Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Barn Wood and Chippy Porch Columns

Build a potting bench and add some vintage charm with upcycled chippy porch columns, reclaimed barn wood and pressed tin roof tiles.

 Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Materials and Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Is anyone else ready for gardening season?

Our last freeze date on average is April 15th and I’ve been circling the garden center in anticipation!

Despite the flowers calling my name, I’ve resisted temptation knowing

how unpredictable Mother Nature can be.

Garden glove with flowers | © #garden #flowers #glove

After a dip into the 30s this past weekend,

the 10 day forecast looks promising and

I’m ready to get planting!

Reclaimed Porch Columns and Barn Wood for Potting Bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

I wanted a roomy work bench for planting and projects, as well

as a place to display garden collectibles, like bird

houses and watering cans.

Reclaimed Porch Columns for Potting Bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

After spying these old porch columns and barn wood at an antique mall,

I asked my hubby if he could *pretty please* build a potting bench.

He’s not a carpenter but he’s an excellent handy man!

Reclaimed barn wood for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

We cherry picked our way through the barn wood, bypassing split boards

or those that were warped or too cupped to use.

Reclaimed barn wood for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

I love the character of reclaimed wood so I didn’t object to nail holes or large knots.

Given the price of lumber these days, the barn wood boards were a bargain.

Reclaimed Porch Columns and Barn Wood for Potting Bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

We bought the longest boards available, not sure how many we might need,

 thinking we could go always go back if we needed more.

Old square nails | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Some of wider boards came with these old square nails.

We saved the ones that weren’t bent once they were removed for a future projects!

Frames to build a potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

He started with pressure treated 2 x 6s and 2 x 4s to build the frames

for the bottom and the top of the potting bench.

The 2 x 6s were used for the bottom frame to anchor the 4 legs of the columns in place.

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The size of the barn boards dictated the overall size of the bench,

which ended up 35 inches deep x 56 inches wide.

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

One of the columns was cut in half to make the front legs of the bench.

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

You could assemble this bench in a weekend if you have all your fasteners

(correct length screws and number of lag bolts, washers and nuts, etc).

It took longer for us than planned as we were interrupted by rain,

 a debilitating high pollen count. . . *achoo*. . . and The Masters. :)

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The columns were attached to the frames using 7-inch lag bolts to provide stability.

Those posts aren’t budging!

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Once the frame was attached to the columns it was time to place the boards.

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

It took a little playing around to see where the boards worked best,

shuffling them and flipping them over to find the best sides and alignment.

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The best looking boards were chosen for the top. . .

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

 We didn’t have enough board length to span both the top and bottom horizontally,

so shorter length boards were placed so they ran vertically on the bottom.

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

A few of the boards had to be cut and notched to fit around the posts.

Having a jigsaw would have made cutting the boards to fit around the columns easier.

He made do with a chisel and hammer to notch out the wood after

making the cut with his circular saw.

Chiseling out barn wood to fit porch posts for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

He made a cardboard template for easier cutting.

Cardboard template for cutting barn wood to fit porch posts for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Building a potting bench with reclaimed barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Pressure treated wood blocks on potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Blocks from a 4 x 4 pressure treated wood post were cut and attached

to the bottom of the posts to protect them and raise it off the ground. . .

Pressure treated wood blocks on potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The blocks were also placed on concrete pavers to minimize ground contact.

Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Materials and Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

We moved the bench to The Potting Shed to finish assembling.. .

it’s a beast and heavy!

Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Materials and Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Boards were attached to the back and then the top boards were screwed in place.

One of these things is not like the other. . .  :) | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Oops. . .we need an adjustment and recut.

One of these things is not like the other. . .  :)

Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Materials and Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The barn boards on the back weren’t perfectly flush

but I had an idea and plan to conceal that. . .

Antique pressed tin roof tiles for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

I’ve been hoarding salvage tin roof tiles that I picked up when we built the Potting Shed.

I purchased them for $1 each when we bought the rusty metal tin for the porch roof.

I wasn’t sure how I would use them at the time, but like all good hoarders, I hung on to them,

thinking at the very least they would make great bird house roofs!

Panel nails to hold antique pressed tin roof tiles for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Panel nails blended with the rusty patina of the roof tiles, to tack them in place.

Antique pressed tin roof tiles for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The roof tiles were shingled along each side of the back, leaving a gap in the middle.

Antique pressed tin roof tiles for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

My vintage-inspired reliable seeds sign used to Welcome a Colorful Harvest . . .

Reliable seeds sign with a harvest of pumpkins, mums and hydrangeass | © #fall #arrangement #hydrangeas #pumpkins #mums

And for a Harvest Time Garden Table . . .

Harvest Time Garden Table in the Potting Shed | © #garden #fall #harvest #tablescape #pottingshed

Provided the backdrop!

Potting Bench with Reliable Seeds Sign, Pressed Tin Roof Tiles and Reclaimed Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The sign was attached between the tiles with screws.

Two lengths of wood were used like molding at the top and bottom

to eliminate the need for cutting and piecing the roof tiles along the edges,

and preventing the need for a tetanus booster!

