Recycle a Furniture Castoff into a Creative Potting Bench
Written by on Monday, May 10th, 2010

This project turned out to be one of my favorites!   A month ago, I potted some veggies and created a space for them, on the side of my house.  As I was running between my garage and vegetable garden (to bring tools, fertilizer, potting soil, pruners and gloves to the garden, as needed), I realized how nice it would be to have a potting bench with some storage.   I also knew that it was not a project I could build myself and didn’t feel it was so necessary to spend considerable money on it either.  So, I went back to my love of recycling and repurposing and hit the garage sales, one fine Saturday.  As luck would have it, I struck gold my first time out and found an older IKEA desk top for only $4.00.

It had a work surface and plenty of storage, including dry storage (in the form of a cubby with a door), which I knew would be the perfect spot to store my garden gloves, to keep them out of the weather.

STEP #1 – a light sanding with a fine grade of sand paper, making sure I hit all surfaces, corners and crevices!

STEP #2 – remove the dust created by sanding with a slightly damp cloth.


 STEP #3 – I chose a green, semi-gloss acrylic paint so my potting & storage bench would blend into the background.

However, I also gave it a sense of fun by free-painting some flowers, fauna and garden creatures to dress it up and express my creativity,

using some leftover bottles of acrylic craft paint I had.  (paint used – apx. $7.00)    I have to say this was my favorite part of the project.

Not only did I enjoy the zen-ness while painting on my own, but when the adorable children I live next to caught a glimpse of what I was doing,

they joined in and added a little of their own artistry.

It didn’t matter that we ended up with a hot pink & orange flower or a blue butterfly because it was simply a fun day for all of us!

Here is the result of our creative art —


STEP #4 – Drill a small hole for an inexpensive (87 cents) pink ceramic, weatherproof knob for the cabinet door and seal the potting bench with INDOOR/OUTDOOR Helmsman Spar Urethane ($10) to protect my finished project from the weather and elements.  Because the cabinet is such an inexpensive piece of furniture, it’s made from compressed wood particle board with a laminate cover.  I think the weather will eventually take its toll on my sweet potting bench, but the clear satin sealant should buy me a couple of seasons at least, I hope!  PROJECT TOTAL -apx. $22.00.


The bench is so useful because it has already saved me many back & forth trips to the garage for garden tools and necessities.  Now, they are all close by and at hand and SOOOO convenient!

Enjoy the Creativity!


Leave a Reply


Follow me by email

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: