Re-purposed 55 Gallon Vinegar Barrel; Now Rain Water Collector

There are some really good '' rain water collecting '' posts on Hometalk. It was a while ago that I came across Wet and Forget's post and the very nicely painted barrels that were displayed. At the time I wondered why I had not thought to paint one or both of the rain barrels my mother uses.
It was late last year so not the time to do anything then but having emptied the barrel recently that was kept in the basement for winter watering I decided that it was time to paint it.
This is the finished barrel , rather nearly finished since a spigot will yet be added, and in a final photo to be shared a painted old tire is now under the barrel so the spigot will be of use.
Here is the other barrel that was mentioned that is identical in size and color. The barrel I painted was originally placed to the left of this one and caught the over flow from the spout. This barrel was turned to the left and the spigot here at the bottom right faced forward.
I had thought about painting a Lighthouse scene or maybe a nice landscape on the barrel . So a couple coats of Zinsser primer mixed with thalo blue acrylic paint was applied to the entire surface. But then I received a nice get well card on behalf of the tractor club. This card featured some flowers and a humming bird on the light green background. So I decided to develop something from that.
At my blog site I simply called this a Thursday project. I'm sharing this post certainly to show what became of the idea, Yet as much to encourage others who are considering adding a water collector, wether a barrel or other, to spruce it up.
What I did after changing the base color on half of the barrel was to apply a second coat, and while this was still wet apply some others colors and blend them in slightly to help them recede into the background. Then I blocked in the pots after having decided not to take the flowers all the way to the bottom.
I began adding the flowers starting from the middle , then to those on the right and then to the left. I was deciding how to arrange it as I went along . Even if someone only has a basic back ground in painting , as far back as their school days, they could do a painting similar to this. I simply dabbed the end of a 2 1/2'' utility brush in the colors and stamped ( dabbed) them in their place. True it will take a little practice but whatever you come up with will at least be colorful.
I based in the humming birds and some make believe butterflies ,then added some leaves to fill in a little more around the flowers. The flower pots were worked on at a couple different times during the painting process to give them more definition . Working wet in to wet paint for this project there were simply some places that the paint needed to be dry or nearly so in order to get them done. Some have commented in my other posts and posts of others that paints chip or peel on plastics; this is true even with those paints said to be suitable for plastic. To me this simply determines how much detail and time should be put into something that is exposed to the elements or traffic. We do these little extras to improve appearance ,and because our creative minds desire to add something. Enjoy your project take the other things into account and ''getter done .'' Okay I borrowed that one.
The birds and the butterflies ( not the bees ) were detailed and some highlights were added to the flowers while this was still in the basement. Not including the time it took to apply the base coats and let them dry, this painting took just over an hour to complete. The primer and paint can already handle some weather but I will likely apply a couple coats of Rustoleum clear gloss to protect the paint a little more. I also must fill the inside of the tire with dirt and rocks to keep the barrel upright when it fills with water, or I will be picking the thing up from the back yard since this is up the bank. Behind the garage which is to the left in this photo is where I am setting up a container garden to see how that works out. So having easy access to the water barrel will be nice. The ground here is already great for planting, I am counting on the buckets to reduce the weeding that accompanies the other type of gardening.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Jewellmartin
    on Apr 16, 2016

    The painting is absolutely beautiful, and the best kind of yard art! But what about mosquitos laying eggs? This looks like an inviting home for them, and we are told to empty even a cup of water outside if it is not running water.

    • Carey
      on Nov 5, 2016

      I guess I am going to have to try to find someone to save their coffee grounds for me!!! I don't make enough coffee to have them so I use instant decaf when I do drink it. I love the painted tire for a stand!!! and the art work is great! Good Job!

  • Linda Hunt
    on Apr 16, 2016

    Hello!!! Most beautiful rain barrel ever! I do not have this talent, but I want to follow your blog as you appear very talented and creative, but I cannot find out where to sign up. I found the sign in part, but that is all, lol. Is there a way you can help this Crone find her way, bwahahahah. Thank you, Linda

    • Phillipcardjr
      on Apr 16, 2016

      Still working on that part. I have put word in to a gentleman who writes themes and helps developes sites so the site can be useable . I am that new to using computers, I am a green-horn for sure. Hopefully though one with a green thumb. I am pleased that you are interested so I will get the other done.

Join the conversation

3 of 49 comments
  • Carey
    on Nov 6, 2016

    The fall crops are growing nicely now. The fire season is past-thankfully. The town 14 miles away from me had a wildfire that came right down to the back side of the town one car was burned in a yard but no homes. Farmers who plowed fields right after harvest probably saved some tomes with that effort. It will be interesting to see if we have snow this year. Winters have been so dry that even in Glacier Nat'l Park they were able to open the park last year (2015) really early because of low snow pack. The natives in the area told me that they had never seen Heavens peak without snow before and that year it was completely bare! It sounds to me like your father & Friends started a good thing with their potatoe harvest! The Church that we used to go to has a farm that they received in a mans will many years ago and the people farm it each year and all the proceeds are given to mission organizations. Homestead ministries in the same town has been started and they make bags of 2 -4 different soup mixes from harvested dried peas, lentils, etc. with the spices which are then given to the needy.

    • Phillipcardjr
      on Nov 6, 2016

      Interesting isn't it that the warmer seasons have plusses and minuses also. That is something too about the ploughed fields helping protect properties. We did not have much snow either. The girl that purchased the snowman painted pallet I posted here at Hometalk took pictures shortly after she got it home. I the yard she had 3 blow up snowmen and the pallet with green grass all around. Now something she did do to enhance the re-purposed pallet was put Christmas lights around the outer edge. A night time photo posted on Facebook looked sharp. The charitable groups are great too. Thank you for stopping by.

  • Carol Cole
    on Jun 14, 2019

    What a wonderful beautiful job you did.

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