Paint or Plant

Re-purposed Rain Barrel Summer Project

Need a project this summer? How about if you purchase a rain barrel and make it more attractive with some PAINT or PLANTS. When it comes to at-home water conservation, nothing equals a rain barrel. Placed near a gutter or downspout, it collects precious rainwater that can be used to water your garden and indoor plants and even to fill your pool, lowering your monthly water bills.

There are numerous ways available for you to re-purpose your rain barrel:

Painting – a splash of paint goes a far way
Planting – growing vines around the barrel


Painting is not just for ornamental reasons, either– it’s a practical measure you can take to extend the life of your barrels. According to the University of Tennessee, a coat of paint can help protect your barrels from breaking down due to sun exposure.

In five steps or less, quickly update plastic surfaces to better reflect your personal style:

  • Clean project surface.
  • Lightly sand surface if previously painted.
  • Remove dust with a tack cloth.
  • Let plastic surface dry.
  • Apply Krylon® Fusion for Plastic® spray paint according to the directions on the spray can label.

rain barrel

Planting – growing vines around the barrel

Add some wire mesh and a few vines to your barrel and make it blend into your garden this Summer.

You will need a mesh wire and about 6 to 8 plants.

Wrapping the wire around the barrels

  • Simply roll the wire out and around the barrel until the ends meet. Bind them with stray bits of wire (paper clips will do) and gently push down until it is slightly set in the ground and stable.
  • Don’t worry if your wire doesn’t come all the way to the top of the barrel. Eventually your plants will grow up along the upper edge and fill it out. Until then you can place potted plants with overhanging tendrils on top of the barrel to hide the wire at the top.
  • Make sure you allow your spigot and other fixtures to peek out of the wire so they remain accessible.

Plant the Vines

  • Plant your vines at the base of the mesh surrounded barrels. Get them as close to the wire as possible but be sure to space them away from each other according to the needs of the particular plant.
  • Coax the plants into growing up the wire by guiding already formed vines into the wire and gently weaving them through. To prevent vines from developing sparse foliage low on the mesh but dense on top (as they tend to do), pinch back the terminal growth of the stems as they develop because this forces lower branching and more evenly distributed foliage on the wire.

Now let’s get started! Purchase your rain barrel  and decide on if you are going to paint or plant. You can even share your progress with us on Facebook Canada | USA  & or Twitter Canada | USA .

Enjoy !