DIY Plant Pot Out of Empty Paint Cans
If your paint can is really old this step can be very easy as old dried paint often peels off in large pieces. I used a scouring pad for the dried on bits.
Get as much of the paint out as you can to avoid adding chemicals to your plant’s soil, but also don’t stress if you can’t get it all. Obviously, if you are going to grow something you consume in your paint can, like a vegetable, you will want to make sure it is very clean, but if you are going to grow flowers or a leafy plant for decoration it isn’t as crucial to get it 100% spotless, a little bit of residual paint shouldn’t kill your plant.
After you have tried the peeling and scouring method, if there is still paint leftover, try some hot water just off the boil to loosen it all up and scrub out the remaining paint remnants.
Once your empty paint can is truly empty (and clean), you can move on to the next step, which is to paint the can.
Lay down a drop cloth so you don’t make a mess and paint your can the colour of your choice, but don’t paint the inside.
I had some left over matte black spray paint that I used so I could get rid of that from my cupboard as well. Using spray paint is definitely the easiest option for this but you could use chalk paint or another type of paint you have to hand that needs used up as well.
I decided to keep it botanical so I used leaves and clovers from my garden. You could also use petals from flowers. I just picked a leaf and put it on with mod podge using my fingers.
The image above is a picture of my paint can as the mod podge was drying. Because I picked the leaves and put them on right away they are green here but they will brown over time, the mod podge won’t magically retain the colour unfortunately.
The mod podge dries white in the cold (who knew?). I was able to salvage my project by pouring hot water over the affected area which mostly cleared up the white bits, you can see some remanence of it on the pot with the clover leaves below. You can avoid this issue if you have a well ventilated spot indoors that your mod podge can dry out before you move on to the next step.
Because paint cans are metal, they can rust, so don’t leave your paint can planter outside in an uncovered spot. I have mine outside under an awning. The water used to water your plant will be minimal and applied mostly to the soil so it shouldn’t cause much rust. I recommend adding the finishing varnish or gloss to the ridges around the top of the paint can to prevent rust on that spot.
Resources for this project:See all materials
Bobbi Perreault on Jan 28, 2021
Protect your plants from VOC? Ok.....
I will tell you of my use. About 4 years ago we bought a home with a 1/4 gallon can of roofing tar in it. I did not know what to do with it!
Can't toss it.
Ugly as sin.
So, what to do. Plant a succulent!
I put the succulent in, hung it on a fence, and would you know this is my happiest outdoor plant I've ever had.