easy DIY Potting Bench using Fence Boards

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DIY Potting Bench you can build using fence boards.

This easy-to-build potting bench cost us about $40 in lumber. My sweet DIY potting bench has paid for itself ten times over in the five years since being built.

This DIY potting bench using fence boards is my second favorite build to date. My first is my Garden Cottage Studio.

I have used my potting bench for many things, an outdoor sideboard when entertaining, a photo prop for flowers, hand painted signs, and to pot up plants.

diy potting bench with text overlay, flower patch farmhouse.com
DIY Potting Bench in the snow

This is what it is looking like today in January…

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But here it is after giving it a refresh last summer. Obviously it needs is again. I love the farmhouse cottage vibe with the galvanized buckets, tubs and watering cans. 

Many have asked for plans but that is hard to create when using fence boards, they are not uniform in size so we just took a basic design and built it around the 6 cedar fence boards we bought.


We lined them up and measured across to get the measurements to cut for the framework.

DIY Potting Bench Frames & legs

With 2 x 3’s we built these two frames (you can use 2 x 4’s if you can’t find 2 x 3’s).  Then added the 2 x 4 legs.

We made it a comfortable height for me to work while standing at it.  We glued and screwed everything together.  Nothing fancy.

Potting Bench Back

Once we had the legs attached we stood it up to add the fence boards along the back.  Again using wood glue and screws.

Bracing the potting bench

A cross piece was added to the top frame.  The depth was just a measurement we picked that we liked and was easy for me to reach, you can adjust to your space or desires.


For the shelf, we attached a fence board cut to fit the width of the back of the potting bench to a 2 x 3 then attached the 2 x 3 to the fence board back, we screwed it on from the back.

As you can see we also used wood glue.  I mopped this up right after this photo.

We added some metal shelf brackets I had on hand.  You can use any brackets you like or make your own.

Work surface

The potting bench work surface is just more fence boards cut to fit and we used pine boards for the bottom shelf.  We ran out of fence boards and we had the pine on hand but you can certainly use more cedar fence boards for the bottom as well. 

Paint or Stain on the DIY Potting Bench

My DIY potting bench has been through many makeovers and seasons.  I have painted it several times, if you prefer to keep it natural wood then use a deck oil or stain with oil.

Happy Building!

More Fence Board Projects
DIY Window Box Planters
Back Deck Oasis/ Privacy Screen
DIY Kitchen Herb Garden
Sunflower Painting on Fence Boards

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  1. Holly Zook says:

    I love it, but you really should have a print friendly directions tab.

  2. Thank you so much. We made one and love it. Super easy thanks for the details!

  3. Since lumber sizes differ giving a count of how many would be misleading and frustrating. As in your list, we cannot get 10 inch wide dog eared pickets where I live, the widest we have is 8 inch. So the lumber count and the size of the potting bench is different for everyone. I have had many email me photos of the ones the potting benches they built and the sizes are so varied, but they used simple math to figure out what they needed once they knew how wide they wanted to build it. That is why there is no lumber count, but the instructions are so easy that most can use their grade school math to figure it out. Glad you liked it.

  4. A more detailed list of how many pieces of wood were used would have been helpful, but was able to figure most of it out.

    – 6 2x3x8 Idaho timber boards cut into 4’ pieces
    – 10 wide dog ear pickets for the back board, shelf, and surface
    – Four rust- proof 2” shelving brackets

    Hope this helps someone! This is a cute, simple, and inexpensive plan. Easy to make. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Behr exterior paint would last for years. I have used them on outdoor murals.

  6. Kara Burwell says:

    I completed mine and it turned out AMAZING!! I was hoping to upload a picture to show you! If you have some place I can submit it to show you let me know! I will sign up below with my email! Thank you so much for the idea and direction!! ❤️ Kara Burwell

  7. Because fence boards are not uniform in size it was not possible to give exact measurements or list of materials. We just put 6 fence boards together for the back and measured the width to get the sizes to cut the 2 x 3’s for the box frame. We left it open so folks could built to suit. I will have to see if we can work out an approximate list to draw from.

  8. Kathy Petersen says:

    Do you have an itemized list of materials? If not we can figure it out but it’d be nice to have a list. Thank you very much!

  9. Nicole Cote says:

    Hello Pamela,

    I really like the blue-acqua colour of the potting bench. Maybe you should stay with it unless you love another colour even more.

  10. Pamela Smith says:

    Pamela, I adore your potting bench and am having one made just like it! And I also love your choice of blue. Can you share the paint color and brand?

    Pamela in Las Vegas

  11. thank you, Kathryn! I need to hop on over and check out this weeks party.

  12. It is an easy one to build and doesn’t take many or fancy tools. The basics are enough to get this job done. You won’t regret it, I love this piece and use it all the time.

  13. Well, it is starting to look really rough. The best paint I have used on it so far was Annie Sloans Chalk Paint, it merely faded over time and never chipped or peeled. I may use that again or try one of the outdoor paints that Plaid FolkArt sent me to try.

  14. Norma Rolader says:

    I love this potting bench and thank you for the diy info

  15. I love this potting bench. The color is so fun and bright and looks gorgeous in January as well as June. I already have a bench but am thinking of adding another to the side of the house. This may be the answer so thanks for sharing your creative fence board diy potting bench.

  16. JaneEllen says:

    Your potting bench is really nice looking an pretty simple to make.Have been wanting potting bench for while but needed an idea what I wanted. .Maybe this Spring can get Mr.Furry to make me one,. then I will take better care of my plants. Can see couple more projects from fence boards I might just like.
    Happy weekend.

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