How to Paint Barrels – Any Color You Like!

Check out Mike and Judy's photo-illustrated guide to rain barrel painting. They're painting their barrels to match their house!

In fact, so many of our customers ask us why the barrels are blue, we thought we'd share Judy and Mike's story along with some tips & tricks on how to paint barrels!


Mike & Judy show us the ropes

man snads rain barrel to paint barrel
how to paint barrels: woman spray paints barrel for rainwater catchment
man lift rain barrel
7-Barrel Rainwater System

Barrels purchased from our site are blue because that's industry standard for food-grade. When you source barrels through BlueBarrel, they'll always be blue to ensure they're safe and compatible.*

But if blue's not for you, you can paint them!

Mike gives his barrels a once-over with sand paper to help the paint stick better. It's best to paint the barrels before you install them so that you can get a good even coat on them.

Judy shows us the paint. Check your local hardware store for spray paints that are made for outdoor use and bond to plastic. It can take over two cans of paint for each barrel to get a nice, even finish.

Speaking of plastic, notice she's protected her fence and plants. She wants white barrels, but she doesn't need a white garden!

Follow the directions on the paint can for a nice even coat. You may need two coats for a nice finish. And remember, you don't need to paint the bottom!

Follow the instructions in your DIY RainKit to complete your BlueBarrel System (of any color!).

* If you start with white barrels, you HAVE to paint them. White, light, or transparent barrels will grow algae faster than you can say "hey, why are my white barrels green?!". Blue barrels exclude sunlight, so they won't grow algae. They don't need to be painted, but they certainly can be!

More Painted Systems

Painted Rain Barrels

Kurt started with white barrels and painted them to match the house (and for UV resistance). What a nice look!

BlueBarrel System painted white

Melissa's barrels started blue, but now they're white. A very nice paint job to match the trim on the house.

Rain Barrels with Site Level Gauge

Terra cotta is a nice accent at Jim's place, and a perfect offset to the greenery surrounding. The ell-shaped formation goes to show how flexible a BlueBarrel System™ can be!

White Rain Barrels for rainwater catchment

Erik's barrels, painted to match the house and following the subtle contour of the wall, nestle nicely under the overhang for an inviting entry.

Rain barrels painted red

Gayle painted not only her barrels, but also the cinderblock footings for an inviting display at the entry to her home.

Decorative painted rain barrels

ShuShila did an amazing job with a decorative approach, crediting the style of Studio Ghibli & Natsume Yuujinchou. Follow the links below for more info on decorative painting!


BlueBarrel is your one-stop-shop for used barrels, DIY rain barrel systems, and gravity-fed irrigation.

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