went with a black satin acrylic.

I painted the ladder black and then went over the metal parts with a metallic galvanized steel color.

Once the painting was done.  I simply attached the crate to the top of the ladder and added some decorative items to place in my dining room.

diy ladder tray by

diy ladder tray by

diy ladder tray by

diy ladder tray by

diy ladder tray by

diy ladder tray by



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Creating rustic styling on a budget by giving new life to old things and using the beauty that is already found in nature. Read more about me.
  1. I love this idea/ have had my ladder and lots of old fruit boxes forever and this give me one more idea to use them on!!! Thanks

    1. That’s great Kris! It’s always fun having a new idea 🙂

  2. Thank you Marty and Sue!

  3. I like it. Great idea.

  4. Very nice! Visiting from Hometalk.

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