"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." - Cicero

Make a Portable Potting Bench from a Repurposed Dresser

No plant room is complete without a potting bench. This versatile table comes in handy for starting seedlings, repotting house plants or rooting cuttings. What is even better is repurposing a cast-off dresser and giving it a new, green life. If you add 4 inch caster wheels to the legs, you can easily move your potting bench wherever you need it.

Finding the Raw Materials

Perhaps you have an old wooden dresser kicking around in the basement or the garage that would be perfect for this project. It might be missing a drawer or some hardware. If not, check out thrift shops, on CraigsList or yard sales to find something. A long, low dresser is better for this project than a high one because you will want to be able to stand at it and work comfortably.

Designing the Bench

Once you have an appropriate dresser, decide how you want it to look. If you leave the top drawers in place, you can use them for storing gardening tools, gloves, plant markers, pens and other small items. With the lower drawers removed, the area becomes storage for larger things like pots and bags of soil, plant food and amendments. You can reuse the drawers you remove by hanging them on the wall and turning them into shadow box shelves.

Preparing the Dresser

You will probably want to paint the dresser so that it matches the color scheme of your plant room–let me guess, green? Before you paint, remove the drawer pulls and other hardware. This is a good time to add the casters to the bottom as well. Whatever color of paint you choose, you will need to clean the surface, sand it lightly and wipe it down with a tack cloth or a rag dampened in some mineral spirits to remove paint dust. Use exterior paint for your bench especially if you are going to move it outside at any point. Remove the drawers and paint them inside and out, then set them aside to dry while you paint the rest of the dresser. It is a good idea to apply a coat of waterproofing to the bench as well. When the paint is dry,

Decorating your Creation

Let your imagination run wild. You can put the old hardware back on or you can look for whimsical flower drawer pulls. You can paint flowers on the drawers or down the legs, or you can cut pictures out of seed catalogs and decoupage them in place. Don’t forget to add some hooks along the side to hang tools or your gardening hat.

With a bit of creativity, you can give an old dresser a wonderful new life.