Ladder Jacks and Accessories

Ladder jacks are a very useful accessory for making a paint job easier and faster by allowing you to attach a platform between two ladders.

Brushes, rollers, and sprayers are not the only accessories associated with a residential paint job. Manufacturers provide a host of labor- and time-saving accessories, from hooks and brackets that hold paint cans, to removable shelves on which you can stand or set tools.

Ladder jacks are perhaps the most useful accessory when it comes to making a paint job easier and faster. The jacks are essentially brackets that fasten to the sides of two ladders and support a plank or platform -- in short, a smaller version of a scaffold, using ladders for legs. This assembly is easily portable and cuts down on what is the most time-consuming aspect of painting a home exterior -- moving paint and equipment.

This simple scaffolding is useful when you're painting a wide section of wall or when you can't get a ladder precisely where you want it, such as the center of a second-story window. Ladder-jack scaffolds are made to support no more than two people, and the platforms should not be higher than 20 feet above ground. Always use a proper plank, typically aluminum, 10 feet long, and extending 12 inches beyond the jacks.

Ladder jack platform

Ladder jacks and a scaffold plank can make painting much easier. Make sure you place the ladders no more than 8 feet apart and adjust the jacks to fit the width of the plank. Always remember you're standing on a narrow platform.

Lack jacks on uneven ground

In some situations, the terrain or configuration of the house will keep you from setting up both ladders at the same angle. In such cases, you'll have to put one ladder jack on the outside of one ladder and one on the inside of another. This will compensate for the different angles and hold the plank level and parallel to the house.

Paint bucket bracket

Make your paint job go quickly with accessories, such as this bracket for holding a paint bucket. This bracket clamps to the ladder rail; other styles are made from heavy tempered rod stock formed into double hooks.

Stepladder shelf

Some stepladders have a shelf that will hold a paint bucket and other tools. The shelf is not strong enough to stand on; even using it to rest one foot on can upset the ladder.


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