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Upcycled Workstation with Built-In DIY Scrap Wood Bin


Thriftdiving
Thriftdiving
Thriftdiving
Thriftdiving

When we moved into our old 1973 home, this set of cabinets with a laminate top was in our laundry room. When the laundry room was made over some time ago, the cabinets got the boot out to the garage, where it’s been holding some tools, but mostly becoming a cluttered, disorganized mess! I’ve never had a great workspace. I vowed to stop working in an ugly, disorganized garage. So I decided that this laundry room cabinet would be getting a makeover and would be upcycled into a pop-of-color workstation with a build-in DIY scrap wood bin attached to the side. The scrap wood baskets are also upcycled buffet warmers that I bought from the thrift store for a few bucks each! I lined them with scrap wood to create a holding area for other pieces of scrap wood!

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Upcycle What You Already Have When we moved into our old house, this is the cabinet we found in the laundry room. While I loved the space for folding clothes, I needed something more functional for the laundry room. So we moved it into the garage, where it became a sort of “junk collector” instead of offering any real value. Right now, I’m reeeeeeally wanting to focus on my garage and turn it into a pretty workshop. I knew this project would be a great one for kicking off the entire garage makeover this spring!

    2. Step: 2

      Don't forget to clean it! Before painting anything, always make sure you clean it first. I love using Simple Green because it's a degreaser and helps paint to stick better. I wiped off all the sawdust that has been collecting on it.

    3. Step: 3

      Choose Your Paint I love chalk paint, and I usually use chalk paint that's already mixed. But I also love making my own DIY chalk paint with chalk paint powder. For more info on how I make my chalk paint powder, check out this post for instructions using BB Frosch chalk paint powder (http://thriftdiving.com/should-you-make-your-own-diy-chalk-paint/). The color is Cabana Blue by Behr, which is soooo pretty!

    4. Step: 4

      Slather on the Paint The awesome thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to prime or sand first! So I skipped all that and just got to work with painting two coats of paint. I didn't paint the inside since no one is going to see it.

    5. Step: 5

      Measure and Cut the Galvanized Steel Sheets I love the look of galvanized steel! I had bought 6 sheets of it for $10 each at The Home Depot and used my jigsaw (with a blade for cutting metal) to cut it down to size to fit the top of my upcycled cabinet workstation.

    6. Step: 6

      Glue the Galvanized Steel to the Table Top I used Liquid Nails to adhere the galvanized steel sheets after making sure they fit perfectly. I placed heavy objects on top to make sure they stayed in place!

    7. Step: 7

      Cut the Pegboard to Size I had picked up this huge piece of pegboard from one of those salvage shops for only, like, $2.00!! I've been storing it in my garage for-EVER and am glad I finally had a chance to use it! I used my jigsaw to cut it the entire length of the cabinet. Then I used Paris Gray Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (2 coats) to paint it!

    8. Step: 8

      Cut the pegboard brace You can't just hang a pegboard on the wall. It's got to have some "studs" to anchor it to so that you can get your little pegboard accessories through the holes without hitting the wall behind it. So I cut some 1x2s and used my RYOBI Phone Works stud finder to anchor the braces to the wall with my 18 GA brad nailer. Once the braces are on, putting up the pegboard is simply just nailing the pegboard to the braces!

    9. Step: 9

      Unfortunately, the steel pieces weren't wide enough to cover the entire table top. I had this little gap at the back.

    10. Step: 10

      Hide the Ugly Edges To fix this problem, I just cut a 1x4 long enough to hide the edge that wasn't covered!

    11. Step: 11

      Grab Some 2x4s I love me some 2x4s. They're so easy to work with! For this project, I had some on-hand, so I didn't need to buy any. I cut them with my miter saw, roughly 18" long and started to build the scrap wood bin.

    12. Step: 12

      Getting Jiggy With the Jig I needed to create some pocket holes, so I drilled pocket holes with the Kreg Jig.

    13. Step: 13

      Assemble the 2x4s So this is what I had in mind: a place attached to the upcycled workstation that would serve as a scrap wood bin to organize all those pesky pieces of scrap wood!

    14. Step: 14

      Make it Look Like One Unit So my goal was to make it look like a single unit, so I painted the scrap wood bin the same color as the upcycled workstation.

    15. Step: 15

      Wax Everything When you're using chalk paint, you'll need to wax it to make sure the paint is protected. It will harden over time to help protect the surfaces. I used Miss Mustard Seed's clear furniture wax, which is virtually odorless. Love that stuff! You can see how the wax darkens the paint nicely. Use very little, and wipe in the direction of the grain. Buff it until it shines!

    16. Step: 16

      Get Decorative! This is the part that I really love: adding the finishing touches! I used my jigsaw to cut this galvanized steel (which was aged with Amy Howard at Home Zinc Solution), then stenciled the words "scrap wood bin" on the steel. I also upcycled buffet warmers from the thrift store and lined them with scrap wood, using my nailer and wood glue to secure them together to prevent contents from calling through the cracks.

    17. Step: 17

      I also had a bunch of left-over food cans that I stored up top and can hold supplies in them! I also made DIY wall art and use hole straps to mount old paint brushes on it, for inexpensive wall art.

    18. Step: 18

      Here's the "BEFORE" one more time!

    19. Step: 19

      And the "AFTER"! I love how it turned out! I can't wait to paint the garage floor next.....and get the rest organized and functional!

