I have always wanted to build a potting bench for our backyard, but to be honest, I only garden once or twice a year. So I built more of an outdoor console table to use as a serving area, allowing our dining tabletop to have some room to breathe.

After we disassembled the shelves Brandon built in our garage, I had a surplus of 2x4s that were screaming to be used for this project. The goal was to only use scrap, which I mostly accomplished. I did end up buying a few boards. I used leftover paint I had from a previous project and it is the perfect shade of yellow. I adore how it turned out and it really brought so much happy to our cool-toned deck.


I started with these plans from Ana White and made some modifications on-the-fly:

  • I used 1x3s instead of 1x4s for the slats because the 1×4 lumber selection was terrible
  • I did not add slats to the back
  • I added a curved shelf
  • I added wooden pegs for hanging tools
  • I made it wider to fit my space

I primed and painted the bench, then sealed it with three coats of clear satin water-based polyurethane made for exterior use. It is mold & mildew resistant, seals out water, and has UV protection. I lightly sanded between each coat.

Overall, this project took about 2-3 days to complete. I used a paint sprayer to make sure I could get between the slats. This project would have taken much longer painting by hand, so keep that in mind. If you aren’t using a sprayer, paint the edges on the slats prior to assembly. If you go the paint sprayer route, make sure you plan for extra paint. I needed 2 quarts to cover.

I loved tackling this project that added a ton of function to our backyard. We hosted our friends for a BBQ and took it for a spin and it worked out wonderfully.

What do you think? Would you try building this?

Paint color: Vintage Crown, Satin, The Castle Collection from Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines®, crafted with KILZ®

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Hi, I’m Tiffany!

I’m so glad you’re here. I hope you’ll see this space as a source of inspiration and encouragement to take the first step in making your home a place you want to be, wherever that may be.

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