The BEST DIY RAIN BARREL Install [Complete Guide]


DIY rain barrel Install. Rain barrels are containers that are used to capture rainwater that falls from your homes rooftop.  Once captured and stored the rainwater can be used in place of municipal water.  Components typically include a screened inlet for debris and mosquitoes, a overflow, and a hose connection.  Available in a very wide range of designs, material, and colors.

They’re a easy first step into rainwater harvesting and water conservation.  Not only reducing the amount of runoff, but also providing a great source of quality water (Soft, oxygenated, and almost neutral pH unless it’s acid rain, then it will be slightly acidic.  Which tends to have fewer sediments and dissolved salts than municipal water) that can be used for:

  • Gardens – Ambient temperature that will not shock plants like cold well water.  Also absent of hard water and chemicals found in municipal water that can lead to imbalanced garden soil
  • Flowers
  • Indoor plants
  • Bird baths
  • Moisten compost bins
  • Refill water features, or swimming pools
  • Clean garden tools, or muddy shoes
  • Wash cars, windows or other household cleaning

BENEFITS OF Catching Rainwater

  • Save Money â€“ Reduces household water usage on your water and sewer bills. During peak summer months a rain barrel can save around 1,300 gallons of water per barrel.
  • Teaches Water Conservation â€“ Collecting and using your own rainwater is a simple step to sustainability.  It teaches conservation of our limited resources.
  • Allows Watering During Water Restrictions â€“ Conserves additional water for gardens, car washes, or landscaping that’s non-chlorinated and free of lime and calcium to use during water restrictions.
  • Protects Water Quality â€“ Rain barrels decrease stormwater from the sewer system and reduce the amount of pollutants from runoff into rivers and groundwater. Helping to protect watersheds (What is a Watershed PDF).
  • Save Energy â€“ Lowers the demand for moving, treating and using potable tap water.
  • Reduces Flooding & Erosion



Most barrels are manufactured out of HDPE (high-density-polyethylene), which makes it very difficult to get paint to stick.

Krylon Fusion is a good spray paint that is used on plastic and is the best option currently.  I recommend getting two cans to ensure adequate coverage. Before painting you need to scuff the surface with sandpaper (220 or higher) or a red 3M scuff pad.  Then, clean with a ammonia based cleaner.

Use one coat of primer as a base. Tint or match to your final color to save on paint.

You can paint your rainwater barrel to match your home, or create a custom design and clear coat.  One or two coats of polyurethane can be used to help protect it.

Also, don’t forget to add the beauty of plants around your barrel.  You can wrap the barrel in some chicken wire and train native vine growing plants to climb up it.  Also, try adding some boulders in the area as well.

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