DIY Decorated Rain Barrel Using Fun Vibrant Colours ~ Rain barrel updated with blue paint, vinyl letters spelling RAINWATER and brightly coloured vinyl raindrops!
I am not sure how long I have owned this rain barrel but it has to be for around twenty years. I remember my old neighbour who worked in the printing business came home one day and offered to give me a large plastic barrel from his place of work. You know the type of barrel? It holds 150 gallons or 200 litres of liquid, is made of extremely sturdy plastic, is an ugly blue colour and probably stored some type of chemical like substance.
At that time, I gave it a really good cleaning with TSP All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner. I also gave it a facelift by spray painting it a pretty dark blue and I used acrylic paint to stencil sunflowers. It looked pretty cute but only for a short time. After a few years the paint started to chip and peel away. So when we moved to our new home ten years later I gave it another facelift. This time I painted it black and decorated it with stencilled sunflowers. It looked pretty cute too for a couple of years but then the paint started to chip away. Now it was looking pretty awful with two layers of paint peeling away.
I knew I had to do something with this unsightly rain barrel but I did not know what. I did not want to make the same mistakes again by using the wrong products and methods. I also wanted to create a fresh new fun looking decorated rain barrel.
Inspiration struck when I came across a vinyl product available through Expressions Vinyl. It is very easy to work with, is available for both indoor and outdoor use and comes in all kinds of patterns and colours!
I also have a favourite paint colour made by Fusion Mineral Paint. It is Liberty Blue. This colour is a deep intense blue colour that I used to update a Thrift Store Patio Table Tray Gets Makeover.This colour is perfect for outdoor use. I also thought this would be a perfect colour for updating my rain barrel.
IMPORTANT: This post is about a DIY decorated rain barrel using fun vibrant colours. I will be explaining in a near future post how I converted this plastic barrel into a rain barrel that easily collects rain, is conveniently set up to water my plants and most importantly, prevents mosquito larvae from settling in the still water.
I am also thrilled to say this post is part of #12MonthsofDIY challenge that myself and 11 other Canadian bloggers participate in each month. You are invited to join in the fun. Each month we pick a new material to create a DIY project. This month the material is vinyl. At the end of this post you will see links to other DIY projects that you are invited to visit. It is amazing all of the different ways vinyl can be used!
We also share our projects on Instagram and we are looking forward to seeing other great ideas. If you are on Instagram you can follow all of your hosts as well as add your project to the hashtags #12MonthsofDIY and #AugustVinyl to participate. At the end of the month we will pick our favourite and share it on our own Instagram feed. Stop by my Instagram account and click on the DIY decorated rain barrel using fun vibrant colours images to see who are.
Here is how I updated a very dreary rain barrel using much better products and methods for decorating. Here is my…
DIY Decorated Rain Barrel Using Fun Vibrant Colours
- plastic rain barrel
- power sander
- TSP All Purpose Cleaner and cloth
- spray paint primer (For this project I used Zinsser Primer Spray Cover Stain))
- large paint brush
- Fusion Mineral Liberty Blue Paint
- Fusion Mineral Tough Coat
- sea sponge
- computer/Word application/paper/printer
- 1 white roll of Expressions Outdoor Vinyl
- one sheet of each yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green Expressions Outdoor Vinyl
- dry sponge
Sanding The Rain Barrel
Since my rain barrel had several layers of paint on it I used a power sander to smooth the surface and remove as much paint as possible. If you have been following me you will notice that I do not work a lot with power tools. However, I am Ok working with a power sander!
To be honest not a lot of paint came off and the surface was still quite rough in some areas. I was not too worried about getting it perfect. If the rain barrel is new I would still give it a sanding just to smooth the surface a bit.
Washing The Rain Barrel
Give the outside of the rain barrel a good cleaning with a scrub brush with TSP All Purpose Cleaner. Use a lint free cloth to give it a good wipe to remove any debris.
