A sunroom should be a bright and sunny space, but this one is anything but. So, we’re going to transform it into a bright and lively plant room.

Sterling Monahan has made plenty of updates to her home, but the unwelcoming sunroom needs a little love. She wants to the room into a place where she can grow vegetables and have her plants inside all year round.

If Sterling looks a little familiar, it’s because this isn’t her first time on Today’s Homeowner TV. Her mom, Gretchen Bayley, was featured in an episode not too long before this one, and she was on hand to help out in this one as well. 

Watch Gretchen’s episode now: Expanding Outdoor Living Space With a Poured Concrete Patio.

    The Projects

    Wooden planter trough in a plant room/sunroom
    These cedar planter troughs provide plenty of space for growing new plants. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Create Space for Plants

    In order to maximize the amount of planting space in the room, we’re building some cedar planter troughs to go around the windows. And to keep it waterproof and make sure water isn’t draining onto the floor, we’re lining the inside with some plastic planters.  

    We use 2-by-4 cedar pieces to make the planter troughs and face the rough side of the cedar inside so it doesn’t collect dust on the outside and look dingy once it’s assembled. From the bottom of that window sill to the floor is 20 inches. So we build the trough to be 14 inches deep with six-inch legs. 

    Using a brad nailer to nail the legs of a wooden planter trough
    The slightly tapered bottoms of the legs give these planter troughs more of a furniture look. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    For the legs and corners, we use 1-by-4 vertical cedar pieces. We cut a slight taper on the bottom of each piece before we glue and nail the two halves together. This gives the planters more of a furniture look once we start attaching the sides to the legs. 

    Once the planter troughs are assembled, we brush a coat of water-based polyurethane to give them a little extra protection from water.

    View of a potting table with a grow light and seedling starter kit inside a plant room/sunroom
    The new potting table is perfect for not only potting plants but also sprouting new ones. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Currently, Sterling is prepping and potting her plants on her kitchen island. To give her a proper potting station, we add a potting table to the center of the sunroom. 

    View of potting table and painted windows and doors in plant room
    The newly painted windows and door open up the room and make it feel more spacious. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Revamp the Windows 

    We love the natural look the wood paneling gives this plant room, but the wood window sashes and door make the room just a bit too dark. So we paint it with a light green color that will complement the plants. 

    Woman brushing Jasco Mask & Peel Masking Tape & Primer onto a glass window pane
    Instead of using tape on each glass pane, we paint the whole window with Jasco Mask & Peel Masking Tape & Primer. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Instead of taping the many, many glass panes, we’re using Jasco Mask & Peel Masking Tape & Primer to prime the wood on the windows and act as a mask to protect the glass from the paint. It’s supposed to peel off easily once the job is done. 

    Chelsea Lipford Wolf uses a razor scraper to remove Jasco Mask & Peel Masking Tape & Primer from a window pane
    We use a razor scraper to speed up the process of removing the Mask & Peel Masking Tape & Primer. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Once it’s dry, we use a drywall knife as a straight edge for scoring the masking without cutting into the wood of the windows. The masking is peeling off as it should, but it’s not coming off in big pieces. So, we use a razor scraper to take it off faster. 

    Here’s what we learned: This Mask & Peel Masking Tape & Primer would be perfect if we were spraying the windows, but since we brushed ours on, it’s a little overkill. We do, however, appreciate that we were able to prime the windows at the same time we were masking them.

    View of an old, dusty wood window valence
    The outdated wooden window valences contribute to the cramped feeling of the space. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    The wooden window valences “from another era” add to the dated feel of the sunroom, plus they make the room feel cramped. So, we tear those down and replace them with some garden-themed fabric ones that match the bright new feel of the sunroom. 

    Fabric window valence with plant-themed fabric in a plant room
    Not only do they add a touch of style, but they can also help to tie together the overall look and feel of a room. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    To make the new valences, we drill some pocket holes into two pieces of the same cedar board we used to build the planter troughs, then screw together the two pieces. We then cover it with batting to add a little fluff before we cover it with fabric. 

    The new fabric valences add a little bit of texture above the windows without covering the light.

    View of vinyl floor coated in Daich Coatings TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer
    Painting the vinyl floors with Daich Coatings TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer adds traction to the slippery vinyl floor and refreshes the color. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Lighten Floor Color

    The brown vinyl floor added to the dark and dated feel of the sunroom, so we lighten it up by painting it with Daich Coatings TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer. This not only gives the floor a new look but also adds some traction, which is great for a plant room that can be prone to water spills. 

    Chelsea Lipford Wolf uses a push broom to clean the floor of a sunroom/plant room
    Scuffing up the floor with a pole sander helps the Daich Coatings TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer better adhere to the vinyl floor. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    We first scuff the floor with a pole sander, then we clean it with a mixture of TSP and water so the new floor coating sticks to the floor and not the dirt.  

    These hanging rope planters are a great way to add some greenery to your space without taking up too much room(3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Hang Rope Planters

    With all the windows in the sunroom, there’s not a whole lot of wall space to add planters, so we’re going to hang some from the ceiling in the corners.

    The holes in the center of the shelf keep the boards from tipping over. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    These hanging planters are almost like a rope ladder. To make them, we drill a hole on each end of the cedar shelf pieces then loop the rope through and knot it on the underside to hold the shelf in place.  So the shelves don’t tip over, we drill a hole in the center to place each plant container.

    This floating shelf for the plants is a pretty simple design. We cut three cedar boards for the shelves, then drill holes on the end for the rope. Next, we drill holes for the container pots to sit in. 

    Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford and co-host Chelsea Lipford Wolf
    Today’s Homeowner TV Host Danny Lipford and Co-Host Chelsea Lipford Wolf pose with Sterling Monahan in front of her home. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Post-Production Thoughts

    Sterling’s sunroom got plenty of light but it still seemed dark and dreary thanks to the dark-stained walls and windows and the dingy brown floor the space had simply become a pathway to the back door.

    But now, the dingy floor is gone covered by a brighter cleaner coating that suits the new life Sterling is bringing to this house in this room. The new color on the window frames also lightens the mood and creates the perfect frame for the sunlight streaming into the room.

    Plus the playful valances Antiques and hanging planter lend the room plenty of character while the cedar Planters handle the primary purpose of the room growing the plants that Sterling loves so much.

    We also:

    • Added antique furniture pieces for a personal touch
    • Installed a hanging rope chair for relaxing

    Other Tips From This Episode

    Simple Solutions
    How to Get a Smooth Caulk Finish in One Swoop
    Best New Products
    RYOBI’s 18-Gauge Cordless AirStrike Brad Nailer — The Ultimate Tool for On-the-Go Nailing! 

    Greenhouse Decor


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    Further Reading

    Editorial Contributors
    Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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