Just like there’s actually no substitute for top-quality painting tools, you cannot really replace the must-have ladder accessories for painting for anything. Doing so endangers your safety and makes your job a lot more pain.
In my many years of painting houses while perched on top of ladders, I’ve found quite a few ladder companions extremely useful both for my safety and convenience.
Here are the ladder accessories in painting that are worth every penny—plus the pointers on how to use them.
6 brilliant tools to boost your safety and make the job easier
I’ve broken them down into two groupings: Ladder safety-enhancing tools and painting aids you’ll probably find invaluable.
Your safety comes first when painting while stepping atop a ladder. These accessories will go a long way in stabilizing and leveling your ladder making you much safer.
Others will help you maintain the all-important three points of contact.
#1-Ladder stabilizer (ladder stand-off)
An extension ladder stabilizer can be game-changing when painting hard-to-reach areas.
For starters, a ladder stabilizer is simply a device with wide arms (usually tubular) and non-slip rubber pads that strongly grips a wall, increasing the stability of the ladder while enhancing your “reach” working aloft.
That way, the ladder won’t slide around loosely and you can easily paint eaves and other difficult spots.
How to install/use
For the most part, you first mount the stabilizer to an extension ladder (fix it to your selected rungs depending on where you’re painting). Next, you lean the ladder against the wall before climbing.
The result is a rock-solid workstation and a sufficient “standoff” to re-paint your eaves safely and easily.
In many cases, it’s either the stabilizer or getting onto the roof and then hanging upside down to repaint!
#2-Ladder leveler for painting
An outright essential for any painter, the ladder leveler helps you paint stairwell ceilings and roofs, peaks on roofs, high walls near staircases, and such risky and grueling places safely.
The tool is primarily a godsend anytime you have to place a ladder on the uneven ground including stairs and inclines.
It simply levels extension ladders so that you don’t need to hold the ladder (or have an assistant holding the ladder all the time) when working up there.
How to install/use a Ladder leveler for painting
To use this wonderful ground leveling equipment, position it on the ground then step the ladder feet on the ramp (the ladder foot should be at the center).
Be sure to follow the instructions when installing on different slopes/locations for the best results.
Side Note: As an option, you can level your ladder with the equally great Ladder Leveler Pair from Ladder Accessories.
#3-Ladder limb tool holder
This ingenious ladder companion makes working high up on a ladder much safer by firmly holding essentials such as your tool bag, paint cans, or buckets of water in place (setting your hands free).
How to install/use Ladder limb tool holder
The tool fits effortlessly into any hollowed rung of most aluminum ladders in the market today at either the right or left side of the ladder (at any height).
This tool’s rubberised ‘limb’ fits snug into the ladder so it holds whatever you attach to it securely. Simply attach your item to the clip and proceed to insert it into the appropriate hollow rung.
Side Note: You can swap this for the ladder paint holder and tool bag accessory, the Little Giant multi-use Platform, or even with your own DIY ladder paint holder (use YouTube tutorials to build one).
The basic ladder accessories for painting that you could find helpful
In this category, you’ll find tools that make your job easier.
Most importantly, they will help you speed up those painting jobs.
The Ladder Jack can be a worthy addition to your ladder accessories in painting as well particularly if you frequent paint wide soffits and high walls. So, what is the exact role of the accessory?
Well, ladder jacks are nothing else but triangular-shaped brackets that you attach to two portable ladders to create a robust, practical working platform.
You can use the resulting setup for dozens of tasks including painting exterior trim.
How to install/use
If you own an extension ladder (Type I or Type IA), you hang the ladder brackets off the rungs of two adjacent ladders (the ladders should be set level and at an equivalent angle).
My all-time favorite is the Werner ladder jack.
#2-Ladder bucket holder
This is another accessory that you could find handy.
As the name suggests, you hang your paint bucket or can on the tool eliminating strain on your legs. Plus, because your paint will be right where it’s needed, you can paint faster and more efficiently.
In a nutshell, your job will be more organized and less messy making the tool exceedingly useful for a professional paint job.
How to install/use
You attach the Bucket Hanger to your paint bucket then carry it up your ladder and hang it precisely where you want it. Keep in mind that this hands-free bucket hook for the ladder is recommended for 1-5 gallon size paint buckets.
Side Note: The extension ladder paint tray holder serves a similar purpose.
The surestep ladder paint tray holder is another great alternative for aluminum ladders. The final option is the paint shelf for extension ladder (compatible with all ladders).
#3-Surface Protectors/ Ladder covers
These protect the current paint on your house from being gouged and scratched by the ladder. This is certainly what you also need if you don’t want the ladder to mark the cedar siding when painting properties.
How to install/use Ladder covers
Perhaps the simplest to use, you simply slip the covers over the two ends of rails, and voila!
The above six items will help double your safety when painting from ladders besides freeing up your hands. You’re also likely to get more professional results with the right combination of ladder accessories for painting.
Of course, you can add to this collection depending on your budget and personal situation. New ladder aids for painting projects are coming out daily- but these are the absolute must-haves for both DIYers and tradesmen.
That said, always be sure to use a sturdy ladder that holds your weight specifications (and any load you’re carrying) safely.
References and Citations:
State of California Department of Industrial Relations: Portable Ladder Safety; Inspection, Use and Maintenance