Repurpose: From Dusty Old Shelf to Beautiful Plant Stand

  • Project: repurpose an old metal shelf into a plant stand
  • Items used: metal shelf, spray paint, rag, and cardboard (optional)
  • Cost: $5 (can of spray paint)

Seems to be the story of my life recently – I took a detour between an appointment and my next errand, looking for cardboard to add to the garden, and found something I could repurpose. I did not mean to find another project, I have several waiting in the garage to be completed. Knowing this would be a very quick project I went against my previous self-imposed rule “no more projects till you finish what you have”. To make amends, I am going to let go of another DIY project item I have not gotten around to completing and do not foresee when I might.

As I had ordered berry bushes recently I knew I would need to expand the back bed to make a place for them. The amount of cardboard and wood chips I have used this year is amazing, I always seems to in need of one or the other. The section of town we detoured through was to have their bulk garbage picked up that day thereby increasing the chance of my finding cardboard. I did find some, but then I saw it. An older metal shelf. I loved the shape but was not sure if I had an actual need/use for it. Then I realized it would work very well as a plant stand for our front porch. I got out to take a look.

The shelf itself was sturdy and in fairly good condition. It was a rusty brown-gold color; nothing a can of spray paint couldn’t fix. Into my vehicle it went. (Read to the bottom to hear the story behind this shelf and the trash surrounding it.) After unloading our car at home I headed to the home improvement story, our initial second stop, and picked up a can of paint.

This morning the shelf beaconed. After getting my morning chores (mostly) finished I grabbed a rag and the can of spray paint. The shelf was already out in the backyard waiting its makeover.

When spray painting, if you are not wanting your yard to be a mosaic of colors you should lay down a tarp or cardboard. As I was saving my cardboard for the nut/berry bed extension I chose to have colored grass.

First, remove dirt and cobwebs with a rag. Leaving them on will make your paint look lumpy and when they eventually fall off you will have spots in your paint.

Next turn the shelf upside down to begin applying the first coat of paint. Why? My thinking was if there were any drips I could wipe them off and they would be hidden on the under side. I only had two drips which were quickly wiped away with my finger.

Finally set the shelf upright and apply paint to the top sides. Normally I would say to turn it on its side to apply paint from all angles. However, as this project has a lot small lines to paint, I ran our of paint before being able to do this step. Due to the small nature of the lines, you can not really see that I skipped this step unless you were to look very closely. What I did do was to go back and make sure all edges and corners were covered, giving the paint job a more finished appearance. This is also where any excess water would accumulate and extra coverage would help protect the metal.

There you have it – another item saved from the landfill and finding a new purpose.

What have you been able to purpose lately? I would love to know.