How To Hold Paint While On Ladder? Safety Tips, Preconditions, & Much More!

Many individuals are scared by the prospect of using a ladder while holding a paint bucket. Some people even hire professionals to paint their houses. This is because the job is hazardous.

Amidst all the hazards, there are numerous safe ways to hold paint while on a ladder. From using paint trays to making holes on paint buckets, you can follow many unique ways to make your job safer and quicker.

Stay tuned to this article to know how to hold paint while on a ladder. And as icing on the cake, we will provide you with expert solutions to get your painting done as conveniently as possible.

Is It Safe To Paint While Standing On A Ladder?

It is safe to use a ladder for painting purposes. But it can be hazardous if done inappropriately. So if you want to maximize your safety, you must ensure the following aspects:

1. Avoid Faulty Ladder Setups

Painting on a ladder is indeed a risky job. Many people do not know the basics of setting up a ladder and are harmed. Therefore, you might be in danger as well if you do not ensure the primary safety concerns.

2. Use a Paint Tray

You might lose balance if you keep the paint bucket in your hand while on a ladder. That is why using a paint tray or other objects is essential. Or else, it can get hazardous, especially while painting the ceiling.

3. Ignore Being Carefree

Since painting on a ladder is a risky job, you need to be careful. There is a massive risk of hospitalization with it. According to the World Health Organization, over 164,000 people are sent to the emergency department and 300 deaths yearly due to ladder mishap in the U.S.

4 Safest Ways To Hold Paint While On Ladder

There are different ways to hold paint while using a ladder. While some of the methods are traditionally well known, there are other unique and easy ways to do it as well. Let’s find them out!

How to Hold Paint While on Ladder

Method 1: Create a Paint Hanger

Most modern-day ladders have holes in them, especially if they are made of steel. Take a stick larger than your ladder’s width and insert it through one of the holes. Make sure you have chosen a hole near the ladder’s upper end.

Then, pull out the other end of the stick through the opposite hole. Now there you go, you have created a hanger to hold paint buckets and other materials.

Method 2: Use a Hook

First, buy a steel hook from a hardware shop. It will cost you $2 at max. Or, you can get it from online stores as well. Now, lock the smaller end of the hook on the paint can holder.

Then, hang the bigger end of the hook on the ladder’s body. However, we advise you to opt for this method when your paint can is either incomplete or miniature. Otherwise, it might create an imbalance on the ladder.

How to Hold Paint Using a Hook While on Ladder

Method 3: Use a Paint Cup

Paint cups are pretty easy to get. You can get them from any paint shop and hardware shop. It will cost you from $25 to $30. You can also buy it online.

Method 4: Use a Rope

Using a rope to hang a paint bucket on ladders is an ancient method. Perhaps, it is the most traditional way of holding a paint can on a ladder. This method is straightforward. Just tie a rope tightly on the can holder. Then attach it to the ladder rung.

How to Hold Paint bucket Using roop

How Do You Know If A Ladder Is Safe For Painting?

To know how safe it is to use a ladder for painting, you should examine it and then position it correctly. Even though these sound cliché, learning the proper ways is essential. So below is a step-by-step guide for it:

Step 1: Inspect the Ladder

Before each use, check the ladder for damage. Look for split side rails, worn shoes, or cracked loose and slippery rungs. Verify the functionality of the rung locks.

Step 2: Have a Strong Ground

First, ensure that the ladder has a sound footing. It would help if you did not situate a ladder on an unparalleled surface. Otherwise, it might create imbalance and cause you to fall.

Step 3: Position the Ladder Properly

Your ladder should be wider at the base. It also should not go more than 75 degrees on its angle. And when you climb on it, make sure to stand precisely in the middle.

How Do You Know If A Ladder Is Safe For Painting

How To Use A Paint Tray While Standing On An Extension Ladder?