Potting Bench with Reliable Seeds Sign, Pressed Tin Roof Tiles and Reclaimed Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

The potting bench frame boards were faced with barn wood to blend with the rest of the bench.

Cast iron brackets for shelves for potting bench | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

l found this set of 10 x 10 cast iron shelf brackets 

to support the 12-inch deep shelves. The shelves were strategically placed

so the graphics and words on the sign were still visible.

Potting Bench with reliable seeds sign, antique tin roof tiles, barn wood and old porch posts | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Ta-da! . .Here she is with all her chippiness, imperfections and reclaimed-materials-glory!

I plan on using a waterseal product to protect the wood and porch columns.

Potting bench with birdhouse, seed packets, vintage garden tools| © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage


Upcycled Gable Vent and Pediment Addition for The Potting Bench

DIY pediment addition for The Potting Bench using a copper gable vent | © #diy #pottingbench #upcycle #repurpose

 Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Materials and Barn Wood | © #pottingbench #pottingtable #upcycle #diy #salvage

Thank you for your visit!

Sharing with:  Metamorphosis Monday

  74 comments for “Building a Potting Bench with Reclaimed Barn Wood and Chippy Porch Columns

  1. Rita C.
    April 13, 2022 at 7:06 am

    Pure awesomeness, Mary! I enjoyed following the steps your handyman (carpenter in my hook!) took in making it. That suckered must weigh a ton. No storm’s gonna mess with that! Can’t wait to see you style it.

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you Rita, it’s quite substantial to say the least. :) Wishing you a Happy Easter. ♥

  2. Susan Martin
    April 13, 2022 at 7:27 am

    How fabulous that came out, great job. I can’t wait to see it all decorated which I’m sure you’re very excited to do 😊

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks so much Susan! I’m looking forward to having another surface to play on. :)

  3. Brenda Aschliman
    April 13, 2022 at 7:27 am

    Super cute!!!

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you Brenda!

  4. April 13, 2022 at 7:40 am

    Isn’t it wonderful having a handy man? Mary, you will have fun with the potting bench. I can’t wait for all of the styling! Happy Wednesday ♥️

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks so much Pam! Yes, you have an excellent handy man too. ♥

  5. Debbie Holman
    April 13, 2022 at 7:49 am

    This post came at the perfect time! I have a blank outside wall I want to build a cute potting shed against. I just rebuilt my dock and had enough wood for a bunch of sheds but never thought of reusing the wood! I can’t wait to start on my potting bench and will use your ideas for sure! Pictures to follow!

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:19 pm

      I’m so glad you’re inspired to use your old wood Debbie! Thank you for your visit and happy building to you. ♥

  6. franki Parde
    April 13, 2022 at 8:17 am

    I was in chippy heaven!!! Wowzer, this “turned out” t/b marvelous!!KUDOS to the carpenter, too!!! franki

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you Franki, I’ll pass your kudos along. :) Happy Easter to you. ♥

  7. April 13, 2022 at 8:18 am

    A show stopper!

    • Clara
      April 13, 2022 at 9:01 am

      Mary, Your vision and your husband’s talent made a wonderful, useful potting bench. Can’t wait to see it styled for the various seasons. I love those roof tiles! It’s lovely! Clara❤️

      • April 14, 2022 at 4:27 pm

        Thanks so much Clara! Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend ahead. Hope you’re safe from any storms moving through. ♥

  8. Terri
    April 13, 2022 at 8:46 am

    The potting bench is adorable. I can see many a garden projects coming to life there.

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks so much Terri!

  9. Kat
    April 13, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Imperfect potting perfection!

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you Kat!

  10. April 13, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Oh my gosh!!! How cute is that???? You and your dear darling did a great job! How clever to use those roof tiles and the pretty sign in the back. It’s a great addition to your garden. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you sweet Kitty! Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend ahead with those cute grand girls. ♥

  11. April 13, 2022 at 9:33 am

    I absolutely LOVE this !!! Can’t wait to see more pics! What a talented hubby to be able to bring your vision to life! Happy Spring Mary!

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you Robyn! Yes, he’s a keeper! Happy Spring to you. ♥

  12. Margaret
    April 13, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Incredible! It’s gorgeous.

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks so much Margaret!

  13. Dee
    April 13, 2022 at 9:52 am

    You are so lucky to have such a talented husband who is willing to help with your projects and dreams! Serve him a wonderful happy hour on your new potting bench in appreciation and remind him how much you love him!

  14. April 13, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Such a fabulous potting bench. It’s so nice being married to a handyman. I have one too. Love how it turned out. The tiles and the sign look great. I know in no time, you will be displaying your lovely garden items. I have always admired Jain’s outdoor hutches. My husband built me one too. I am almost ready to show my outdoor hutch my hubby built. Happy upcoming Easter and have fun decorating.

    • April 13, 2022 at 10:43 pm

      Yours is so cute, hurry up and premiere her 😉

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you Linda! I’m sure your new outdoor hutch is beautiful on your property with your pool and surroundings. Looking forward to seeing it, Happy Easter! ❤️🐇🐣🌸

  15. Donna
    April 13, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Sweet and such a fun collaboration of chippy and old products. I can see your styling right now. . . .

