Mask or Decorate Rain Barrels: 7 Ways to Beautify & Protect

There are two kinds of BlueBarrel customer (or so we like to say!): those who boast their blue, and those who's first question is how to mask, hide, or decorate rain barrels.

While we love it when people put their rain barrels on display in their landscape or balcony garden (what better way to inspire others to take eco-friendly action, right?) we do understand that blue barrels in the front yard aren't for everyone.

We're here with a handful of great ideas for decorating, masking, or blending your BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System™, inspired by our very own customers across the USA.

1. Creative Covers

By Laura | Fort Collins, CO

Laura's BlueBarrel System is a poster-child for Colorado, maximizing the 2-barrel per household limit in that state.

Wait, that's a BlueBarrel System? YES! Underneath the wood veneer is a classic 2-barrel BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System™.

Wood strips are secured to pre-drilled plumber's tape, measured to wrap the circumference of each barrel.

Barrels masked with wood paneling

BlueBarrel's signature under-plumbing easily exits the bottom of the setup for full drainage, painted black to match the frame. A single hole near the the top of the wood veneer allows for the downspout diverter to handle inflow and overflow automatically.

Laura's system is also elevated on a stable foundation to provide more natural head pressure for gravity-fed drip irrigation.

Well done Laura!

By Greg | Farmville, VA

Would you know there's a BlueBarrel System in there? Indeed, Greg has artfully hidden a classic 3-barrel BlueBarrel System™ with a simple trellis.

With easy access to collect from an existing downsout and the perfect 2' footprint next to his deck, the trellis follows the contour of the home for a perfect use of this corner nook. The irrigation valve exits from the front for easy access to Greg's (hidden) stored water.

Around the corner, a 6-barrel system peeks out behind from behind a different kind of trellis. Plants will fill in to create shade and mask the barrels even more. The flexible underplumbed design is easily customized into double rows, and Greg can access the spigot and drain valve from outside.

Rain Barrel Cover
Trellis for rain barrels

By Linda | Sanford, FL

Linda got creative with an easy idea that anybody could implement at home. She says:

"This is one of the barrels in a 2-barrel system. I covered it in a tablecloth usually used for bar-height tables at outdoor weddings, put it under a table, then added trellises, and planted morning glory flowers. This is in the front yard, so I'm trying to camouflage it while also keeping the hot Florida sun off of it."

Linda points out that creating cover for your rain barrels provides the double-benefit of protecting your barrel(s) from sun damage (more on that under Excluding the Elements below!).

Covered rain barrel
"This is one barrel in my 2-barrel system. I covered it in a tablecloth, put it under a table, then added trellises, and planted morning glories. This is in the front yard, so I'm trying to camouflage it while also keeping the hot Florida sun off it."
- Linda | Sanford, FL

2. Artsy Archways

By Kathy | Windsor, CA

These handy homeowners recently expanded their system with a BlueBarrel Add-On Kit.

Says Kathy: "We had 3 barrels, but after a few years and droughts we recently purchased 3 more. It was easy to add on. Let it rain!"

Rain Barrels with Trellis

And they built an artful wooden trellis for screening, complete with a beautiful hanging glass orb. "It will look even better in a year when it’s had a chance to grow," adds Kathy, "milkweed and black-eyed Susans for the butterflies, and wisteria."

We can't wait to see this when its all grown in!

By Erica | Tallahassee, FL

Look at this garden paradise with a 9-Barrel BlueBarrel System neatly framed behind a lush planted archway. Erica also used an alternative (and artful) stone-wall foundation. With a nice thick mulch layer and gravity-fed drip irrigation from barrels to garden, this is a model water-wise landscape!

BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System

3. Posed with Plants

By Erik | Moreno Valley, CA

Erik placed his BlueBarrel System in the front yard and paid particular attention to curb appeal! The 9-barrel System is lined up along the curving front walkway and is softened by potted plants placed around and on top of the barrels.

White Rain Barrels for rainwater catchment

Erik also painted his barrels (more on that below), but the potted plants help to nestle the system and soften its look. Some customers surround their barrels with much larger plants such as potted citrus trees, or install behind trees and hedges.

Put up a trellis around your barrels and grow a vine as another vegetated approach to fully-masked barrels (see above!).

