The Potting Shed Restoration: Phase 1

The Potting Shed Restoration: Phase 1

Oh, the potting shed. It’s one of those little spots that just feels nostalgic and I adore it. It’s one of the things that made me fall in love this property. The old, cool and damp spring smell, the creaky white cupboards with the painted-black wooden countertop, the old terra cotta pots laying everywhere- it’s perfect! Well…..almost…

After a thorough spring cleaning this year, we noticed a bit of black mold at the back edge of the cupboards. Further investigation revealed that water had been slowly soaking up into the exterior and interior walls over the years, causing terrible damage. Black mold is serious and can cause many respiratory and health problems so it must be dealt with properly, but my heart literally sank the day those cupboards were torn out. And there began the project of restoring the potting shed.


Here is a picture of part of the inside before (and of my daughter, Katherine) I wish I had a better one, but outside of this cabinetry and another small set on another wall, it was just kind of like the inside of an unfinished garage, with the studs painted white- still charming, though.


Immediately I found myself scrolling through pinterest pictures on my phone of potting sheds. Do we keep the layout the same? Do we try to re-create the original cupboards? How to try to retain that old charm? There are so many choices and possibilities! But first things first:

  1. Addressing the water issue.
    • What’s the point in fixing the cupboards if the cause of the problem isn’t fixed? It will just happen again. In this case, we needed to divert the water away from the building, so we added gutters all the way around with downspouts taking water far enough away to drain.
  2. Weather-proofing the building.
    • Many years of rain pouring down the sides of the building not only affected the walls, but also the windows and doors. Making sure the seals and trims around both are in great condition is important in preventing future wood rot. In this case, unfortunately, some windows and doors need to be replaced. Again, if you’re going through the trouble of fixing something, don’t cut corners.
  3. Dealing with the mold.
    • Unless you know what you’re doing, black mold is best left to the professionals (we use Tim Klingbiel of Quality Inspections and Abatement, Inc).
      Really. Just look up the adverse health effects of being exposed to it- it’s terrible! Anyway, the area is sprayed to kill any growing spores, cleaned, and painted using a preventative product.
  4. Insulation.
    • Ok, this was totally an add-on. We are taking this opportunity to make the shed climate-controlled so it can be used throughout the colder seasons. This way I can get my seedlings off the kitchen counters in the spring (which I’m sure Adam will be thrilled with). Honestly, the past few years I literally take over half the kitchen with plants!


Here is where we’re at now:


The front window area where the cabinets were. It looks so empty- ahhh!


The back wall of the shed. There was a divider wall that went about 1/3 of the way across (you can kind of see the dark mark left on the floor), sort of separating the shed into 2 rooms. We removed it and the space immediately felt so much larger and all of the light from the windows could fill the room. 


The side wall where I hope to put 2 storage closets. Are you sick of looking at insulation yet??? I sure am!


Ok, is it time for the fun stuff yet??? It’s been a VERY slow moving project, and at almost 4 months in I’ve taken over half of the garage with all of my gardening stuff. 



It has been a very exciting few months!! Get ready for some shiplap!! Check out Phase 2.


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