Potting Bench from Repurposed Shutters and desk

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I am feeling the happiness of spring!  We were at my oldest son's track meet last night and it was beautiful weather, I was cheering him and his teammates on, and I had a wonderful feeling of contentment.  It was really nice, I love watching my kids, and I love nice weather, I guess it was just a winning combo! :)

Today I am excited to show you how I made my potting bench from repurposed shutters and a desk!  My potting bench was first seen at My Repurposed Life last year. 
Make an awesome Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and a Desk, MyLove2Create
This project was one of those...happy accidents!  Let me tell you about it.
shutters before
I usually start looking for projects to do from my stash of collected free stuff that is overtaking the back porch.  I knew that I wanted to do something with these old shutters my friend had given me and I was going to see if I could turn them into some benches.  As I was getting them out to look at them I noticed this desk...
desk before
This bad boy was in pretty rough shape.  It was another one of my free finds from Craig's list and it had been on my back porch for too many years.  As I looked at it, and had my shutters in my hands, I had one of those magic moments...pure inspiration.  Apparently benches were not going to win out, I had a better idea.
removing hardware from shutters
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In order for my idea to work I needed to cut the shutters in half.  I removed the hardware...
cutting shutters in half
Then after measuring the halfway point I used my trusty Kreg Rip-Cut and Ryobi Circular Saw combo to cut them in half.  These tools are a match made in heaven.
shutters to be used to make potting bench
I was left with 4 shutters.
dry fitting shutters on desk
After a quick dry fit on the top of the desk I knew my potting bench was going to work!  They were the perfect size!  I marked for pocket holes and got to work.
drilling pocket holes in shutters
Using my K5 I drilled pocket holes for attaching the shutters together.
drilling macro pocket holes
The bottom pieces of the shutters were a thinner material, about 1/2'' thick so I used my Kreg Micro Drill Guide System to drill smaller pocket holes.  This helps to avoid splitting.  These pocket holes will attach the shutters to the top of the desk.
attaching shutters together with pocket holes
I attached the back shutters together with Gorilla Glue and 1 1/4'' pocket hole screws.  You can see I made sure to clamp the wood first.
attaching shutters together with pocket holes
Next, I attached the side shutters to the back shutters.  For this I used my Right Angle Clamp to drill in the first few screws, then removed it to finish the last ones.
building shelf support
As I was working I realized that a shelf would be really nice to have, and I discovered that the 1x2 wood pieces that I had removed from the shutters would be perfect!  I started by cutting two pieces the length of the back shutters then I cut for small pieces to make the shelf support.  

It was really quick to put them together with wood glue and finish nails. 
attaching shelf support to shutters
When I attached the shelf support to the shutters I nailed them on first, then pre-drilled holes and added screws at an angle, securing them in the middle and on the ends.
fitting wood for bottom shelf on desk
Next up was finding wood for the top of the shelves and a bottom shelf. I ended up using some of the free deck wood that I used to build my Entry Table made from Reclaimed Lumber.  I placed two boards on the bottom, and realized that I needed to rip a third board to complete the shelf.
cutting deck wood in half with kreg rip cut
I used my favorite too combo again and busted it out in no time!  
bottom shelf on desk
gluing and clamping desk drawerWood glue and clamps were necessary to get the drawer in working order, it was really struggling before this fix up job.
dry fit for shelves
After getting all the deck wood cut for the shelves I did another dry fit.  It was looking good!  Notice that the very top deck boards are smaller, I cut some in half to make them fit better.
stain and poly deck wood
The deck boards got a very good sanding and then I stained them with Rustoleum's Kona.  I also sealed them with three coats of poly, sanding between coats 1 and 2.  My bench will be on a covered patio, otherwise I would have used a spar poly, which is better for an outdoor finish.
attaching shutters to desk top
Here I am attaching my shutters to the desk top, with my smaller micro screws.  Then I gave everything a very good cleaning.
priming potting bench
This was my first project using myHomeRight Max Pro , and I LOVED it, and I still do!  I used Gail's chalk paint recipe and an oops paint to prime the whole thing.  And it took me less than 10 minutes to prime, awesome.  There is NO way I could have painted those shutter in that time!
straining paint and spraying potting bench with home right finish max pro
When I went to add my final paint color I forgot to strain my paint first, it was an oops paint and was older and you should always strain older paint before putting it into a sprayer to avoid clogging.  When I realized this, I strained it, and had no clogging afterwards.  Can you see the chunks of dried paint on my screen door mesh, ahem...high tech straining cloth?  It was a happy ending and I got my potting bench painted in record time and I was loving the color!
nailing on old deck wood shelves
I added my old deck boards, which were now nicely finished, with my Ryobi nail gun , and called it a day! 
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
Not bad for a spur of the moment inspired project!
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
And a shot from the back.  You can see I choose not to fill the pocket holes here, because no one will see them, and I am lazy. 
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
Look how useful it is!  I really like the charm the shutters add.
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
Plus they are handy.  A peg board shelf pin worked great to hang this dollar store pot to hold supplies. 
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
Don't forget you need a place for tools too!
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
That desk drawer is perfect for items as well, and how about that bottom shelf to hold bags of soil!  Whoop!
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
Why not add plants to make the shelves pretty...
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
I love how my dollar store pots dressed up with contact paper add some fun pops of color.  
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
Some of these plants are real and some I just grabbed from the house to add some more green, cause I still need to go shopping for more...
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
I love the stained wood and paint combo, plus is doesn't hurt that this is my favorite color. ;)
Potting Bench From Repurposed shutters and Desk, MyLove2Create
For a free repurposed random project I am pretty happy with the results!