Erik did a number of creative things with his BlueBarrel Systems (he has three separate systems on his site for a total of 27 barrels!). Click here for a full tour of Erik's place.

4. Painted to Perfection

By Chandler | Lady Lake, FL

Painting is a simple thing that can be done to change the look of your barrels. Whether you paint to match the house, or just choose the color you like best, you can really exercise your creativity with this approach.

Decorative designs are also possible, but as of this writing, all the painted barrel photos submitted by BlueBarrel customers show solid colors. We look forward to new creative examples for this blog!

green painted rain barrels

In addition to the barrels, Chandler painted the PVC piping and the cinder block base.

By Melissa | Madison, AL

Melissa might win a stylistic award here with barrels painted to match the trim on her southern home. What an inviting garden scene!

BlueBarrel System painted white

By Chris | Independence, OH

Chris mirrored the architectural style of his home, matching the trim and stone wall material with his paint job. The ell-shaped configuration allowed him to maximize water storage space, in keeping with the rectilinear design of his home and landscape.

Painted BlueBarrel System

Says Chris: "I installed my 5-barrel system over the weekend and I love it!  I did an L-shaped configuration and am feeding downspout water from both ends; the entire system is interconnected. I can’t say enough great things about BlueBarrel. Both their product and service are second to NONE!"

By ShuShila | Fort Collins, CO

ShuShila did an amazing job with a decorative approach, in the style of Studio Ghibli & Natsume Yuujinchou. She also credited her partner TJ (and Mal the cat!) for their help with the heavy lifting.


Learn all about how to paint your rain barrels here.

5. Hidden under House

By Tim | Sebastopol, CA

These nine barrels are installed under the deck on Tim's country hillside property. With the ground sloping away under the house, there's plenty of clearance for barrels, and with garden beds even further down the hill, the outlet on this BlueBarrel System exits through the trellis-walls for an ideal gravity-feed setup.

Rain barrels under deck

Narrow side-yard corridors are another great out-of-the-way spot to hide a long line of barrels.

Full disclosure: Tim has another 10 barrels lined up in plain sight, so hiding barrels wasn't his primary motivation. But the under-deck provided another great space for water storage.

Tim used BlueBarrel's multi-row connection to double up on barrels—one of many customizations available to our customers.

By Trevor | Lembertville, NJ

Rain Barrels under deck

Five barrels full are the perfect use of the under-deck space at Trevor's place, providing high-quality irrigation water for the surrounding landscape through his gravity-fed drip irrigation system.

6. Excluding the Elements

By Shane | San Tan Valley, AZ

Yep, there's a 4-barrel BlueBarrel System™ in there!

Shane's system is appropriately shady for this sun-soaked desert region just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Desert climates get a lot of rain all at once with long droughts in between, so in addition to Shane's lattice surround with shade cloth cover, he installed an extra downspout diverter to collect from both ends. This will maximize capture when those rare monsoons come through!

Shaded rain barrels in Phoenix, Arizona

View our customer Photo Gallery for more pictures and details about Shane's desert-ready BlueBarrel System.

By Byron | Loranger, LA

And yet again, there's a 4-barrel BlueBarrel System™ in there!

Byron took it upon himself to protect his barrels from the elements.

Says Byron: "This is my finished assembly consisting of 4 blue barrels on a cinder block foundation and wrapped in double bubble ReflecTix (in Sun all day) with two spigots and piping allowing add on barrels. The BlueBarrel System is well engineered and I recommend this system to anyone who wants garden water or spare emergency water."

Insulated Rain Barrels

7. BONUS: Boast your Blue!

By Randy | Sacramento, CA

With a streamlined, uniform look, many of our customers don't mind keeping their BlueBarrel Systems in plain sight. Even an Eichler-inspired home can benefit from the adornment of rain barrels, as Randy shows us here!

With a set of rain barrels next to each downspout, the clean lines and fresh paint on the house combine with the regularly-spaced vertical massing of the barrels for a clean, architectural look.

A talking-piece for every backyard barbecue!

BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System

We've featured front-yard installations in some of our other posts as well.

What better way to inspire ecological action than to let everybody see your water system at work!

blue barrels in front yard


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