DIY Potting Bench

Don't spend a fortune: transform a thrift store find into the perfect place to store your gardening supplies.

Repurposed Dresser Turned Potting Bench

Here's what you'll need to create your own potting bench from a thrift store find: A dresser or table / exterior paint / clear polycrylic finishing spray for waterproofing / cabinet hardware (if you need to replace existing hardware) / plastic dishwashing tub / jigsaw / drill / measuring tape / pencil / sandpaper / nail gun or hammer and nails / chalkboard (optional)

Find the Perfect Piece

When looking for a dresser to repurpose, find a sturdy piece that will stand up to wear and tear and the elements.  To comfortably use it as a potting bench you will want it to be waist-high and have drawers and shelves to store supplies.  This piece was found at a local store and it was already painted in great "garden colors."

Remove doors to create open storage

First, remove the hutch doors. Being able to display gardening items and to use them for decoration as well as function is a plus.

Replace Existing Hardware

Next, replace the hardware, on the upper drawers only, with drawer pulls that better match the look of the piece.  You can find inexpensive hardware at many home improvement stores in a variety of styles.

Remove Bottom Drawers

You can leave the upper drawers on the dresser for storing supplies such as gardening twine and scissors, but try removing the two bottom sets of drawers for open storage space.

Creating Storage Space

The open space where the bottom four drawers were allows for a large area to store bulkier gardening tools.  This dresser had support pieces for the bottom drawers that were removed to create an open space on the bottom.

Paint the Inside of the Dresser

For a finished look, paint the inside of the dresser where your bottom opening is. Allow to thoroughly dry.

Creating a Sink Area

A perfect potting bench has some type of area to catch soil (for reuse) while repotting plants. To create a "faux" sink area in the bench, that is easy to clean up without being expensive, use a plastic dishwashing tub. They come in a variety of fun colors and neutrals and can be coordinated to match your potting bench color scheme.

Measuring for the Sink

Decide where you want your sink—a top drawer is an ideal spot, as it will allow space for the sink to fit without being exposed. Flip the tub over and carefully trace around it with a pencil. Then measure, on your tub, the difference between the lip of your tub and the actual tub base.  This tub had a 1/2-inch difference.  Measure in 1/2-inches from the pencil line you drew, then sketch a new line — this is the line you will cut on. By doing this, your tub will fit snuggly into the dresser with the lip of the tub resting above the surface for easy removal.

Drilling a Pilot Hole

Remove the upper drawer and begin by drilling a pilot hole into the top of the dresser so you have a place to start cutting out your sink hole. 

Cutting Your Sink Area

Using a jigsaw, cut out the hole for your sink. Be sure to check the underside of your dresser to avoid cutting into any support pieces.  Saw around the second pencil line—it is better to cut too small and make adjustments.  You may need to test your sink in the space few times to get the perfect-sized hole.

Finish the Sink Area

Once you have your hole cut, lightly sand the cut edges and touch up the top with paint, if needed.  Place your sink into the top of the potting bench. Spray or brush on a top coat of polyacrylic finish for waterproofing and let dry.

Creating a Chalkboard Area

Paint a scrap piece of wood with chalkboard paint and attached it to the hutch for a place to write out garden "to-do" lists, a calendar for planting and other notes and reminders.

Stocking Your Potting Bench

Now comes the fun part! In the bottom section of your potting bench, place large buckets to hold hedge clippers, bags of potting soil and other supplies. Add some fun metal hooks above your sink to hold your handheld gardening tools.

Keeping Supplies Handy

Stocking your potting bench with a watering can and cheerful gardening gloves will keep necessary tools close at hand.

Glass Jar Seed Packet Holders

Use unexpected pieces for unique and inexpensive storage ideas. Here, two inexpensive glass canisters are used to store seed packets.

Canning Jar Holder for Seedlings

This canning jar holder turned out to be the perfect size for small seedling pots.

Dresser Turned Potting Bench Turned Outdoor Bar!

I'm all about dual-purpose: You can use your new potting bench for an outdoor bar! To do this, just purchase two dishwashing tubs—one for the garden and one for a bar sink.  Just switch out your gardening supplies for some fun barware and you are all set up for a party!

Use Your Potting Bench for Entertaining

Hang your bar tools on the hooks, add some ice to your sink for a cooler, place a fun tray out full of  party supplies and host a garden cocktail party!

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