Any ideas on how to disguise a rain barrel?

Donna J
by Donna J
I am about to install a 265 gallon white plastic tank in my backyard. The water will be used in my garden. Any ideas on ways to cover up the tank so it won't be such an eye sore to the backyard beauty?
The tank would look like this.
  23 answers
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Feb 28, 2013
    @Donna J if it is to be in a permanent spot you could grow a vine to weave in and out of the caging. You could also weave a jute through the cage, hand a garden feature on it. If you have old fence boards, you could build a faux screen that is easily removed. Thanks for posing the question and do let us see the final resuts :)
  • I would personally go with the fence board idea especially as you don't want the sunlight hitting that barrel or the water - maybe add some decorative pieces like that garden shed piece I saw on here earlier
  • Ginny McCormick Ginny McCormick on Feb 28, 2013
    You could build an enclosure for it out of pallets - There are many patterns on this site and others for using pallets for enclosures.
  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Feb 28, 2013
    May I ask why you do not want sunlight hitting the barrel or the water? I plan to make two rain barrels this Spring.
  • Donna J Donna J on Feb 28, 2013
    SLS Construction Solutions. Please tell me more about the sunlight and the barrel. Should I be concerned about the placement of the barrel also? Very interesting.
  • The biggest one is the barrel that is shown breaks down in UV light - the second is preventing algae growth inside which is why most commercial versions are colored & not clear -- for more on options
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Feb 28, 2013
    I agree with @SLS Construction Solutions that algae will be an issue with the white tank and direct sunlight. Some choose to paint the white to a darker color to inhibit the growth of algae. Here is a link to a pretty interesting discussion on rain barrels and algae
  • Patricia Hysler Patricia Hysler on Feb 28, 2013
    What about plastic canvas flowers, birds and butterflys on a picked fence. They should hold up to the weather.
  • Warren G. Warren G. on Feb 28, 2013
    If you put your tank under ground and feed your down spouts to it though a screen and grease trap filter ( use the grease trap to stop all the sediments ). Also put a simple air pump filter from a fish tank you will not have a problem with algae and you will also eliminate the unsightliness of the water holding tank. It can be place under a wooden porch with a trap door for easy access or under a high porch step. I have even seen them partly sunken into the ground and a bench seat top made for the top to conceal the top for easy access.
  • Sarah T Sarah T on Mar 01, 2013
    Be cautious putting it under ground. Some states have regulations, regarding the size of collection containers. For instance, in UT, rain water is considered the property of the state (at least as far a water rights). "Storage is limited to one underground 2500 gallon container or two above ground 100 gallon containers. Collection and use are limited to the same parcel of land owned or leased by the rainwater collector" You'll want to check on your states laws.
  • Sow and Dipity Sow and Dipity on Mar 01, 2013
    Donna... a few questions.... how big is this? Where exactly are you putting it, by the house, carport, near the vegi bed, by the childrens play area...etc? What is the exposure, full sun, part shade? How accessible is it? Sometimes trying to 'hide' something isn't the solution...but to use it as a feature opportunity instead :) Perhaps a single 4x6 premade lattice panel erected onto a simple frame in front of this with easy access to both sides would work. The extra vertical wall can grow clematis or an edible vegi vine. Helps shade the plastic barrel and looks great ( and/or feeds the family too ). Or just hang wall baskets of annuals off the screen. Another idea is to go lower and buy premade picket fence panels with a gate on the side you want to open and so that it does not look like a miss placed picket box thing...plant some tall grasses in front of it and put in some garden art. Use is as an opportunity to create a garden vignette...good luck!
  • Jenny@birdsandsoap Jenny@birdsandsoap on Mar 03, 2013
    I like what Shelly said. I think you should try to incorporate it into your landscape somehow. If light is an issue, maybe you build a structure over it for shade. Bury it halfway down, and build a large potting bench/greenhouse over the top (like this: Make it a focal point by turning it into something attractive to your landscape. If you have a garden, build a lattice wall to grow beans. Plant them in front and it will mask the tank and look like it was supposed to be there all along (like this: You could do an L-shape wall to enclose the visible sides. Or you could just build and outhouse around it, haha:
  • Jenny@birdsandsoap Jenny@birdsandsoap on Mar 03, 2013
    This looks great too. A slightly larger structure would be great for storing compost bins and other garden related junk too.
  • Diana Diana on Aug 08, 2014
    @ We have several of these. My husband put a wood fence around one so far and made a shed area behind it. We do have an eight foot cedar fence in the front yard so you would never know it's there. He cut a square out for the spigot and attached a hose. Works great! Diana
  • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Sep 03, 2016
    I would pit sections of wooden fencing around it. Maybe put them on hinges so you can open everything up for maintainance or ease of connecting to the spigot. Same as hiding your garbage cans from view. Then, your choice, paint, stain or allow to weather naturally (that being my last choice).
  • You could use plantings around it or make a surround with either lattice or pallet wood.

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 05, 2022

    You paint the tank the same color as you house.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 24, 2023

    Or paint the tank a darker color to prohibit slimy growth.

  • Landscape around it.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 21, 2023

    Use a trellis around it or Pallets, Grow a vine or grow bushes around it.

  • I would add a fence or trellis around it.

  • Ellen Christina Southern Ellen Christina Southern on Mar 17, 2024

    They make artificial greenery lattice. You could also plant evergreen shrubs in pots