Preparing The Paint Cans

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Do you want to try something new with your garden this season? Transform everyday items into beautiful and unique planters with this easy DIY project!

Get ready for a hands-on experience as you turn ordinary paint cans into vibrant, colorful planters that will bring your garden back to life.


Preparing the paint cans is the first step when making DIY paint can planters. To create a unique and personalized planter, recycling old paint cans is a fun and simple DIY project.

Here are the steps to follow:

Clean the paint cans thoroughly by washing them with soap and water and drying them with a clean cloth.

Sand the outside of the paint can with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any rust or rough spots on the surface.

Apply a coat of primer to the outside of the can and let it dry completely.

Choose your desired colors and paint the outside of the can. You can also add designs or details to make the planter more unique.

Allow the paint to dry completely before using the painted cans as planters. Pro Tip: To avoid rust, it is best to coat the inside of the can with a layer of clear sealant before adding soil and plants.

DIY Paint Can Planters

Before starting your DIY paint can planter project, it is important to gather all the necessary supplies to ensure a smooth and successful process.

Here is a list of supplies you will need:

1. Empty paint cans: You can either buy new paint cans, or recycle old ones. Make sure to clean and dry them thoroughly.

2. Paint: Choose a color that complements the plants you plan to grow.

3. Paintbrushes: Use different sizes to reach all areas of the paint can.

4. Potting soil: Get high-quality potting soil for the health of the plants.

5. Plants or seeds: Choose plants or seeds that are suitable for the amount of light and space available in your home.

6. Screwdriver and hammer: Use these to puncture holes in the bottom of the cans for drainage.

Once you have all the necessary supplies, you can start preparing the paint cans for planting by cleaning and painting them, and then adding drainage holes to the bottom.

Pro tip: Use stencils to add designs or labels to your paint can planters for a personalized touch.

Clean and Prepare the Cans

If you are considering upcycling your paint cans into planters, it is important to properly clean and prepare the cans beforehand to ensure the health of your plants.

Here’s how to do it yourself:

1. Using warm soapy water and a scrub brush, wash the cans thoroughly to remove any paint residue and dirt.

2. Rinse the cans with clean water and dry them using a clean cloth or paper towel.

3. Poke drainage holes at the bottom of your cans with a hammer and a nail or a drill, ensuring the holes are not too big to prevent soil from escaping.

4. Apply a rust converter to the inside and outside of your cans to prevent any rust from contaminating your soil.

Follow these simple steps to keep your plants healthy and your paint can planters looking their best.

Cut the Holes

Cutting holes in the bottom of the paint cans is an essential step in preparing them to be used as DIY paint can planters. Here’s how to do it:

First, gather all the supplies needed, including paint cans, a drill with a metal cutting bit, and safety gloves or goggles.


Hold the paint can firmly in place and carefully drill a 1/4 inch- to 1/2 inch-wide hole in the center of the bottom of the can.

Repeat the process for all the cans you plan to use.

This step is crucial because it allows excess water to drain out of the bottom of your planters and prevents water from accumulating and potentially harming your plants.

Paint and Decorate

Painting and decorating is an excellent way to give a new life to old objects. Preparing paint cans for repurposing as DIY planters is an excellent example of this technique. Here’s how to do it:

Start by cleaning the paint cans thoroughly, both inside and outside.

Once cleaned, you may wish to sand, prime, and decorate the exterior of the cans with your chosen colors and patterns.

Allow the paint to dry; this can take up to 4 hours, depending on the type of paint used.

After the paint dries, punch holes in the bottom of the cans to allow for proper drainage for your future plants.

Finally, fill the cans with potting soil and your plant selections, and place them in your preferred location.

Your outdoor or indoor environment will be instantly transformed with these unique and affordable paint can planters.

Prepare the Soil and Plant

Preparing the paint cans for planting is an important step in creating DIY paint can planters. It involves cleaning, priming and painting your cans to ensure that they are safe and will not rust.

Here’s how to prepare your paint cans for planting:

Clean the cans thoroughly with soap and water, making sure to remove any paint, labels, or residues from their surface.

Prime the cans with a rust-inhibiting primer to create a base layer and prevent them from rusting.

Paint the cans with a non-toxic paint, using colors of your choice, to make them visually appealing and safe for planting.


Drill small holes on the bottom of the cans to ensure proper drainage for the plants.

Layer the bottom of your paint cans with gravel or small rocks. Add potting soil and your choice of plants to complete your DIY paint can planter.

Make sure to water the plants regularly, and enjoy the beauty of your handcrafted planters.

Care and Maintenance

Preparing the paint cans is an important part of making DIY paint can planters. Proper care and maintenance will ensure that your planters are safe and long-lasting.

Here are some steps to follow:

1. Gather any used paint cans that you want to use for planters.

2. Make sure the cans are clean and dry. Soak the cans in warm water with soap to remove any remaining paint or debris.

3. Rinse thoroughly and allow cans to dry completely.

4. Prick a couple of drainage holes at the bottom of each can using a hammer and nail to allow excess water to drain out.

5. Paint or decorate the cans as you please with non-toxic, water-resistant paint.

6. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours or as directed by the manufacturer.

7. Apply a clear sealer to protect the paint and increase the longevity of the planter.

Pro Tip: Use a waterproof sealant for even better protection against rust and water damage.


In conclusion, preparing paint cans for use as planters is a fun and creative way to upcycle your old cans. To prepare your paint cans for planting, you will need to clean and sand them, add drainage holes to the bottom, and apply a coat of paint to give them a fresh look. You can personalize your paint can planters with additional decorations, such as ribbon or stickers, and plant a variety of herbs, succulents, or flowers.

Not only can this DIY project be a fun activity for you or your family, but it is also an eco-friendly way to reduce waste and add some greenery to your home. So, start preparing your old paint cans and get ready to, quite literally, bring new life to them with fresh green plants.

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