Comments (5)


  • Didn't know that the Ryobi drill holder would attach to peg board. Great idea.
    By somebodylaughed_101843, on May 2, 2016


  • As usual, you rock Serena! Choosing a prize will be so much fun if I win this month's Ryobi giveaway.
    By nita, on May 3, 2016

  • This is a fantastic storage idea, for a garage or shed or basement!! The wood bin is fantastic! Thanks for sharing!!
    By PatriciaB63, on May 4, 2016

  • Love the idea here why not uses something you already have. I'm in the process of updating our kitchen was wondering what to do with 3 uppers cabinets turn them into garage cabinets always in need of more storage. With your detail instruction I will be the envy of the neighborhood. Thanks Again
    By denisebarkel, on September 27, 2016

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Upcycled Workstation with Built-In DIY Scrap Wood Bin

by Thriftdiving
Mar 17, 2016

When we moved into our old 1973 home, this set of cabinets with a laminate top was in our laundry room. When the laundry room was made over some time ago, the cabinets got the boot out to the garage, where it’s been holding some tools, but mostly becoming a cluttered, disorganized mess! I’ve never had a great workspace. I vowed to stop working in an ugly, disorganized garage. So I decided that this laundry room cabinet would be getting a makeover and would be upcycled into a pop-of-color workstation with a build-in DIY scrap wood bin attached to the side. The scrap wood baskets are also upcycled buffet warmers that I bought from the thrift store for a few bucks each! I lined them with scrap wood to create a holding area for other pieces of scrap wood!

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1

    Upcycle What You Already Have When we moved into our old house, this is the cabinet we found in the laundry room. While I loved the space for folding clothes, I needed something more functional for the laundry room. So we moved it into the garage, where it became a sort of “junk collector” instead of offering any real value. Right now, I’m reeeeeeally wanting to focus on my garage and turn it into a pretty workshop. I knew this project would be a great one for kicking off the entire garage makeover this spring!

  2. Step: 2

    Don't forget to clean it! Before painting anything, always make sure you clean it first. I love using Simple Green because it's a degreaser and helps paint to stick better. I wiped off all the sawdust that has been collecting on it.

  3. Step: 3

    Choose Your Paint I love chalk paint, and I usually use chalk paint that's already mixed. But I also love making my own DIY chalk paint with chalk paint powder. For more info on how I make my chalk paint powder, check out this post for instructions using BB Frosch chalk paint powder (http://thriftdiving.com/should-you-make-your-own-diy-chalk-paint/). The color is Cabana Blue by Behr, which is soooo pretty!

  4. Step: 4

    Slather on the Paint The awesome thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to prime or sand first! So I skipped all that and just got to work with painting two coats of paint. I didn't paint the inside since no one is going to see it.

  5. Step: 5

    Measure and Cut the Galvanized Steel Sheets I love the look of galvanized steel! I had bought 6 sheets of it for $10 each at The Home Depot and used my jigsaw (with a blade for cutting metal) to cut it down to size to fit the top of my upcycled cabinet workstation.

  6. Step: 6

    Glue the Galvanized Steel to the Table Top I used Liquid Nails to adhere the galvanized steel sheets after making sure they fit perfectly. I placed heavy objects on top to make sure they stayed in place!

  7. Step: 7

    Cut the Pegboard to Size I had picked up this huge piece of pegboard from one of those salvage shops for only, like, $2.00!! I've been storing it in my garage for-EVER and am glad I finally had a chance to use it! I used my jigsaw to cut it the entire length of the cabinet. Then I used Paris Gray Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (2 coats) to paint it!

  8. Step: 8

    Cut the pegboard brace You can't just hang a pegboard on the wall. It's got to have some "studs" to anchor it to so that you can get your little pegboard accessories through the holes without hitting the wall behind it. So I cut some 1x2s and used my RYOBI Phone Works stud finder to anchor the braces to the wall with my 18 GA brad nailer. Once the braces are on, putting up the pegboard is simply just nailing the pegboard to the braces!

  9. Step: 9

    Unfortunately, the steel pieces weren't wide enough to cover the entire table top. I had this little gap at the back.

  10. Step: 10

    Hide the Ugly Edges To fix this problem, I just cut a 1x4 long enough to hide the edge that wasn't covered!

  11. Step: 11

    Grab Some 2x4s I love me some 2x4s. They're so easy to work with! For this project, I had some on-hand, so I didn't need to buy any. I cut them with my miter saw, roughly 18" long and started to build the scrap wood bin.

  12. Step: 12

    Getting Jiggy With the Jig I needed to create some pocket holes, so I drilled pocket holes with the Kreg Jig.

  13. Step: 13

    Assemble the 2x4s So this is what I had in mind: a place attached to the upcycled workstation that would serve as a scrap wood bin to organize all those pesky pieces of scrap wood!

  14. Step: 14

    Make it Look Like One Unit So my goal was to make it look like a single unit, so I painted the scrap wood bin the same color as the upcycled workstation.

  15. Step: 15

    Wax Everything When you're using chalk paint, you'll need to wax it to make sure the paint is protected. It will harden over time to help protect the surfaces. I used Miss Mustard Seed's clear furniture wax, which is virtually odorless. Love that stuff! You can see how the wax darkens the paint nicely. Use very little, and wipe in the direction of the grain. Buff it until it shines!

  16. Step: 16

    Get Decorative! This is the part that I really love: adding the finishing touches! I used my jigsaw to cut this galvanized steel (which was aged with Amy Howard at Home Zinc Solution), then stenciled the words "scrap wood bin" on the steel. I also upcycled buffet warmers from the thrift store and lined them with scrap wood, using my nailer and wood glue to secure them together to prevent contents from calling through the cracks.

  17. Step: 17

    I also had a bunch of left-over food cans that I stored up top and can hold supplies in them! I also made DIY wall art and use hole straps to mount old paint brushes on it, for inexpensive wall art.

  18. Step: 18

    Here's the "BEFORE" one more time!

  19. Step: 19

    And the "AFTER"! I love how it turned out! I can't wait to paint the garage floor next.....and get the rest organized and functional!