Sarah K., Hometalk Team
Sarah K., Hometalk Team
  • Hometalker
  • Astoria, NY

Beautifying Our Old Shed Back To Life


Have you ever stared at a space in your home, knowing it's going to be completely gutted and redone as soon as you have the time, and finally decide to give it a tiny facelift in the meantime because you hate looking at it?
That's exactly where I was at with our run-down shed in our tiny Queens backyard. This shed is way too small and is kinda falling apart, but it's just not on the top of our long list of things to be reimagined at the moment. But, one afternoon, I got sick of looking at the blank wall and decided to make it useful until we decide to take a sledgehammer to the whole thing. Our postage stamp yard is the only outdoor play space our pup has, so we didn't want to plant anything in it. I thought the side of the shed would be the perfect spot to add color to our back yard. As a professional organizer, I'm always telling my clients to think "up." I did the same thing here. Plants don't always have to go on the ground. We took an old window, mounted it to the wall, and then used fabric wall planters to add life and color. We also love to keep spare wood around for any DIY projects we might dream up. For a while, it just took up what limited space we had on our "patio." So, we also built storage for these planks as well using, well, spare wood!
Sharing our before and afters with you because, while it's not a "forever" project, I think it's important for me to remember temporary fixes can ease my anxiety while we wait for funds and time to haul over a space.
It's much nicer to look at now!
It's much nicer to look at now!
See!? Boring! And a waste of valuable space!
See!? Boring! And a waste of valuable space!
SUPPLIES:
Finish Nailer
16 gauge finish nails
Table Saw
Miter Saw
Scrap Wood
Old Window
Fabric Planter
Plants
5" Wood Screws
3/4" Wood Screws
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 1: Add a base to your shed
We started by creating a base for our spare wood storage that will live on the back wall of the shed. The inside of the shed isn't drywalled, so we knew exactly where the studs were without a stud finder. We secured old 2x4's to the shed with 5" wood screws and the finish nailer.
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 2: Build frame sides
We then ripped "posts" from scrap wood we had with our table saw. We secured these posts from underneath our shelf with 5" wood screws. Then, we began to clad the "frame" with pallet wood cut to size.
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 3: Add a brace
We added a brace to the bottom for extra support. Our temporary storage was ready to be filled with scrap wood!
All this wood is about to find a home!
All this wood is about to find a home!
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 4: Hang your window
Next up was making the main wall on our shed tolerable to look at. I had an old window laying around that I didn't want to use inside the house. We even had the ledge that was originally underneath it! Again, we located the studs and made marks on the shed. We then drilled pilot holes through the window frame and into the shed wall.
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 5: Hang your ledges
We didn't have an L brace lying around, so we used an old 4x4 post and secured it to the studs. The ledge we had will then be screwed to this post.
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Just like this.
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 6: Add fabric planter shutters
I then wanted to give my window "shutters." We hung fabric planters to the wall using 3/4" wood screws. To give it a finished look, we framed it with spare wood. The frame is 2" around with mitered edges.
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
STEP 7: Add your plants
Add plants! We toyed with planting herbs instead of flowers, but we agreed that our fixer upper backyard needed color, even if temporary. We played around with a plant layout and then added top soil and water to make sure these plants got accustomed to their new home!
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
There you go! This shed is all dressed up - for now! We can't wait to demo this baby, but until then, it won't be so offensive to look at! ;)
old shed cpr, container gardening, gardening, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
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Have a question about this project?

6 questions
  • Carolyn Alley
    on Sep 15, 2016

    I'm interested in knowing if you made the fabric planters or if they were purchased somewhere? If you made them, I'd like instructions.

    • Sarah K., Hometalk Team
      on Sep 15, 2016

      We purchased them on Amazon!

    • Carolyn Alley
      on Sep 15, 2016

      Can you tell me what kind of fabric it is and do you think the planters could be made DIY?

    • i bought what I was told was a shoe rack. It is vinyl with 3 rows of 4 pockets. I made a small hole at the bottom of each pocket. Filled with potting soil and I now have spring onions, parsley, rocket and a few others and it's nailed ot the wall and looks great.

    • i bought what I was told was a shoe rack. It is vinyl with 3 rows of 4 pockets. I made a small hole at the bottom of each pocket. Filled with potting soil and I now have spring onions, parsley, rocket and a few others and it's nailed ot the wall and looks great.

    • Carolyn Alley
      on Sep 16, 2016

      I've seen those used for planting, but the ones in this post look like they are actually a heavy fabric of some kind.

  • Linda
    on Sep 15, 2016

    What's causing the rot and discoloration at the bottom of your shed.? What's the best cure all-If you know? Thank you.

    • Pat11175638
      on Sep 16, 2016

      The rot is due to water wicking into the siding. The best thing to do is to replace the siding by cutting out the affected portion about 6 inches above the highest part. Place a strip of z-strip and replace weigh matching siding that is sealed, primed and painted with a high quality exterior paint.

    • Pat11175638
      on Sep 16, 2016

      The rot is due to water wicking into the siding. The best thing to do is to replace the siding by cutting out the affected portion about 6 inches above the highest part. Place a strip of z-strip and replace weigh matching siding that is sealed, primed and painted with a high quality exterior paint.

    • Sarah K., Hometalk Team
      on Sep 16, 2016

      There ya go! Well said Pattraxler! We inherited all the rot, but it is due to poor construction and a lot of water damage.

