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DIY Greenhouse

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DIY Mini Backyard Greenhouse_01
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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

If you live in an area with limited gardening space or temperamental weather, growing plants can be a challenge.

Greenhouses provide ideal growing conditions by keeping the plants warm, letting in plenty of sunlight and retaining moisture inside the enclosed environment. This mini greenhouse is built almost entirely with salvaged windows and has a hinged lid for easy access to the little garden inside. The house has no bottom, so you can also lift it up and set it aside for more serious plant tending or to move it to a new location for the best sun.

Below are the TOOLS + MATERIALS you'll need:

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How to Build Your Own Backyard Greenhouse

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    You can find salvaged windows at local flea markets, through online classified-ad sites and at building materials recyclers.

    This greenhouse design is comprised of five window sashes with wood frames. It might be difficult to find five windows that are exactly the same dimensions, so focus on finding sets of two that can serve as the two sides and the front and the back, and choose one window that will fit atop the assembly to serve as the lid.

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    If you plan on completely refinishing your window frames, brush them down with a wire brush to remove loose and flaking paint, then sand the wood carefully with the BLACK+DECKER MOUSE® Detail Sander and a 120-grit sandpaper pad.

    Alternatively, if you like the look of the worn wood and flaking paint, simply remove the large pieces with a scraper or putty knife, then clean the wood and glass with soap and water.

    WARNING: Old painted windows are likely to contain lead paint, which was commonly used in homes prior to 1980. If you don't know the origin of painted wood, have it tested for lead before using.

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    With a partner's help, hold one window designated for the back of the greenhouse perpendicular to a window designated for a side.

    Join the windows at the top and bottom inside corners with two corner braces (L-shaped brackets) installed with 1/2" wood screws, using the BLACK+DECKER SMARTECH™ 20V MAX* Lithium Drill/Driver. Repeat on the other side with the remaining side window.

    Attach the front window to complete the greenhouse box. You may need to carefully tip the greenhouse on its side to reach the last brace on the bottom interior corner.

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    Place the remaining window serving as the lid on top of the greenhouse box and adjust so it's square with the greenhouse sides.

    If the lid window doesn't completely cover the top of the box, simply use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 5-1/2 in. Circular Saw to cut filler pieces from scrap 2 x 2, 1 x 2 or 1 x 4 lumber to close any gaps. You may also need a filler piece at the back or on any of the other sides. Secure the filler piece(s) to the window frames with corner braces and 1/2" wood screws.

    Attach the lid window with two 3" hinges screwed into the back edge of the lid window and into the frame of the back-side window or filler piece, using the provided screws.

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    Fill large gaps between the windows with paintable caulk. Apply a bead of caulk over each crack, then smooth the bead with your finger.

    Wipe away excess sealant with a rag before it dries. Let the caulk cure as directed by the manufacturer.

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    Tape off all glass with painter's tape. Paint the wood parts of the greenhouse with exterior paint, if desired. After the paint dries, you can create a weathered look by carefully sanding select areas with the MOUSE® Detail Sander and 120-grit sandpaper.

    Or, you can opt not to paint and retain the natural patina of the old wood. Your greenhouse will be in constant contact with water and humidity, so seal all wood surfaces with exterior grade varnish to protect them from moisture.

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    Attach a decorative drawer pull to the lid of the greenhouse, if desired (we used the window lock as the handle for the lid).

    Another option is to install a hook on the side of the greenhouse to hold a trowel and clippers or other supplies.

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    Find a sunny corner to set up your greenhouse and fill it with your favorite potted plants. Add different heights of pots or prop up planters on bricks to fill the vertical space inside and create visual interest.

    This whimsical piece will serve as a wonderful feature in your backyard, garden or patio while breathing new life into those old windows.

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