How to Paint Plastic Rain Barrels? Complete Guide

If you’re like me, then you’re always looking for ways to be more sustainable and help the environment. One way to do this is by using a rain barrel to collect rainwater!

Not only is this better for the environment, but it can also save you money on your water bill.

Painting your rain barrel will not only make it more aesthetically pleasing, but it will also help protect it from the elements. In this guide, I’ll show you how to paint a plastic rain barrel using spray paint. Let’s get started!

What is plastic rain barrel?

A plastic rain barrel is a container that is used to collect and store rainwater. This type of barrel is usually made from recycled plastic materials and can be placed underneath a downspout to collect water as it flows from the roof.

Plastic rain barrels are an environmentally friendly way to save water and reduce strain on local water supplies during periods of drought.

Generally, a plastic rain barrel will have a capacity of around 50 to 60 gallons (190 to 227 liters). Some models may be equipped with a spigot near the bottom of the barrel, which can be used to fill watering cans or connect a hose for irrigation purposes.

Others may have an overflow valve that allows excess water to drain away safely in the event of heavy rainfall.

Plastic rain barrels are a relatively inexpensive way to collect and store water for household use, and they can be easily connected to gutter downspouts with a little DIY know-how.

Not only do they help to conserve water, but they can also reduce your monthly water bill.

Types of plastic rain barrel

There are three types of plastic rain barrel:

The first is high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. This is the most common type of plastic used for rain barrels. HDPE is durable and UV resistant.

The second type is linear low-density polyethylene, or LDPE. This type of plastic is less common, but it is also durable and UV resistant.

The third type of plastic rain barrel is polypropylene, or PP. This type of plastic is less common than HDPE or LDPE, but it is still durable and UV resistant.

What colors can be used to paint plastic rain barrel?

Most colors can be used to paint plastic rain barrel, but it is important to consider the color of the barrel in relation to its surroundings.

For example, a brighter color may be more visible in low light conditions, while a darker color may blend in better with natural surroundings.

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There are also specialty paints available that are specifically designed for use on plastic surfaces. These paints may provide better coverage and durability than regular paint, and can be found in a variety of colors to suit any need.

Additionally, it is important to consider the type of paint finish that will be best for the barrel. A high-gloss finish may be more durable and easier to clean, but a matte finish may provide better grip for climbing or sitting on the barrel.

Ultimately, the best color for a plastic rain barrel is one that meets the needs of the user in terms of visibility, durability, and function.

Can you paint plastic rain barrel?

It’s possible to paint a plastic rain barrel, but it may not be the best option. Painting can block the barrel’s pores, which can reduce its ability to collect and store water. If you do decide to paint your rain barrel, be sure to use a non-toxic, food-grade paint.

Additionally, it’s important to note that many localities have regulations regarding the use of painted rain barrels.

Check with your local solid waste management department to see if there are any restrictions in your area.

Is painting plastic rain barrel a good idea?

It really depends on what paint you use. Some types of paint can actually damage plastic rain barrels, so it’s important to do your research before painting one.

If you choose to paint your plastic rain barrel, be sure to use a type of paint that is specifically designed for plastic.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to prime your barrel before painting it. This will help the paint adhere to the plastic better and prevent peeling or chipping in the future.

Once you’ve painted your rain barrel, be sure to regularly check the paint for any signs of wear or damage. This will help ensure that your barrel lasts for many years to come.

Things to consider before painting plastic rain barrel

1. Was the plastic rain barrel new? If so, you’ll need to clean it with soap and water before painting.

2. What type of paint should you use? You’ll want to use a paint that’s specifically made for plastic or else it won’t adhere well and will start to peel off.

3. How will you be painting the rain barrel? You can either use a brush or spray paint, but spraying is generally simpler and gives a more even coat.

4. What color do you want to paint the rain barrel? White is a popular choice since it won’t absorb as much heat from the sun, but feel free to get creative!

5. Do you want to add any decorations? Painting patterns or words on the rain barrel can add a personal touch.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’re ready to start painting! Just be sure to take your time and do a good job for the best results.

What Type of paint can be used on plastic rain barrel

There are many different types of paint that can be used on plastic rain barrels. However, it is important to choose a paint that is specifically designed for use on plastic.

This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and does not chip or peel over time.

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Some good choices for painting rain barrels include acrylic paints and epoxy paints. These paints will resist fading and peeling, and they will provide a long-lasting finish.

