DIY: Building a Potting Bench with the Workbench Hardware Kit

Many of us have found ourselves spending more time at home this summer trying our hands at do-it-yourself projects or making long-overdue home improvements. Simpson Strong-Tie has a helpful DIY website filled with inspirational photos and free project plans. Many of those projects, like our free pergola and garage shelving plans, were produced in house by our engineers. Others came from the creative minds of brand ambassadors we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years, like the Rogue Engineer and Jen Woodhouse.

Simpson Strong-Tie Fasteners product marketing manager Robert Shirley turned to our website and the Simpson Strong-Tie WBSK Workbench and Shelving Hardware Kit when he was trying to find inspiration to build a new potting bench. He tells his story and shares photos of the finished project below.

diy potting bench

I noticed that there are several plans for DIY potting benches, but I liked the ones on our DIY site. I used the plans for the taller bench as a reference.  I transformed the project into a reuse, recycle, restore effort. About 15 years ago, I built a redwood storage chest/bench for our patio. Over the years I kept it in good shape by refinishing it and recoating it with Varathane.

DIY Storage Chest
Reused storage chest

However, I failed to realize that the interior of the chest, which was made of ¾” plywood, was slowly deteriorating, and as a result, I wasn’t able to save the chest. So I took some of the exterior pieces of redwood along with the chest lid and am using them in the potting bench design (e.g., the chest lid is now the potting bench table top). The shelves are also from the chest —– they were the slats from the chest’s sides. The idea was to make the bench look rustic.

DIY Potting Bench

I painted the frame using a gray undercoat with a pale green chalk paint wash to give it an aged look. The shelves are painted with a white chalk paint wash. I painted the RTC2Z brackets with white paint, and may do something to make them look aged as well.

DIY Potting Bench Right Side
Right side showing painted RTC2Z connectors.

Fasteners used: Wafer-head screws (SD8) for the RTC2Z brackets and to affix the lattice to the back; Deck-Drive™ DSV Wood screws to affix the bottom shelf to the frame; flat-head marine screws to affix the slats to rails on the shelves and the dragon fly shelf brackets; SDWS Framing Screws to affix the cross beams (very top beam and a beam behind the upper shelf).

DIY Potting Bench Finished
Finished Potting Bench

Did you build a project using Simpson Strong-Tie solutions this summer? Post a photo on Instagram with the tag #strongtiediy and we’ll share it in our Instagram Stories.