    • Lee
      on Sep 17, 2016

      What is z-strip? Thank you

    • Lori
      on Sep 18, 2016

      If you scrape the dirt and chipped paint off the bottom, them give it a quick paint job. You might even get a bit more life out of it. I really like what you did!!

    • I love it..and the rotted bottom would be and easy fix.

    • Paulette
      on Sep 19, 2016

      My easy solution to hiding the shed bottom would be to let the grass grow really tall about a foot away from the shed. Good for 6 months anyway.

    • Betty Burleson
      on Oct 17, 2016

      Nice paint will really improve the look.

  • Bbetheonly
    on Sep 17, 2016

    I haven't seen the fabric shutters that you put the plants in. Where did you get them or did you make them?

  • JeanMarie Sullivan
    on Jul 19, 2018

    Clever and attractive, but why not wash the moldy lower exterior wall with bleach water? Perhaps KILZ too.Then give a coat of white paint.

    • Carol
      on Jul 20, 2018

      I agree Jean Marie. All that work and you never added new boards to replace the bottom rotten ones or a drop of white paint to freshen the walls. It wouldn't have cost that much and you would have added 10 to 15 more years with you shed in good shape.

    • Annette
      on Jul 21, 2018

      I agree. That bottom part kind of ruins the look.

    • Anna Ibarra
      on Aug 20, 2018

      All cute steps, however, agree w/ others. That’s like the elephant in the room. Hard not to see first. But love that planter wall. 👌🏽

    • Salvannah
      on May 8, 2019

      I didn’t get why it didn’t get cleaned and rid of mildew.

    • Benesse
      on May 8, 2019

      Same here. My eye went to the bottom thinking it's the first thing it would be dealt with. Srprised it was left alone.

    • Lah
      on May 8, 2019

      Agree with the rest. The top looks great, but the first thing that catches my eye is the bottom half.

    • Gail
      on May 8, 2019

      Ditto Ditto Ditto

    • Lyn Peterson Marshall
      on May 8, 2019

      Sometimes, what is thought to be a simple task of wash, or paint over old molded/mildewy wood isn't. The wood could be rotted down that close to the ground, and any attempts to revive it would have created more issues. I know because I tried or thought I would try to clean a mildewed/moldy spot of wood on the space between my deck and the ground, and it disintegrated. Ended up having to replace the whole piece.

    • Mickey
      on May 8, 2019

      I agree with the rest, however I have another suggestion. IF the shed is in good shape another cute way to improve its looks would be to add 2-1/2 - 3’ of corrugated metal to the bottom sides which is a very popular look now. That would eliminate the problem of water and dirt messing up, or even rotting the bottom portion of the wood wall. Just a thought.

    • Jennifer
      on May 8, 2019

      In the beginning of the project she explained that this shed was going to get completely gutted and redone. This was a facelift until that time came. Maybe she didn't think painting the shed was practical for her since they will be gutting it in the near future.

    • MMM
      8 days ago

      Or just nail some horizontal boards to the bottom of the shed to cover the ugly part. Then paint them white or a contrasting color. Wouldn't cost much and would make it look better. The ugly bottom takes away from the great work they did up top.

    • Diana
      8 days ago

      The wood is completely gone on the bottom. That's why they will be demoing it at a later date.

    • Jeane shaw
      7 days ago

      I definitely would have fixed the wood at the bottom first, It is such an eyesore the decoration on the wall is ruined by the eyesore at the bottom.

    • Marsha
      7 days ago

      Paint some of the pieces of wood you "stored" and cover the moldy area, Free project!

    • Kyralee
      7 days ago

      Take some of the spare wood palet pieces, cut them all about 2' tall, then cut the top end in a point to look like a small picket fence. Then nail them to the bottom where the bad part is in a row. Painted or not, they would look cute like a little picket fence along the bottom.

    • Cheryl May
      7 days ago

      Like what you did to "dress up" your shed. I have a suggestion for the lower part of it where it's moldy. Go get some "Wet and Forget". You can find it at Lowe's. It's the best stuff Ever! Just mix it with water, spray it on and Walk Away! Give it time to work and soon your mold and mildew will be gone and won't come back for a long time before you have to repeat. It's truly the best stuff.

    • Linda McKeller
      Yesterday

      I don’t agree with the majority. I think it’s like this was always ‘the shed’ & it’s deteriorating! I love it💖 If you want to get Wet and Forget, ok - or not! Since you will take it down anyway, your choice😄. Looks like something I would put on canvas!!

    • Treia Stitzer
      Yesterday

      Everyone so worried about the bottom part, I have a better suggestion. Get a bottle of hunter green craft paint and a sea sponge, using the sponge to paint the bottom to look like grass along the bottom. Just wet the sponge with paint and dab it on in irregular shapes to look like there is something is growing there. Kind of fun to do. Or leave it like it is. Lol

  • Diena Cameron
    on Jul 19, 2018

    Hi Sarah K. Love, love, love your whole project ! The wood storage is a wonderful way to hide it and get it up off the ground. The window and fabric planters are so cute that I thinking of doing the same thing ! I realized that this is an older post so I was wondering if you had made any other improvements since and if you have, would love to see them ??? Thanks 😍

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jul 20, 2018

    Can you post how you made the fabric planting shutters? They're terrific!

    • Anna Ibarra
      on Aug 20, 2018

      Agree, love it!

    • Jo Wemmer
      6 hours ago

      It’s on the materials list. 5 gallon grow bags. You could make your own if you sew. Using landscaping tarp.

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