5 Best Ladders for Painting Your 2-Story House

best ladders for exterior house painting

Painting the exteriors of your 2 story house can be daunting—but hiring someone else to do it can be quite expensive.

Still, that doesn’t mean painting your house becomes any easier just because you’re saving money—especially if you’re scared of heights!

But what if I told you that painting your house doesn’t have to be a chore? With the right equipment, you can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

What does this mean for you—it means that you don’t have to worry about all the hassle!

Sure, it will still be work, but you can actually have fun doing it when you cut out all the unnecessary steps! The first step to doing that is getting the right equipment.

And perhaps nothing is more important in this regard than getting the right painting ladder.

That’s right—the ladder you choose for repainting the exteriors and high walls can make or break your job!

The good news is that finding the right ladder for your paint project doesn’t have to be difficult.

In fact, I’ve put together all the information you’ll need to buy the ladder that’s right for you. So, let’s get into it without any delay.

Best Ladders for Painting Jobs

From repairing roofs to cleaning gutters, housework often requires ladders. And if you’ve got the wrong one, you could find yourself on the wrong side of a dangerous fall.

Don’t end up flat on your back just because you chose the wrong ladder for your job.

With the below-mentioned great ladders, you can make your next project the best one yet!

1- Louisville Step Ladder L-3016-06

Louisville Ladder L-3016-06 Step Stepladder, 6-Feet
  • Full channel fiberglass, non-conductive full channel red fiberglass...
  • Wide back braces, vertically mounted U-shaped back braces spaced on...
  • Inside spreader braces, each step secured with semi-tubular steel...

*Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What makes step ladders so special is that they don’t really have a stand-out feature. Instead, they prove to be great for a variety of different purposes.

And while this means they don’t have any strong benefits in one certain area, it also means they don’t have significant drawbacks, either.

Even better, step ladders are fairly common and familiar to most, making them a safe and traditional option.

Because of their A-frame with a platform on top, they also provide a little room to work on. This also increases its stability.

This makes them perfect for those who are looking for a little more room to work with.

That being said, it’s important to remember that the platform found on a step ladder is nowhere near the size that of those found on platform ladders.

If you’re looking to maximize platform space, consider going with a platform ladder instead.

Another great benefit of step ladders is that they can be folded up for easier carrying and storage.

This makes them a great choice for those who are looking to save space while also using a dependable ladder.

That being said, not all step ladders are created equal. One of the most popular quality brands of step ladders is the Louisville Ladder. 

This incredible brand offers the stability and strength you need to get the job done!

The Louisville Ladder L-3016-06 model proves to be at the of the line for step ladders on the market. It boasts a strong, sturdy frame that never shakes or bends.

Additionally, it comes with beautiful fiberglass rails that add to its strength and durability.

What’s more, its slip-resistant surface helps ensure that you don’t fall while working, and its pinch-resistant spreader helps keep your fingers out of harm.

Just be mindful, however, that this package does come in at about twenty pounds—a weight we think is well worth it.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• 6 Feet
• 300 lbs capacity
• Nonconductive rails
• Slip-resistant rubber feet
• Molded top with handyman slots
• Sturdy, safe, and heavy-duty construction
• Bit heavy

2- Flip-N-Lite Platform Ladder 15270-001

Little Giant Ladder Systems Flip N Lite 6 Foot 300...
  • Comfortable standing platform makes the Flip-N-Lite ideal for...
  • Extra-wide rungs prevent foot fatigue
  • Lightweight aluminum step ladder is easy to transport, set up and take...

*Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Platform painting ladders are among the most common ladders used for painting. This is because they’re some of the most useful.

Platform painting ladders come complete with an A-configuration with a large platform on top—giving you room to stand and put your tools.

This makes them incredibly useful and comfortable for painting projects.

Even better, because of their A-configuration, they have great stability, making them one of the safest options on the market.

