Monday, July 28, 2014

My Garden Shed: Before & After

The exterior of my garden shed, with the trellises my husband and I put up a few weeks ago, on which I hope the 'Blaze' climbing roses will clamber up in future years. The outside of the shed is getting cuter, but the inside didn't match.

Now that summer is well underway and planting is mostly done with, I've turned my attention to another project that I've wanted to to do for some time: fixing up the interior of my garden shed.

I posted back in early June about my plans for transforming the inside of my shed from a dark, filthy, bird poop-covered room into a clean, bright place in which to store pots, potting soil, and garden implements. Here are several Before photos from that post:

Dark, filthy and cluttered. What a mess!


Anything I did would have been an improvement.
(Note the old wooden cubbie.)
This is what I wanted. Houzz is a dangerous site, evoking envy and expensive plans. (Houzz, Bradley M. Jones)

My garden shed, which was undoubtedly a tool shed for earlier owners of this property, was probably built before 1920, so it's approaching a century in age and definitely needed some TLC. Previous owners put a new metal roof on it, so at least it was keeping water out, but there was a space around the edge of the roof in which birds could enter at will and they made nests inside and pooped all over the place. After several attempts to keep out the birds, I finally hired a handy man to run chicken wire along the exterior edge of the roof under the eaves, and that does keep the birds out (as long as we keep the door closed).

To add even more filth, my husband was storing straw in the shed because it was the only dry storage space available before our larger tractor shed was re-roofed with a matching metal roof. So the shed was truly filthy, with years of accumulated bird poop, straw, general dust and dirt.

Something had to be done, and this is what I did over the past few weeks:

First, I took out everything that was in the shed, and stored it on the far side of the shed on the mulched area there.

Then I tackled sweeping out the interior. This photo gives you some idea of the level of foulness I had to deal with. I'm really surprised I didn't get Avian Flu from the dust that was generated when I swept this mess out.
MUCH better, but still dark and dirty. Our much-used paint sprayer stands at the ready.
Too dark and cave-like. "Do something!" Puppy implores worriedly.
After painting: This is what the place needed.... Walls sprayed white, counters painted
dark green, floors rolled brown. Much, MUCH better.

And the final result....

This is just the kind of tidy, clean garden shed that I wanted --
complete with gingham curtains to make it cute and welcoming.
What a tidy, organized area! I installed shelves above the corner counter and rehung the cubbie that that had been in the shed before, after painting it white (it now holds string, plant markers and other small garden accessories).
Plenty of storage now, so I should have a much easier time of keeping my garden things organized.

I installed more shelves in the corner to store pots on. I have hundreds of 4" purple pots on the top three shelves, with larger pots on the lower shelves and floor. The metal trash can has potting soil with a metal scoop inside.

I made the two hanging peg racks out of shaker pegs and 1x4" wood (using a spade drill bit to make the holes for the pegs and gluing them in), and then hung the two racks on the wall. This will be a good place to store my less commonly-used tools -- I store the tools I use most often in the garage, which is closer to the house and more convenient.

Just across from the tool racks is another counter that is handy for putting things on, since it's next to the door.

In the last corner is room for garden stakes and wire fence to put around newly-planted plants. I will also install hose hangers on the left wall to store our garden hoses during the winter.

It feels so nice to have this project done -- I have been hoping for several years now to have a more attractive, usable garden shed, and now it's finally finished. It's so much brighter inside, now that the walls are painted white (and clean windows make a huge difference too). In the past often it took me a long time to find what I needed, because the shed was unorganized and too dark to see what was stored there, but now I have a bright, well-organized place to store my garden things. A satisfying feeling.

Thanks for reading! -Beth


  1. Great job Beth... seeing this, I once again regret having torn down some of the dependancies that I removed at the beginning... what a neat little building you have... We continue to be busy with visitors but it is finally slowing down... between 250 and 300 in the past 2 &1/2 weeks. Touring folks around is tiring for me... too much talking I suspect! I've also been removing more trees and shrubs that were either damaged by the winter or just look tired. I also disposed of many of my gas plants that I'm allergic to... it was hot work covered from neck to toe so that I wouldn't get the horrible rash it creates... once again... you have been busy and the building looks wonderful! Larry

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Larry. I'm really glad this project is done. You've been working hard too -- it sounds like you need a rest not only from gardening but also from garden visits. I know it's fun to show people all your hard work, but those large numbers of visitors are also hard work to manage and talk to. I hope you have a chance to slow down a bit. Take care, -Beth

  2. Beth, Your garden shed looks incredible! I love it! Thanks for showing its' metamorphosis. Good job!

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I'm glad you like the changes. Thanks for reading. -Beth

  3. Love the outside and what you have done with the interior...those old wooden walls are fantastic!

    1. Thanks, Donna. I'm glad you like what I've done to it. I wasn't sure whether or not to paint at first, but I think it was the right choice. Thanks for reading! -Beth

  4. I envy your 'spacious' garden shed, Beth. My shed is minute in comparison. Your hanging peg racks are attractive as well as useful. I love that you added curtains. It looks very inviting, and maybe a comfy chair would make it a good sanctuary -- if ever you don't want to be 'found.' P. x

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comments, Pam. I agree, it could be a nice place to disappear to! :-)

  5. What a transformation, and a lick of paint has really brightened it up. Now it just needs a comfy armchair and a bookshelf!

    1. Thanks for reading, Rosemary. I'm certainly tempted to put that comfy chair in there, but I might not come out! -Beth

  6. I just found this after browsing sheds. What an amazing job you did on your shed Beth. It looks amazing. You have inspired me. What is it about sheds that we all love so much? Maybe the child in us wanting a playhouse? I am planning on getting a nice new one soon. And I enjoyed seeing how you organised yours.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Chloris. I hope you are able to get a nice shed before long. Best, -Beth

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