Experts always advise holding only the paintbrush when you paint on a ladder. Other stuff in your hands, such as the paint bucket, might make it tough to maintain your balance. And for this reason, you need a paint tray. So let’s learn the process in a step-by-step method:

Step 1: Make Holes in The Tray

Use a drill machine to create holes on the paint tray. The holes should be large enough to have a chain passed through them. Depending on the tray type, 2-4 holes should be on every corner.

how to Make Holes in The Tray

Step 2: Insert a Chain Into the Holes

Bend one chain link open with your pliers and pass through the hole you just made. Clamp it shut to keep it from falling out. Bend the other end slightly open to form a hook. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 3: Hang the Tray Through the Rung

Insert the chain and hand it through the rungs of your extension ladder. Make sure the tray is reachable from your hands. To do that, hang the paint tray near the upper end of your extension ladder.

How to Hang the Tray Through the Rung

Safety Tips to Follow While Painting Using a Ladder

Since painting on a ladder is a risky project, you need to ensure safety from every angle possible. Below are some expert suggestions to make your painting more safe and secure:

Use the Right Ladder

It would be best if you avoided broken ladders. Sometimes, its defects and damages might be tough to notice if a ladder is ancient. That is why you need to give it a thorough inspection beforehand.

Attach a Ladder Stabilizer

Ladder stabilizers are very handy. You can buy them from any hardware store around the world. A ladder stabilizer will help you balance yourself when you paint the ceiling.

Attach a Brush Extension

Very few people consider attaching extensions to their brushes. Since they already use a ladder, using brush extensions might seem unnecessary. But that idea is completely wrong.

A brush extension helps you to reach tough places or areas that are out of your reach. It also helps you to stay balanced and avoid accidents.

Have Someone Near

Working alone on a ladder is not a smart idea. It would help if you always had someone to keep an eye out for you. If you fall and get injured, the person near you can assist you with first aid.


Since painting on a ladder is a complicated process, information regarding it can be obscure. So, we have shed some light on what people also want to know on this topic:

How to Use a Paint Roller on An Extension Ladder?

The most difficult aspect of utilizing a paint roller from a ladder is determining where to place the paint tray. Empty the paint into a clean bucket and place a short length of the board on it.

Then, hang the bucket from an S hook attached to a ladder rung. Make sure the bucket is large enough to hold the entire width of the roller, and then roll out the excess paint with the board.

How Do You Carry a Bucket up A Ladder?

Carrying anything up a ladder is harmful and not recommended. And when it comes to carrying paint buckets, you need to attach them to the upper end of the ladder before climbing on it.

Since it is on the upper back, it stays within your reach. It also automatically goes up when you level up the ladder from the ground.

Do Professional Painters Use Paint Trays?

Most professional painters use paint trays. Paint trays are convenient to carry and are super easy to set up. They also help you to avoid accidents.

However, many professional painters avoid using paint trays for their rollers. Because they are easily knocked over or stepped on, they suggest using a roller screen. It hooks inside your 5-gallon bucket perfectly.

How High Can You Paint on A Ladder?

Typically, your maximum reach is 1-3 feet less than the listed height of the ladder. It would help if you never stood on the ladder’s top rung. Plus, it would help if you never stood higher than the third rung from the top. As a result, your actual working reach is usually less than 24 feet.

What Kind of Ladder Is Used for Painting?

Ladders specifically intended for painters are available in fiberglass, aluminum, steel, or wood. Aluminum is the most popular due to its lightweight and robustness. There are also portable ladders such as folding, telescoping, extending, and wheeled ladders.


While painting your house on a ladder, there is a big chance of facing an accident as an unintended consequence. You want to avoid all these unwanted troubles.

It is also not advised to paint on a ladder when you feel sleepy or are not sober. Since you need to have a keen sense of yourself and your environment, you must be very responsible.

This is why you need to ensure a few things beforehand. From choosing the right ladder to using the right tools, you must utilize the correct methods properly.

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