And because you have enough room to maneuver and use your tools, they give you the space you need to stay safe.

Platform ladders are most commonly used when the painting project requires that one stands in the same spot for an extended length of time.

If you’re looking for a platform ladder, you can’t go wrong with the Flip-N-Lite 15270-001 model.

This ladder is incredibly easy to use, making it one of the most customer-friendly on the market.

Its setup and use are so quick and simple that you’ll save minutes of unnecessary hassle while working on your project.

What’s more, with this ladder, you can get up to six feet of additional height, giving you the reach you need to work on even the most complicated projects.

In addition, because of its ingenious construction, the entire ladder weighs less than fifteen pounds.

That’s right—this strong, sturdy ladder can be easily carried around so that you can get the most out of your project.

Of course, it comes with some other benefits common to platform ladders.

It’s easy to open and fold, allowing you to quickly set it up when it’s time to work—and to fold it up and save space when the job is done.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Lightweight
• Tall handrail
• Handy tool tray
• Easy to open, close, and store
• Huge, secure standing platform
• Heavy duty with ANSI duty rating
• Wobbly

3- Louisville Extension Ladder FE3216

Louisville Ladder FE3216 Fiberglass Extension Ladder...
  • Dimensions - Extension Ladder Maximum Height (ft.): 13 | Storage Depth...
  • STURDY AND STRONG: With its 300-Pound capacity, elegant design and...
  • FIBERGLASS is non-conductive when clean and dry

*Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Extension ladders are your average, stereotypical ladders that can be extended for greater reach.

However, unlike the other options on this list, they’re a bit limited in what they can do.

The main drawback to an extension ladder is that they don’t have an A-frame. This means that they must be leaning against a wall or other surface in order to be useful.

This can make it difficult to stand on them and get the job done—but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective.

With the right attention to detail, you can use an extension ladder to safely paint your house.

However, do keep in mind that because of their design, you may not always have the best angle to use them.

Because of that, you may want to consider getting one of the great kinds of ladders below!

If you do want to get an extension ladder, however, the Louisville Ladder FE3216 is about as good as they come.

This incredible extension ladder is particularly useful if you’re looking to paint a 2 story house.

What really sets it apart from other extension ladders is its emphasis on safety.

As mentioned, these ladders must lean against something else for support.

However, the Louisville Ladder FE3216 goes the extra mile by having swiveling safety shoes attached to the bottom.

This gives it a firmer grip on the ground, making it safer for you as you use it.

But that’s not all. Because the rails are made from fiberglass, you won’t have to worry about them conducting any electricity and knocking you off.

What’s more, its latch rungs are safe and secure—and don’t take long to latch. This helps you stay safe as you are working.

Its main drawback is that it doesn’t have a very high maximum weight capacity.

The Louisville Ladder FE3216 can only support up to 300 pounds, so be careful not to exceed this limit when working.

Despite this, it still proves to be more than strong enough for most people who are going to use it.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Durable
• Nonconductive rails
• Steel swivel safety shoe
• Lock with a quick latch system
• Comfortable D-shaped rungs
• Available in varying heights to choose
• Comparatively heavy
• Shipping damage issues

4- Little Giant Multi-Use Articulating Ladder 15422-001

Little Giant Ladder Systems, Velocity with Wheels, M22,...
  • Multi-position ladder converts to A-frame, extension,...
  • Rock Lock adjusters quickly alter your ladder into different...
  • Tip & Glide wheels for easy transport from job to job

*Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Articulating ladders are truly the ladders of the twenty-first century.

These incredible ladders pack a punch by combining the best of all other worlds.

Want a step ladder you can step on? Simply unfold your ladder and put it into an A-configuration.

Need a little extra height? Extend it so that you can start reaching higher places.

Whether you choose to fold out your ladder or extend it, you’ll be able to get an incredible number of uses out of it.

This makes the articulating ladder one of the most popular for those painting their houses.

