Changing Table Turned Potting Bench

6 Materials
6 Hours

FB Marketplace is my new favorite places to score FREE furniture. You wouldn’t believe some of the things you can come across that just need a little TLC. I recently came across this changing table its owners were ready to trash and I knew this would make the perfect new up-cycling challenge!

Clean and Disassemble

Chances are your piece is going to be pretty dirty. Give it a good wipe down and dissemble everything, being sure to hold on to the hardware!

Sand. Sand. Sand some more.

Sanding was definitely the most tedious and worst part of this project. Not only was I constantly trying to fit this in around the little one’s naps, it was super hot outside and it just seemed like it took forever! Regardless, sanding is super important and needs to get done. To completely remove the finish on a piece, start with a very coarse grit like a 60. Then work your way down to a very fine 220. This will help get your surface super smooth and not show any swirls or markings in the new stain.

I also highly recommend using a mouse or palm sander if your piece has smaller details like mine. It’s much easier to get in all the nooks with the sander vs doing it by hand!

Stain Your Pieces

Unlike sanding, I love to stain! It’s so neat to see the wood take on a completely different look. My preferred method of staining is to apply with a foam brush and then wipe WITH the grain using a rag or paper towel. Be sure to wear gloves so you don’t stain your skin!

Add Removable Wallpaper

Removable Wallpaper was key for 2 reasons; first of all, the shelves were made of cheap laminate which wouldn’t have been easy to re-stain. Secondly, the pattern gives the new piece so much more character! I found this print on Amazon and it’s perfect because it fits the plant theme and is in neutral colors I love. Win win!

Removable wallpaper is very forgiving, so don’t worry about applying it in the wrong spot. If it needs to be adjusted, just peel off and re-stick! It’s pretty amazing. Line up a top or side edge and smooth down as you peel away the backing. I also wrapped the edges to the backside as shown so my cuts didn’t have to be exact.

Line Up if Necessary

You may need to add an extra sheet if your piece is longer than the roll width, like mine was. All you need to do is match the new piece with where the side ended. You won’t be able to tell I promise!

I also applied wallpaper to the back paneling of the changing table. It really helped make a statement and add to the style. Use a blade along the edge to cut off the excess and peel away.

Reassemble Your Piece

This step was where my learning curve came in! The shelves slide into the base so after some trial and error, I found it easiest to drill together the front piece to the side and flip it upside down. This will allow you to slide the shelves into the routings as shown. I then drilled on the front panel and flipped the piece right side up!

Attach Handles

I love picking out hardware!! Knobs alone can change the personality of a piece. I found these neat leather pulls on Amazon and switched them out from the boring wood knobs this changing table came with

Enjoy Your New Piece!

Project complete!! I added some plants and I’m looking forward to adding some more and might even put a little herb garden out here. I love that the drawer can hold gardening tools and I have tons of shelf space. Best of all besides the wallpaper and knobs, this project was essentially FREE!!

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Sheenaireland Sheenaireland on Sep 01, 2020

    I love this and would love to copy but how did you weatherproof the table?

  • Valerie Burge Valerie Burge on Sep 01, 2020

    That looks amazing!  What colour stain did you use?

  • Sandra Miller Yerage Sandra Miller Yerage on Sep 08, 2020

    Love this ...what is the name if the wallpaper..have seen it before but can’t find out the brand of where to buy it..thanks

Join the conversation
2 of 35 comments
  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Sep 02, 2021

    This is really a nice way of repurposing a changing table that is no longer needed. In order to keep the wallpaper from getting wet or damaged from the plants, if you did not put some kind of varnish on it, you could use a piece of glass or plexiglass to protect it. Very nice project.

  • Robyn Robyn on Jan 29, 2022

    I love this idea, and now I will be thrifting for a changing table so I can use it as a flower potting table! 😊🌸