Generally, it is best to choose a light color for your rain barrel, as dark colors will absorb more heat and cause the water to warm up more quickly.

Additionally, it is important to thoroughly clean the rain barrel before painting it. This will help the paint to adhere properly and will prevent any contaminants from getting into the water.

How to paint plastic rain barrel: Step by step guide

You will need:

  • Piece of sandpaper
  • Primer specifically for plastic
  • Spray paint in the color of your choice
  • Painter’s tape
  • Newspaper or a drop cloth


1. Begin by sanding down the surface of the rain barrel with your piece of sandpaper. This will help the primer to adhere better to the plastic.

2. Next, use your painters tape to tape off any areas that you don’t want painted. Be sure to put down a drop cloth or some newspaper to protect the ground beneath your rain barrel.

3. Now it’s time to prime the barrel. Use long, even strokes to apply the primer evenly over the entire surface of the barrel.

4. Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint! Again, use long, even strokes to apply the paint evenly. We recommend using two coats of paint for best results.

5. Once the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape and enjoy your newly painted rain barrel!

Common mistakes while painting plastic rain barrel

It’s very important to properly clean and prepare the surface of your plastic rain barrel before painting it. Failure to do so can result in a poor paint job that won’t last very long.

Here are some common mistakes people make when painting plastic rain barrels:

1. Not sanding or priming the surface first – This is probably the most important step in painting a plastic rain barrel. Without sanding or priming the surface, the paint will not adhere properly and will start to peel off within a short period of time.

2. Not using the proper type of paint – You should use a specially formulated plastic paint or a 100% acrylic latex paint when painting your rain barrel. Regular latex paint will not work as well and will not last as long.

3. Painting in direct sunlight – It’s best to paint your rain barrel in the shade or on an overcast day. If you try to paint in direct sunlight, the paint will dry too quickly and will not adhere properly.

4. Not using enough paint – It’s important to use enough paint so that the color is evenly distributed and there are no light spots showing through. If you don’t use enough paint, the final product will look streaky and unfinished.

5. Applying too much paint – Just like not using enough paint, applying too much paint can also result in an uneven and streaky looking finish. It’s important to find a happy medium when painting your rain barrel.

6. Not allowing the paint to dry completely before adding a second coat – This will cause the first coat of paint to peel off. Make sure you allow the first coat of paint to dry completely before adding a second coat.

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7. Not sealing the paint – Once you’ve painted your rain barrel, it’s important to seal the paint so that it will last longer. You can use a clear polyurethane sealer or a similar product.

How often should you empty, Clean and Paint your Rain Barrel?

Ideally, you should clean and paint your rain barrel every year. This will help to keep it in good condition and also prevent any build-up of moss or algae.

You should also empty it out completely every few months to prevent any stagnant water from sitting in the barrel.

Generally, it’s a good idea to check your rain barrel regularly to make sure everything is in working order. If you notice any cracks or leaks, be sure to repair them as soon as possible.

Additionally, you may want to consider adding a screen to your rain barrel to keep out leaves and other debris. This will help to keep the water clean and free of contaminants.

Can you paint your Rain Barrel to look like a wood?

Yes, you can. Some people choose to paint their rain barrels to look like wood because it can help the rain barrel blend in with their landscaping.

Generally, you will want to use a dark color like brown or black. This will help the rain barrel absorb more heat from the sun, which will help keep the water inside warmer.

When choosing a paint to use, make sure that it is made specifically for plastic and that it is waterproof. You will also want to make sure that you sand the surface of the rain barrel before you paint it.

This will help the paint to adhere to the surface better.

What paint will stick to plastic rain barrels?

  • Acrylic paint is a good choice for painting plastic rain barrels. It is durable and will not fade in the sun.
  • For best results, sand the surface of the barrel before painting. This will help the paint to adhere better.
  • If you want a more permanent solution, you can use spray paint designed for plastic surfaces. Follow the instructions on the can for best results.

Should I paint my rain barrel?

Aesthetics are the main reason people paint their rain barrels, but it can also help to protect the barrel from UV rays and other elements. If you do decide to paint your rain barrel, be sure to use a non-toxic, water-based paint made specifically for plastic.

Before painting, thoroughly clean the surface of the barrel with soap and water. Once the barrel is dry, apply a primer designed for plastic surfaces.

Once the primer is dry, you can then paint the barrel with your desired color(s). Allow the paint to fully dry before adding any water to the barrel.