Because of their ability to perform a variety of different functions, they’re perfect for getting the job done.

Whether you’re painting outside and need a little more reach or on the inside and want a more stable way to paint up the staircase, articulating ladders can fold out to suit your needs.

Keep in mind, however, that some articulating ladders are better than others.

Little Giant is a famed ladder-making company that has one of the best-articulating ladders on the market.

Their Multi-Use 15422-001 model proves to be one of the best on the market—reaching up to 19 feet.

What’s more, it allows you to get extremely close to the walls you’re working on because of its 90-degree design.

This makes your job easier while giving you the added support you need to stay safe.

Even better, because you can adjust the height, it can actually be used as a staircase of sorts to bring you higher and higher up as you work.

Because locking the ladder into place when you extend it is very easy and simple to do, you won’t have to worry about it collapsing under you.

This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re working safely—improving your accuracy and efficiency as you work.

Its main drawback is one that you’ll find with other articulating ladders.

Because of its height and the number of different functions it can perform, it does carry a bit extra weight—twenty-one whole pounds of it.

This can make them a bit difficult to use when going around the house, but when one considers the vast number of different functions they can perform, this doesn’t seem to be unreasonable.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Wide-flared legs
• Easy on stairs as well
• Can be extended up to 19-foot
• Unmatched stability and durability
• Palm & hinge system-triple-locking hinge
• Heavy
• Difficult to use

5- Ohuhu 12.5 FT Telescopic Lightweight Ladder

Aluminum Telescoping Ladder, Ohuhu Upgraded 12.5 FT...
  • One Button Retraction: Convenience is key! That’s why we’ve...
  • America National Standards Type I Ladder: Ohuhu extension ladder has...
  • More Than 60% Overlapping: This collapsible ladder is crafted from...

*Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lightweight telescopic ladders can be unfolded to extend their length, giving you access to higher reaches in no time.

And because of their aluminum frame, they don’t weigh much—making them easier to carry around.

The biggest benefit of using one of these ladders is that they can be unfolded for a much greater reach.

The biggest drawback is that their thin frame and design can often raise red flags in terms of safety.

What’s more, with these ladders, you’ll need to securely lock each rung into place in order to maintain any extension—this makes user ability a much greater factor in determining safety.

One small mistake can make your painting project much more dangerous than before.

That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t quality options on the market.

Ladder-making company Ohuhu, for instance, is known for its safe and effective telescopic ladders.

The Ohuhu 12.5 FT Telescopic Lightweight Ladder is one such example.

Made from aluminum, this incredible ladder extends as high as 12.5 feet, making it one of the most useful ladders on our list.

Despite this, it proves to be especially portable and lightweight, making it incredibly easy to use.

And if the thought of climbing 12.5 feet in the air scares you—don’t worry.

Ohuhu has built-in a number of different safety features into the ladder so that you can enjoy a safe climb and a resounding peace of mind!

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Sturdy & light
• One button retraction
• Easy to open, close, and use
• Made of premium aluminum alloy
• Non-slip end caps and extra-wide steps
• Not very durable

What Does a Ladder Duty Rating Mean?

When it’s about deciding how much is the maximum weight a specific ladder can handle, it’s defined in terms of the duty rating or load capacity rating of a ladder.

Simply speaking, ladder duty ratings are a measure of the maximum amount of weight that a specific ladder can handle without getting it down.

This generally depends on the ladder type, the material it is made of, its size, and various other factors.

In general, the ladder duty ratings are categorized into five by the American Ladder Institute and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These are:

TypeMaximum LoadUsage
IAA – Extra Heavy Duty375 lbs.High-impact industrial use
IA – Extra Heavy Duty300 lbs.High-impact industrial use
I – Heavy Duty250 lbs.Industrial applications
II – Medium Duty225 lbs.Commercial painter, handyman, etc.
III – Light Duty200 lbs.General household

When purchasing a painting ladder, it’s good to use the weight of the heaviest individual that will be using the ladder.

