Working on our yard has been a top priority around here. I’m trying to get the major projects out of the way before it gets too hot. This wheelbarrow planter is a cute idea I thought some of you might be interested in.
We have a friend who is a landscaper and he was over helping us remove sand from a pool we took out last year. I mentioned I wanted to make our old wheelbarrow into a planter and he gave me this idea for incorporating it into the landscape. This is a brilliant idea if you’re looking for large garden planters. Chances are you can find an old wheelbarrow around somewhere for less than a giant planter would cost.
Preventing the Wheelbarrow Planter from Rotting
Because the wheelbarrow is old, it had rusted through in some spots. That concerned me because turning this into a flower planter would mean it would be getting excessive watering, and possible rot out completely. I had seen a paint advertised last year that stops rust, so I decided to paint the inside of the wheelbarrow with that first to help guard against the watering.
I chose the color brown (bear with me here) considering this was going to be the backdrop for the flowers. The idea was to have a color that wouldn’t compete with the flowers themselves, and I wasn’t sure what color flowers I’d be planting here.
I removed the wheelbarrow from the bed my friend set up and hosed it down well to remove dirt and debris. Before painting, I let it dry completely and wiped it out further with paper towels.
What you will need for the Wheelbarrow Planter :
Mineral Spirits (for clean up)
Prepping the Wheelbarrow
I used my paint sprayer on this because painting it by hand would have been a pain. First, I set up my painting area with the supplies. The Studio Pro sprayer comes with two different nozzles. Most of the time I use the control finish nozzle on my projects but this time I used the iSpray nozzle. It’s a bit bigger and I knew it would knock this one out super fast.
Because this is something that is going to be outdoors, I used oil-based paint. The directions on the sprayer suggest using a high material flow setting for oil-based paint, which is what I started on but ended up turning it down because it was a little too powerful. I would suggest always starting on a lower setting and working your way up.
The adjustment ring on the sprayer allows you to choose which way you want the stream of paint to come out. I went with a vertical stream for this and used a side to side motion while painting.
This took all of about 2 minutes to paint! I flipped it over halfway through to better reach the other side of it without having to spray upwards. Actually, I was a little disappointed it went so fast because using the sprayer is fun!
I would highly recommend wearing gloves, especially when working with oil-based paints. Once that gets on your skin, it can be difficult to remove.
When I finished painting, I disassembled the sprayer and emptied out the remaining paint. I then filled the canister with mineral spirits and ran that through the sprayer to clean it out. Mineral spirits are recommended when using oil-based paint. With other paints, I run soapy water through instead.
I let this dry for two full days before filling it in with potting soil.
Filling the Planter
After I filled it in with soil, I decided to extend the rocks out a little further than what it shows above. It looked a little cramped this way.
Lastly, I filled the wheelbarrow planter up with flowers. I used begonias because this is a mostly shady area, and those always seem to do well regardless of where I plant them. Once they get a little bigger, this will really fill in nicely.
I’ve had a little trouble with the neighborhood stray cats tearing this up since planting. But I’ve found a really good solution to keeping them out. I’ll share more on that soon. (Update: See how I keep the cats away here)
Between this wheelbarrow planter, painting the shed and adding string lights in my backyard I haven’t touched my front yard yet. Next week I’ll be starting on projects in that area. I have big plans for my little porch!
Update: Here is how it looks about a month later with the flowers all filled in!
Update 2: This is how it filled in by the beginning of August! I also have upgraded to this paint sprayer because I get so much use out of it!
By the end of August, the flowers completely filled in the wheelbarrow and surrounding area. So pretty!
And here is how it looked the next year by the Fourth of July when I planted the begonias a little earlier in the season.
If you love gardening, you may also enjoy this post on the 10 Best Plants for Shade Gardens!
Here’s a slideshow of the progression from start to finish!
*This post was in partnership with Wagner and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.