Conservation that can be both practical and beautiful
While the benefits of rain barrels are easy to see, so are the rain barrels, unfortunately. The 55-gallon drums used to make them are often blue or white in color and not aesthetically appealing. But they can be! There are many ways to paint and decorate your rain barrel to suit your style and taste, and here’s how!
Directions for decorating your rain barrel:
· Clean the exterior of your barrel with a 1:1 vinegar and water mixture
· Once dry, use fine sand paper (220 grit or finer) to sand the exterior of your barrel
· Use water and a lint free cloth to wash exterior of barrel once more and remove any fine plastics that may be on the surface
*Recommended Paint: Krylon Fusion for plastics spray paint, however outdoor acrylics can be used as well.
· Allow to dry and prime barrel
*some paints will advertise no need to sand or prime. You will find that your paint will adhere much better and you will need less coats if you take the time to prep your barrel
· Your barrel is ready to be decorated. If you are using spray paints, you are better to do multiple thin layers, letting your paint dry for approx. 5 minutes between layers to avoid dripping
· After you have created your desired work of art, your barrel should be coated with 1-2 coats of polyurethane to seal it
Be creative and have fun!
Some other ideas for covering your rain barrel could include wrapping the exterior in chicken wire and allowing native vines to grow around it and hide it with a natural vegetative cover. Others have used morter and stone to create a landscaped feature out of their rain barrels (*note: this creates an incredibly heavy barrel. One should be sure about placement before beginning this project).
The options are endless! So give your rain barrel or own flair and start conserving water in your home today!