Priming The Rain Barrel
This step is really important. It covers the plastic rain barrel with a coating for the paint to adhere to. Apply two coats of spray primer. Make the first coat light and allow to dry thoroughly. Then make the second coat a little heavier and allow to dry thoroughly. If need be, apply a third coat to the areas that look like they could use a little more coverage.
This is how my rain barrel looked after being primed. You will notice the original paint did show through a bit. The Fusion Mineral Liberty Blue paint does a really good job of totally covering everything.
Painting The Rain Barrel
Apply two coats of Fusion Mineral Liberty Blue paint using a large paint brush because you are working with a large surface. I used a large Fusion Mineral Paint Brush. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
Protecting The Paint
This step is really important because it is gives the primer and paint a type of acrylic protective coating. Use a sea sponge to apply one coat of the Fusion Mineral Tough Coat. This product spreads very easily and a little bit goes a long way. Allow to dry thoroughly. You will be applying another coat of this product after the vinyl has been applied.
Making The Letter Stencils
I made my own letter stencil on Word to spell the words ‘RAINWATER’. It was very easy to do. I chose the font Franklin Gothic Heavy because it was a very basic font making it easy to cut out. The size I chose was 500pt. Here are instructions for how to just make the outline of the letter so you do not waste a lot of printer ink printing large solid letters:
Drag mouse over the letter to highlight and go to>Format>Text Effects>Text Fill>No Fill>Text Outline>Solid Line
The rest of the letters will look the same from now on. One letter fit per page. Print each letter.
Here is an image of what it looks like in Word.
Cutting Out The Letter Stencils On White Vinyl
I recommend trimming the extra paper around the letter stencil making it easier to work with. For each letter place the stencil on top of the white vinyl and cut out the stencil and vinyl. Discard the letter stencil (I put mine in the recycle bin).
Applying The White Vinyl Letters
Since the letters were a large size in a basic font it was very easy to peel away the back layer and apply it to the rain barrel. I have to admit I originally wanted all of the letters to be in a straight line since ‘RAINWATER’ is technically one word but realized this was not going to work. I think the staggered look turned out much better!
Use your fingers and a dry sponge to smooth out any air bubbles.
TIP: I recommend viewing the how-to videos on the Expressions Vinyl website. They do a really good job familiarizing you with how to work with the product.
Making The Multi-Coloured Raindrops
You might be wondering why I did not make blue raindrops which is their typical colour. Since the rain barrel was painted with such an intense Liberty Blue paint colour I knew blue raindrops would not show up at all. So I went with the next best thing related to rain and chose rainbow colours instead. I just drew a raindrop by freehand onto an index card and used this as my tracer.
I cut out six raindrops for each colour because I was not sure how many I wanted. The image shows you what design I used when applying them on the rain barrel. You use the same method for applying the vinyl as the letters. Very simple and very fun to do!
Protecting The Paint And Vinyl
Apply one or two more coats of the Fusion Mineral Tough Coat. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly. These final coats should seal the paint and vinyl quite nicely.
Final Comments: Have you ever made a project that turned out exactly the way you had in your mind? If you are like me there are many times I start off with one idea to find out quickly it was not going to work and ending up revising and creating something completely different. This project was one that pretty well turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. I think that happened because I worked with two fabulous products including the Expressions Vinyl and the Fusion Mineral Paint.
I haven’t mentioned this yet but I actually have another rain barrel that desperately needs an update. This one came from my father when he downsized from his home into a condo for seniors. I plan to give it a very similar DIY decorated rain barrel using fun vibrant colours look! Stay tuned!
I also do not expect this DIY decorated rain barrel to last forever. It will be exposed to all kinds of weather all year long. But I will enjoy using and having it as a fun piece of garden décor!
Disclosure: I was compensated by Expressions Vinyl for this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. I only recommend products and companies that I use and love myself. The vinyl used to decorate this rain barrel was excellent to work with.
Your Turn: Now it’s time to see the rest of the DIY vinyl project ideas from my Canadian blogging friends!
From the top left, they are:
DIY Decorated Rain Barrel Using Fun Vibrant Colours from Time With Thea (That’s me!)