Thursday, 29 August 2013

DIY potting bench.

I've wanted to build a potting bench for the garden for quite a while now and wasted spent many a hour scouring Google and Pinterest for ideas and plans to make the ultimate bench.
I had huge ideas for this bench - it was going to have built in bins for compost, a sink, plenty of storage and hooks for hanging "stuff", but most of all it was going to be the prettiest little potting bench this side of Caithness.

My inspiration included this bench from 'My Honeys Place'.
Love the colour, the little heart cut out and especially the sink.

Or this one from 'Homeroad'.
I love that suzy uses old gates/wood, slates on the top, has the cute drawers and the window to the side.

There are free plans available all over the tinterweb for pretty much any design of potting bench you could possibly want.
But Linda doesn't 'do' plans!
One day Linda is going to learn the concept of planning and is going to have all timber correct in size ready to hand before attempting a project that can end up being big and complex.
On this particular build though I stuck to my usual 'make it up as I go along' method and lets just say I had many moments of seriously hating the project and it came veeeeery close to being dumped on Mr TGs burning heap (if I could have carried the beast that is).
The end result is not particularly pleasing to the eye, it has none of the special compartments I wanted, only has one shelf (which is already home to a Hosta rather than the compost and pots it was made for) and is made from so many odds and sods of scrapwood that it could never look very well put together BUT it does the job.....just!

Ultimately it is not long enough which is why I had to add to a side tray and I suspect I'm still going to end up using the patio table as a potting bench rather than this.
I did have one groovy idea though - I was worried that after a few uses the bench part of it was going to look seriously grotty and dirty from compost and I know I'd be forever painting over it, then I remembered that somewhere I had a bottle of Crystal resin (see where this is going). The resin was a fair few years old (I'm guessing at least 8) so I didn't know if it would work but I thought if I could coat the top with resin then it would make it wipeable.
I have to admit the resin did look a bit dodgy and had actually crystalised in parts but I mixed it all with the hardener and just spread the stuff. It took a good 2 days to harden but harden it has and I now have that wipeable surface.

I also built this planter for a standard Rose that I bought from Homebase. The Rose looks a tad dodgy as it was on the reduced isle (last step before the skip) and it doesn't look a pretty sight at the moment but at least it has a pretty planter.
I made the whole thing from scrapwood (of course) and made it up as I went along (of course), lined it with large dog food bags (wish I'd used compost bags as at least they'd be black) and coated it with Cuprinol Garden shades 'Summer Damson'


  1. I think your bench fits in really well you are clever! Are they cupboard knobs on the planter.

    1. Thank you Sue and yes, they are cupboard knobs lol. 2 different sizes as it happens because I couldn't find 4 the same.

  2. I love them both, you are so clever I can just about cut a straight line with a saw but hubby always points out my DIY faults

    1. Ah, sounds like hubby doesn't want you to perfect your skills and out DIY him lol.
      I think Mr TG encourages me to build things simply so that he doesn't have to lol.

  3. I do love that planter colour, especially with your white shed and bench!

    1. Thank you Lyn :)
      I decided to get a strong colour paint because I was sick of the stone colour that looks white. I also bought a few tester pots of various colours, watch out for brightly coloured bird boxes in the future lol.

  4. They are both great. I love to see home-made things. Well done you!

  5. I love your potting bench; it is great to see something so good that's homemade and unique. And it does look perfect in that spot.

  6. I love your bench and all these ideas. I have an old picnic table I want to somehow make into a potting bench.


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