Make sure you also count the weight of the construction or paint supplies that will need to be carried while using the ladder.

Other Considerations When Buying a Painting Ladder?

The best ladders all share certain qualities—it’s just they specialize in different areas.

Finding the right one for your project will require considering these categories and seeing how they relate to your project!

For painting or repairing the high exterior walls of your 2-story house, you will need to get an extension ladder that can go very tall.

But if you want better support and stability, you may consider investing in scaffolding specifically designed for exterior painting and construction.

When choosing a good ladder for painting your house, consider the following…

1- Stability

Picture it: it’s a clear day. The sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, and you’re painting your house.

Everything’s going perfectly—that is, until a strong gust comes in and knocks your ladder over.

That’s a scenario that I hope you never have to experience. And I am sure you don’t want it to happen to you, either.

That’s why the stability of your ladder is so important – the more stable your ladder is, the more easily and safely you can navigate while painting.

This gives you the flexibility to give your house the perfect coating—and the confidence that you won’t fall while doing the job.

2- Height

Next, you’ll need to ensure the ladder is high enough for your 2-3 story house paint project.

It seems obvious enough, but you’d be surprised that many people find out too late that their ladder isn’t quite up for the job.

You can avoid this by having a specific measurement for your ladder upfront.

For a 2-story house, you will mostly need a straight ladder size of 24 feet and an extension ladder of 28 feet tall. This will ensure that no matter the brand you choose, you’ll be able to get the perfect fit for your house-painting project!

House-StoriesExtension ladder size
2-story house28 feet
3-story house36 feet
4-story house45 feet

When it comes to extension ladders, you will have to select a ladder that is 7 to 10 feet longer than the expected contact point of the surface you’ll use it on.

Moreover, the recommended standing level of an extension ladder is four steps below the top. So, my advice is to always test a ladder before purchasing it.

3- Weight

To cut down on the hassle of painting your house, consider getting a sturdy ladder that doesn’t weigh a whole lot.

Trust me—this will make it much easier as you take your ladder around the house to paint.

Not only will a heavy ladder be burdensome, but it can easily slow you down and sap the necessary energy.

Getting a lightweight ladder can be a great way to boost your work efficiency and help you get the job done faster! Not only that, but you’ll have more fun doing it!

4- Strength

When painting your interior drywalls, ceilings, or even the exteriors of your home, you’ll want your ladder to be strong.

In other words, it needs to be able to support your weight for an extended period of time.

So, when buying, be careful not to avoid checking your ladder’s weight limit, as this can lead to unsafe situations. By buying a ladder appropriate for your weight, you can paint more safely.

However, ensure you’re not letting the strength of the ladder conflict with its weight. Try to find the best combination of strength and weight to maximize productivity.

5- Material

Obviously, the stronger the ladder, the more weight it can hold.

But the factor that affects the stability, strength, and weight capacity of your ladder is the material it’s made of.

For this reason, consider getting an aluminum ladder. Aluminum boasts high durability while being relatively low in weight.

6- Portable

Many homeowners and painters consider renting a ladder rather than buying one – even when it comes at a fraction of the cost of what they will pay as rent.

This is because they do not have extra space for storing it after finishing the paint job.

With a compact design and easy-to-carry handle, today’s ladders are highly adjustable, as well as convenient to store and transport.

If you choose to pick carefully from these varieties, you can even store them under a bed, in a closet, or the trunk of your car.

7- Price

You don’t want to go over budget when choosing a ladder for painting your house – the good news is that you shouldn’t have to.

With several quality ladders on the market for a great price, you can have your pick!

One of my top options above (Flip-N-Lite) is a solid choice for those looking to get the job done efficiently and cheaply!

best ladders for painters

Important Safety Recommendations When Using a Ladder for Painting

Now that we have discussed (nearly everything) about painting step ladders, let’s not forget the precautions and safety tips when using them for interior or exterior house painting.