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:56 pm

      Thank you Donna! ❤️

  16. April 13, 2022 at 10:23 am

    There is something very attractive about a man who can build things! Great job!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:55 pm

      Thank you Mary!

  17. Maureen
    April 13, 2022 at 10:31 am


  18. Sheran
    April 13, 2022 at 11:01 am

    Love it! Bringing ideas to life with a loved one is great fun in the garden. I’ve so enjoyed the progress Jain and her husband have made on their property. Now I have potting bench envy!!! Looking forward to seeing it filled in.

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks so much Sheran! I’m in awe of how much Jain and Scott have accomplished with their landscape and hardscape such a short time. 🌸🌺🌷

  19. April 13, 2022 at 11:32 am

    WOW! Your potting bench is fantastic. Love it.

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks so much Andree! ❤️

  20. debracommonground
    April 13, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Gorgeous, I love that it sits on a platform. You’ve added the “extras” that make it so vintage and unique. LOVE IT! have fun!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:51 pm

      I share your love of vintage Debra. Thanks so much for your visit! Happy Easter to you! 🐇🐣

  21. Ann Woleben
    April 13, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    Fantastic! The reclaimed parts make it so special. Not bad for a non-carpenter!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you Ann! Hope you’re enjoying this warm weather. 🌞❤️

  22. Anne
    April 13, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Beautiful! Absolutely perfect. Thank you for the inspiration and the instructions. I would say your hubby is definitely a Carpenter!!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you Anne, I think he’s afraid I’ll sign him up for more projects if I consider him a carpenter. 😀❤️

  23. Sue
    April 13, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    What a beauty! I, too, can’t wait to see how you “dress” the bench for different occasions. That would be a great buffet server for outdoor feasts!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you Sue, that would be fun! 🍽❤️

  24. April 13, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Love it!,

  25. April 13, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    SO FUN! You know how much I love outdoor hutches! Very creative backdrop, you are going to have SO MUCH FUN! He did a wonderful job, don’t you love team work, your ideas, his hands bring to life 😍 love it and look forward to more play time from you 😉

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you, you have such a wonderful area to display all your garden and outdoor goodies! Now, if I get my hubby to take up welding… :) ♥

  26. Cyndi Raines
    April 14, 2022 at 12:28 am

    O happy day! Good job on the construction and the tin tiles and sign really make it awesome. I know you are in garden heaven! Eager to see her in all her glory, ( i.e.) birdhouses, wateringcans and pots!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you Cyndi! Hope it’s warming up in your neck of the woods. 🌸❤️

  27. Betsy
    April 14, 2022 at 1:23 am

    Teamwork, including the dogs supervising from their “jail cell”, always makes for the best results! When I think you can’t make your outdoor space any nicer, you always surprise me with a new addition. What a lovely view from your driveway on to the lake; talk about an work space with a view – wow!!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you Betsy! They love being outside with us in their ‘jail cell’ and watching the birds and squirrels. :)🐾🐾❤️

  28. April 14, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Wow Mary, your hubby is one talented carpenter! I love your upcycled, recycled, reclaimed wood potting bench! What a happy garden goddess you will be! I was at the garden center yesterday myself, bought some pretty geraniums that I had to keep in my garage last night due to very stormy weather and high winds…hoping that is the last blast and Spring will calm down! Happy planting!

    • April 14, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      Thank you Jenna! It’s been pretty blustery here too. 🌸❤️

  29. Linda
    April 14, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Tell your husband he did an awesome job! And yourself as well! Love how the whole thing came together from reclaimed wood and a little of this and a little of that. What a great potting bench! And so cool looking too!

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you Linda, I’ll let him know! I’m thrilled with how it turned out. ♥

  30. Ann Butler
    April 14, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    I LOVE IT! Your husband did a great job and those are awesome hoarding pieces. Crafters and DIYer’s are classic hoarders because yes you never know and when something is a great price like those tin tiles at $1 yes you have to buy them. Beautiful work on your husbands part and I can’t wait to see how you decorate your new potting table.

    • April 14, 2022 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you so much Ann! My hubby wishes I didn’t hoard so much but it came in handy this time. :) ♥

  31. babs
    April 14, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS! YOUR POTTING BENCH IS FABULOUS. Every aspect is perfect, your incorporation of selectively Hoarded pieces made it a very special one of a kind. You have a very delightfully creative and hard working Husband…..

    • April 15, 2022 at 6:32 am

      Thank you Babs! He is very hard working. ♥

  32. Shirley Graham
    April 15, 2022 at 10:31 am


    • April 16, 2022 at 10:37 am

      Thank you Shirley! Happy Easter ♥

  33. Debbie
    April 16, 2022 at 9:20 am

    WOW!!! I love it!

    • April 16, 2022 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Debbie! :)

  34. Theresa Keller
    April 17, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Wow, that is nice! My cousin has 2 old porch columns from our grandmothers house, I will send her this!
    Great post & Happy Easter!!

  35. April 18, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    This is magnificent! I have bookmarked it for my hubby to study! I sooo love this and can’t wait to see your signature styling on it!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

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