How To Make A Garden Potting Bench From An Old Dresser: I’ve been longing for a potting bench. Working with heavy pots, messy dirt and wet plants atop my glass patio table and storing garden supplies in the garage just wasn’t functional or sensible! My dilemma, I couldn’t find a pre-made garden potting bench that had all the bells and whistles I wanted. So I made one, and my first stop, Pinterest (of course!) for inspiration. Second stop, thrift stores.
A drab beige dresser spoke to me! I was on a hunt at The Arc Thrift Store during a 50% off Saturday sale. The Arc always has a variety of furniture and great bargains. And by spending your money there, you are supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities! Here is what I bought for $39.00. The dresser was made from a mix of composite wood panels, but most importantley it had a sturdy solid wood frame, and was the perfect size for me!
This particular dresser proved to be serendipitous for my project! It had drawers that pulled out leaving huge spaces with no horizontal supporting bars. A back that was easy to pull off and built-in support rails on the side walls that were perfect for supporting shelves I would later install.
Deciding what color to paint my bench was the hardest part of this project! The Sherwin Williams Paint Color Visualizer was a big help. I suggest using this free program on their website. Below are some of the colors I experimented with before I made my final decision. I posted these photos on my Facebook site and my FB friends chimed in with their opinions which was helpful to me in making my final color choices: Sherwin Williams #6433 Inverness Green, #6228 Refuge Blue and Rust-oleum bran standard Brown, right out of the can.
Use exterior all weather paint since the bench will be sitting outside. I used Sherwin Williams Resilience: Exceptional Moisture Resistance Exterior Acrylic Latex paint. I gave the bench two coats of paint and was sure to covered every nook and cranny to seal it from the outdoors. The entire project took almost all of one gallon of green and less than 1/3 of a quart blue. Word of warning, Sherwin Williams’ paint is expensive, $61.99 a gallon, and their quarts are $25.00+. If you search the web you can find a $10.00 off coupon.
Putting feet on the bench was another way to weather proof. If the wood frame sat on the ground and gathered moister year round it would eventually mold and rot. I bought four wooden feet and screwed metal brackets to the four corners of the bench’s underside. I then screwed the feet into the brackets. I painted the feet with Rust-oleum brand Marine Coating, water resistant brown paint. I liked the color so I used it to paint the one brown drawer as well.
A miter saw and my husband came in handy as we built shelving. We purchased composite board, cut two shelves to size and a bottom hinged swing door for the cabinet where the sink bucket lives. With the remaining wood, I designed a simple rustic style shelf that was supported by bolting it to the back of the dresser.
A Mexican painted porcelain sink was a colorful splurge. I found at the Little Colorado & Camino Real in Old Colorado City, in Colorado Springs. With a bit of haggling, I paid $60.00 for the sink.
A round hole was cut into the top of the dresser and clear bathroom tile epoxy was put under the lip of the sink to seal it tight. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money for a sink, there is a large selection of low priced porcelain sinks at the Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity ReStore, where I also bought this lovely copper sink spout for $20.00.
What a find! The sink spout was originally a soda fountain spout and with some re-piping my husband made it work! By adding hose fittings, I can now hook the garden hose up to the spout and use a bucket under the sink to catch the draining water. I found the Mexican style iron drawer pulleys in Santa Fe, New Mexico at Mexico Lindo Furniture store for $5.00 each. Next to the sink is a towel rack I bought at the Arc Thrift Store for $3.00. I painted it green and screwed it to the bench.
The work surface and shelf were in need of water damage protection. I glued a black vinyl stair tread runner to the tops and staple gunned the edges to secure.
A touch of Santa Fe glam was added to the bottom edge of the bench. I decorated a piece of trim from Home Depot with the green, blue and brown colors I used on the bench to pull it all together. The trim also served to hide some ugly oringinal framework peeking out from underneath.
Finally the broom and rake holder on the right side of the potting bench was the last thing I added fashioned out of the last scraps of old drawer wood. Only, after using the bench for a few days did I realize I needed something to prop these guys up.
So there you have it! From thrift store to back yard garden use!
I hope you found this useful. I’ll look forward to seeing your potting bench creations!
Elizabeth Carter, Springs Small Business Marketing
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