Do you need a potting bench?  Maybe you have some old furniture laying around and you could build your own!


I will be linking to these partiesSavvy Southern Style, and Bloom Designs



  1. That is, without a doubt, the cutest and neatest DIY transformation I've seen in days! So great and so happy too, love the color you picked!

  2. Beautiful project as always, Mindi. Just two days ago I painted two small shutters a light turquoise but still don't know what to do with them!

  3. I love your potting bench. It is beautiful, love the color. I really need to get busy and make me one. I have some wood shutters. Thanks for sharing! Pinning!

  4. I love this project. The combination of the natural wood and blue is very nice. It's my hope to build a potting bench sometime in the future. I have a basic table with a bottom shelf but nothing this fancy.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  5. love this! will your piece be sheltered most of the time or in the weather? thanks

    1. Thank you! I keep it on my back porch which is covered. :)

  6. Ingenious and beautiful!
    :) gwingal

  7. Hi Mindi,
    Your link caught my eye at Funky Junk Interiors' linky party, and I clicked right over here. Love how you matched the shutters and desk together to create a potting bench. It came out beautifully. I have a lot of shutters sitting in the garage just waiting...and waiting...for the right project. Thanks for inspiring me to get them down and create something with them. Don't know what yet, but I will post it on my blog when it's done. Hope you'll come over and visit me at https://alteredartworks.wordpress.com/ and say hello. Now following you on social media.

  8. Wow! Your putting bench is so pretty, love the color combo. You are so creative.

  9. I just had to let you know that your potting bench looks beautiful. I can't believe you used an old desk and shutters. This is truly an amazing project. I'm pinning it! Thank you for sharing. Kim @ This Ole Mom

  10. SWEET!!!!! I have some old shutters waiting for a project. Thanks for the inspiration. Linda @Crafts a la mode

  11. I love this transformation! I'm so glad you shared it on our linky! I'm going to feature it on facebook! <3

  12. I absolutely love love love this project! great inspiration and post!

  13. I love how you put this together out of random items! The color you picked is perfect too. I have been wanting to build my pwn potting bench so I will be pinning this for inspiration.

  14. Your potting bench is adorable.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. What a perfect match! You worked it out so well, that's an adorable potting bench!

  16. I love your potting table! I am featuring it it at SYC! Thanks for sharing. Jo

  17. Saw your feature at Savvy Southern Style, what a great idea and it looks beautiful! Enjoy your gardening this summer.


  18. Just saw this at Share Your Cup and had to visit. What a great idea and so cute! You did an incredible job and I love it!

  19. Oh I do love this! WOW! What a total transformation here! Love the color. Visiting from Share your Cup. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  20. awesome...love the color...I already have a potting bench,but it has been in the weather so I think I will just paint mine to perk it up a little...thanks for the inspiration...love taking something headed for the trash and making a treasure out of it...Happy Gardening!


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