Want a Decorative Rain Barrel? Here are 3 Ways to Do It:
In general, there are 3 different styles of decorative rain barrels for collecting rainwater for gardens. I’m basically talking about the 100-gallon size or less that you connect to a rain gutter downspout.
- A generic plastic barrel on which you paint a picture or design.
- A wood or other material enclosure that you build to surround your rain barrel.
- A decorative rain barrel that you buy, usually in the form of a terra cotta pot, landscape rock or wine barrel.
Your best option usually comes down to the look you want achieve in your yard, the amount of time you want to spend building your rainwater system and your budget.
1. Painting a Picture
Of course, you may only want to go for this option if you like painting or have a friend who will do the job for you. That said, I’ve seen some pretty cool artwork that takes an ugly-looking plastic tank and turns it into the focal point of an otherwise bare outdoor space.
And don’t assume that you need to be an artist. Trying out faux painted textures, adding stripes by using masking tape or painting bright-colored graffiti using spray cans are other simple ideas that anyone can do.
Note: When painting on plastic, use a plastic primer or spray paint specifically made for using on plastic surfaces. This will help your masterpiece look better, last longer and prevent the paint from peeling off or chipping.
2. Building a Surround
If you are handy and like building things, you can pick up some inexpensive materials at your local home improvement store and build a good-looking enclosure for an ugly barrel. You don’t need to create anything fancy, and you can complete this task in an afternoon.
Many people build what looks like a wooden box. You can then stain it or paint it to match the color of your house. You can even use lattice to frame the sides like this example here. Use the surface to place a potted plant if you want.
Note: When constructing your enclosure, think about accessories you could add to make it more useful, like a hook to hold a hose, a watering can or other garden tools.
3. Buying a Decorative Rain Barrel
Of course, this is the simplest option and also takes the least amount of time. It also can be the easiest way to disguise a water collection system.
There are some pretty cool-looking rainwater collection systems out there that are made of durable plastic – yet they look like wood, stone or pottery. By adding expensive-looking outdoor decor to your backyard or front entry, you can actually increase the value of your home.
Buying decorative rain barrel products usually costs more. However, when you take into account all of the supplies you need in addition to the barrel itself (and paint, enclosure supplies or other disguising materials), there is sometimes not that big of a difference.