So, the following ladder safety recommendations should always be followed:

a). If you’re using an extension ladder, check the locking mechanism before climbing. A safe ladder should have no cracks, bends, or lose bolts and rivets.

Also, check the non-skid caps at the bottom of your ladder are functional and don’t have any damage that might impact their functionality.

b). Check the steps of the ladder you are using are clean. Oil, dirt, debris, etc., on the steps of the ladder can reduce friction and can be a reason for unfortunate accidents. You better clean the ladder before you use it.

c). Follow the 3-point rule, stating that your body, hand, and foot should always be positioned on the ladder at all times.

d). Do not carry excess paint than needed when you are climbing the ladder. When up on a ladder and want to hold your paint bucket, use a “ladder hook for paint can” or a “holder hook hanger” that allows you to work freely.

e). Use a step stool (instead of the ladder) to paint interiors wherever possible. These are safe for painting walls and surfaces that are not too tall.

f). Always use safety gear if you’re planning to use the ladder to work at 10 feet off the ground.

Related FAQs

Aluminum vs. fiberglass ladder – what to choose?

Several materials can be used in the design of the ladder, depending on their purpose and the area in which they will be used.

One of the most common materials used for construction and painting ladders is aluminum because it’s a lightweight, versatile, and corrosion-resistant compound.

However, the main downside of having an aluminum ladder is that aluminum is an electricity conductor.

This means you can’t use such ladders in all types of spaces. It should never be installed on electrical projects or areas nearby electrical lines or voltage sources.

Fiberglass is therefore recommended, especially when painting near electrical units, as fiberglass can’t conduct electricity when dry. Besides, such ladders stand out due to their durability and ability to withstand much damage.

That said, there are plenty of fiberglass ladder manufacturers that include metal fasteners in their designs, which makes those ladders unsuitable for electrical projects or areas nearby voltage sources.

So, if you plan to use the ladder for electrical purposes, make sure it’s made entirely of fiberglass and doesn’t include any metal parts.

What kind of ladder is best for painting over stairs?

To safely use the ladder on stairs, it’s important that the rear legs of the ladder are at a shorter angle than the front legs.

A step ladder is, therefore, best to work on uneven structures like stairs. This will provide better support, sturdiness, and security to a painter painting the stairs.

Remember that using a ladder for painting hall stairs and landings can be a bit of a tricky task. So, it’s important that you follow all the safety measures and tips before you use them. Some of them include the following:

  • Place the ladder firmly on the stair
  • Do not ever wear slippery shoes or sandals
  • Do not put the legs of a ladder at the step edge

Properly stabilizing your ladder is also essential when painting your stairs and stairwell. So, many professional workers use the Stabilizer tool on a ladder because it represents a wide tubular accessory with non-skid rubber pads.

It can be joined to the top of an extension ladder to boost stability. Also, it is an excellent addition for those working next to windows, eaves, or high walls.  

What is the 4 to 1 rule when using a ladder – how does it benefits?

The 4 to 1 rule states that a ladder should be positioned at least one foot (or four rungs) away from a wall or object per every foot of the ladder it climbs. It’s recommended as an essential safety measure to eliminate the risk of slipping or even deadly accidents.

The main benefit of using the 4-to-1 rule is improved stability while climbing since the ladder’s base will be farther from the wall and allow for more balance.

This also allows for better spacing between you and what you are working on, providing you more room to move around and complete the task efficiently.

The Bottom Line

Finding the right ladder for your paint project doesn’t have to be a headache!

By looking into the five kinds of ladders above, you can make your next multi-story house painting project easier than you thought possible!

The hardest part? Choosing which one of the great ladders above is best for you!

Remember that the right ladder for you might not be the same for everyone. This means that it’s important that you keep in mind your project and your needs as you consider the following information.

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