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Thread: ladder restoration

  1. #1
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    ladder restoration

    I have recently found a wooden ladder in our barn and wish to use it for displaying quilts. After cleaning it up, should I put a layer of varnish/sealer, or what? What do you suggest and how many layers should I put on the rungs? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    i myself would not varnish it. i would sand it very good and then put sealer on
    sand again and put on second coat of sealer.

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    You definitely don't want your quilts stored against unfinished wood. I would either paint it or use 2 coats of water-based urethane.

  4. #4
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    i would use water based uretane, use a sponge brush to prevent bubbles

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Definitely finish it. Although raw unfinished wood looks amazing with quilts on it, it can really damage them. You can always use matte sealant or water based polyurethane. My husband and I make tabletops from time to time and we use matte when we do not want to distract from the wood grain at design. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Super Member nanacc's Avatar
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    Glad you ask this question. I have a step-ladder that I have saved of my parents and the wooden ironing board that my DM had as her first. The ironing board and ladder were still in use until recent years!! I Have to keep them and find a way to preserve.

  7. #7
    Super Member Ruby the Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanacc View Post
    Glad you ask this question. I have a step-ladder that I have saved of my parents and the wooden ironing board that my DM had as her first. The ironing board and ladder were still in use until recent years!! I Have to keep them and find a way to preserve.
    My Mother has an old wooden ironing board - what a great idea to use it to display a quilt - love the idea.
    Quilting in the Desert

  8. #8
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I just bet it will be gorgeous when you are done with it.

  9. #9
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Definitely sand the rungs so they don't catch and snag your fabric. Other than that, I have no experience, but do know not to leave it hanging on unfinished rungs.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. #10
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    I have one ladder that I use for displaying a couple quilts - I place a piece of pipe wrap (like a noodle but is split to
    go around pipe) around each rung. I also do this for hanging quilts on a hanger to transport.

  11. #11
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    ladder quilt display

    I have one ladder that I use for displaying a couple quilts - I place a piece of pipe wrap (like a noodle but is split to
    go around pipe) around each rung. I also do this for hanging quilts on a hanger to transport.

  12. #12
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    I would definately cover the rungs with something...doesn't have to show under the quilt but would protect it...at our county fair we cover the hanging rods with stuff used in hospitals that is blue (bed pads????) and make sure it doesn't show under the quilt but protects the quilt from any dampness etc.
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  13. #13
    Junior Member coffeegirl's Avatar
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    I have an old ladder that I use to display an antique quilt. I didn't want to mess with the beautiful patina of the ladder, so I simply covered the rung with muslin, then placed the quilt on top. You can't see the muslin if you do it carefully. It has been there for years without any damage.

  14. #14
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    definitely seal it

  15. #15
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    Wow, lots of information I didn't know!!! So glad this question was asked and very thankful for the answers. Never thought about wood having an effect on quilts.
    God Bless Quilters and Sewers
    Marti

  16. #16
    Senior Member TnBecky's Avatar
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    I agree with LindaR. Cover the rungs with fabric. I also have a wooden ladder that belong to my Grandfather that I hope to dray in the house someday.

  17. #17
    Junior Member Bibliogirl's Avatar
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    I work in a museum and we cover wood with some cotton batting then sew a cotton muslin cover for the batting. It should be cotton and washed thoroughly before use. We make covers like thi for wooden coat hangers that will hold any clothing. It's a little work, but will never harm your quilt.

  18. #18
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    Ditto what Joset states. Sealing is best.

  19. #19
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    What a great question. I knew one shouldn't put the quilt directly on wood and thought the answer would be use muslin. The idea of the pipe wrap seems so much simpler and a lot less work.

  20. #20
    Super Member glenda5253's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartiMorga View Post
    Wow, lots of information I didn't know!!! So glad this question was asked and very thankful for the answers. Never thought about wood having an effect on quilts.
    Thanks for the thread!

  21. #21
    Super Member tlpa's Avatar
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    Another great informative thread! Thank you!

  22. #22
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    Thanks for asking this question. I had no idea it is harmful to hang quilts on raw wood. Why is it harmful? I will put some kind of covering on my quilt ladder tomorrow.
    jean

  23. #23
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    I bought plastic shower curtain covers -neutral colour and cut them to the size of the ladder rungs.

  24. #24
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    I use Tung Oil on any wood I want to really stand out, but I don't know how this would be next to fabric. I use this on a lot of my DGM antique furniture that I stripped. Yes I know one isn't supposed to take the orig. finish off of an antique, but then, I want to use them and didn't like the looks they had with the scarred up mahogney finish, they didn't go with any of my other furniture, now they do an look great. I also have my mother's first ironing board, which is also wood. I sanded it, and then used Tung Oil on it. I have it displayed in my living room, never though about using it to display a quilt. You might try the Tung Oil, then put a urethene finish on it. Tung Oil really brings out the wood grains I think.

  25. #25
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanharville View Post
    Thanks for asking this question. I had no idea it is harmful to hang quilts on raw wood. Why is it harmful? I will put some kind of covering on my quilt ladder tomorrow.
    Think of using acid free paper for storing pictures, etc. Then think of where the paper originates...wood/trees. So the wood, over time, emits "zoobies" (not scientific, sorry!) that could affect your quilt's color, etc.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

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