A New Language - Repurposed, Recolored, ReStore Earth Day Project

Potting Cabinet

Habitat ReStore recently hosted a contest in honor of Earth Day. All submissions needed to be an item purchased at the store and then repurposed. I submitted a Potting Cabinet as my entry. I was thrilled to find out my entry received the most votes!

This cabinet was probably made to hold recyclables in a small household and could still be used for that purpose. The three doors tilt forward and each one holds a plastic bin. I decided to "Repurpose" it as a Potting Cabinet. Either way, it would work nicely in a small apartment, kitchen, or laundry room.

Repurposed Recolored ReStore Potting Cabinet

Each door on the Potting Cabinet is labeled to identify what is in it; pots, potting soil, and a place to recycle and then compost used soil and old plants. One drawer can hold a shovel, hand pruners, and garden gloves. The other can house seed packets, plant food, labeling sticks, and a pencil. The potting tray on the top was a box that held fruit I purchased at the grocery store many months ago. I kept it thinking I might find a use for it. The bottom of the tray is a piece of cardboard from the back of a tablet which I covered with decorative plastic wrap. The potting tray makes it easier to hold the soil in one place when potting a plant. The wheels under the cabinet were recessed and it was shorter than it is now. I attached two pieces of scrap wood to the bottom of the cabinet and then reattached the wheels. This raised the cabinet 2 inches. It can still be used by children but is also very comfortable for average height adults. The trim on the cabinet was scratched so I lightly sanded it down, used a latex primer, and then “Recolored” it with the "ReStore" Paint Color Spring.


Repurposing can be a lot of fun and you can be as creative as you want. Some things to know before you repurpose a piece of furniture is to look at how it’s constructed. This piece is well made but I was fooled by the wood finish on the doors, sides, and back panels. The panels are a composite material covered with contact paper that looks like wood. I really wanted to paint the panels but it’s a good thing I noticed the contact paper. I don’t believe it would’ve held the paint and it might have peeled off. Be aware of any piece that has old paint on it. The paint may contain lead. (Do not sand very old paint without a proper mask or respirator.) A tile on the top of the cabinet is cracked. I decided to leave it as is since it didn’t affect how I would use the piece.


Every time you find a new use for an item, it’s one more piece given a useful life, you’ve saved some money, and kept it out of the landfill. A BIG THANK YOU to ReStore for this fun idea to celebrate Earth Day, repurpose useful items, and bring out our creativity!

WDIY Radio Talk Show:

Alternative Energy Incentives

Featured Guest: Marie A. North

WDIY-Radio-Program-Marie-North

Listener Comments:

It was very interesting! .....like you were sitting in our kitchen chatting!
Susan R., Allentown, PA

It was great that the local station presented renewables from the perspective of knowledgeable folks like yourself with so much first-hand experience. Good job!
Martin M., Allentown, PA

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