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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

      Large 0b51e39f 26a0 4e6a 9d55 08120dbd8e83

      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

      Large cc02cc04 8384 4de6 945a ea376ef864a0

      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

      Large 901d90a1 ffde 474b 95af 1a0a6511b4a4

      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

      Large d7b0b884 4b88 4ec5 8d87 bc7913b15563

      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

      Large 34cb6aba b5f2 402b 9a8c 119f79412c38

      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

      Large d677b1d7 af75 49aa 98bf 148bba67865c

      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

      Large 5ff9c893 3421 4292 8692 f3c33e755c2a

      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

      Large d63a156a 1fad 47ed a23c 6d1ec6a735f9

      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

      Large 62e22142 ad6b 41ac bbe8 151fc5717bda

      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

      Large a5a41c4c b563 4840 aff7 a46fb70a56fc

      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

      Large c7de1bc2 b3a8 41c2 88c7 145dc82836a5

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

    13. Step: 13

      Large 4d84ba12 c57c 44e9 9fd9 2043b8379997

      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

      Large 46cf5842 7cae 4eca 9dc6 eaeb53479ad4

      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

      Large e413ebf1 407f 45e2 acd7 5c7fbb6943f0

      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

      Large 88920048 7298 4604 bc90 902e3581501f

      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

      Large 1fe68617 035d 45d8 a2fe 467e62847c96

      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

      Large 1ccafe2e f614 4023 83af 29136d2e070f

      Here's the "BEFORE" one more time!

    19. Step: 19

      Large c206525a 6179 4b6d ac6b 8ec2fc3a8dbd

      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
Medium 9fbd64fa 0518 45cf abf0 aebefac1c137

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
    Huge 0b51e39f 26a0 4e6a 9d55 08120dbd8e83

    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
    Huge cc02cc04 8384 4de6 945a ea376ef864a0

    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
    Huge 901d90a1 ffde 474b 95af 1a0a6511b4a4

    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
    Huge d7b0b884 4b88 4ec5 8d87 bc7913b15563

    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
    Huge 34cb6aba b5f2 402b 9a8c 119f79412c38

    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
    Huge d677b1d7 af75 49aa 98bf 148bba67865c

    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
    Huge 5ff9c893 3421 4292 8692 f3c33e755c2a

    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
    Huge d63a156a 1fad 47ed a23c 6d1ec6a735f9

    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
    Huge 62e22142 ad6b 41ac bbe8 151fc5717bda

    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
    Huge a5a41c4c b563 4840 aff7 a46fb70a56fc

    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
    Huge c7de1bc2 b3a8 41c2 88c7 145dc82836a5

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

  13. Step: 13
    Huge 4d84ba12 c57c 44e9 9fd9 2043b8379997

    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
    Huge 46cf5842 7cae 4eca 9dc6 eaeb53479ad4

    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
    Huge e413ebf1 407f 45e2 acd7 5c7fbb6943f0

    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
    Huge 88920048 7298 4604 bc90 902e3581501f

    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
    Huge 1fe68617 035d 45d8 a2fe 467e62847c96

    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
    Huge 1ccafe2e f614 4023 83af 29136d2e070f

    Here's the "BEFORE" one more time!

  19. Step: 19
    Huge c206525a 6179 4b6d ac6b 8ec2fc3a8dbd

    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!