Trash to Treasure Reuse Projects

Hanging herb garden made from a wooden pallet.
Hanging herb garden made from a wooden pallet.

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We’re reusing items around your home to turn trash into treasure with some simple projects that are both easy and inexpensive.

Desk Refinishing Project

Our first trash to treasure project was repairing and refinishing an old desk.

Refinished desk.
Refinished desk.

The first step was to remove the drawer handles and soak them in brass cleaner to remove the tarnish. The handles were then sprayed with a clear lacquer to keep them looking bright.

Next, the desk was sanded with 120-grit sandpaper followed by steel wool, and any minor repairs were made. The top of the desk was sanded down to bare wood in preparation for staining.

To give the desk an antique look, it was painted with homemade chalk paint. To make chalk paint, add 10 tablespoons (5 oz.) of plaster of paris to six tablespoons (3 oz.) of water. Mix together then add the mixture to a quart of latex paint and stir. Apply the paint with a brush like you normally would.

The top of the desk was stained, followed by several coats of clear finish. The final touch was installing the brass handles.

Find out more at How to Refinish Furniture and Refinishing Old Furniture.

Wine rack made from wood pallet.
Wine rack made from wood pallet.

Pallet Wine Rack

Discarded wood pallets can be used for any number of home projects. We turned a pallet into a hanging wine rack by cutting off one end of the pallet, and adding a board across the bottom.

After the pallet wine rack was stained and finished with a clear spray finish, it was hung on the wall to hold wine bottles.

Watch Building a Pallet Wine Rack to find out more, and how to make a Wine Glass Display Rack for another idea.

Pallet Hanging Plant Holder

Our other pallet project involved removing some of the boards from the pallet to form an “S” shape, then filling the gaps between the remaining boards.

Once the pallet had been painted with spray paint, it was attached to a wood fence and filled with herb plants in containers.

Watch How to Build a Patio Planter and Stair Stringer Plant Rack for more container garden ideas.

Doggie pet bed made from reused chairs.
Doggie pet bed made from reused chairs.

Recycled Pet Bed

To convert two old wooden chairs into a pet bed, the legs on the chairs were cut off, and a 1×4 frame built around the outside. The turned bottoms of the legs were then reused as decorative posts for the bed and the chair bottoms covered with a piece of plywood.

When the bed was complete, it was spray painted, and a cushion with a removable cover for easy washing made to fit inside the frame.

Watch How to Make a Cat Window Perch for another pet friendly idea.

Other Tips from This Episode

Cabinet Door Storage Container

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Cabinet Door Storage Container

To make it easy to access rolls of aluminum foil and plastic wrap, cut one end off a plastic storage container using a metal cutting blade in a jigsaw. Screw the container to the inside of a cabinet door using 1/2” screws with the open end of the container facing up. (Watch Video)

DEWALT Staple & Brad Tacker

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
DeWALT Staple & Brad Tacker

The DeWALT 4-in-1 Heavy Duty Staple and Brad Tacker (model# DWHTTR410) has both high and low drive settings, depending on the material and type of fastener you’re using. It shoots staples up to 9/16” and brads up to 5/8” long and is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Stained and scored concrete porch floor.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Dressing Up a Concrete Porch Floor

To improve the look of a bland concrete porch floor, start by cleaning the floor thoroughly. Next, use a circular saw with a masonry blade to cut shallow decorative grooves in the concrete. Finally, apply either a colored concrete paint or a concrete stain to the floor. (Watch Video)


  1. I live in a WWII starter house (late 1940s) that is 800 sq ft on pier foundation and across from active rr tracks – lots of vibration/movement. I had tile installed in bath room after Levee Break flood after Katrina. Apparently they used the incorrect grout (a friend who does tile work said this) and the floor and shower tiles are cracking at the grout lines ~ what should be used when we redo tile work so this doesn’t happen again! Thank you!!! Cary Guice/Metairie, LA

  2. Hello Mr.Lipford. I watched your show again early this morning (Saturday, August 9, 2014) your imagination bugles my mind. Your projects are something my son would have done (who died of ALS Thanksgiving 2013.) He was also very talented and when he did a project always looked to make it original , just like you!
    I enjoyed to watch your show.
    Sincerely ,
    Emilie Paxton
    P.S. A long time ago you have had interview at Channel 12, I believe, I watched that one also, and at that time I did like your interview .

  3. I would love to see more Trash to Treasure episodes. It’s very important to reuse everything possible for the future of our planet.
    As always, I learn something new with every show.


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