Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Project: Rain Dance (Part 1)

I seriously couldn't be any more excited about this project.  I've been dropping little lines in previous posts about our upcoming project of making our own rain collection barrel.  The inspiration is from YHL (Directions can be found there as well).  The objective is to collect rain water via our house's down spout and use it to water our ever so growing garden.  Thus, saving money on our water bill and being environmentally friendly!

The first step in setting up your own rain barrel is getting the large drum.  We were lucky and found a 55-gallon industrial food grade drum on Craigslist for $15!  Other options include forgoing the DIY route and purchasing a ready-made rain barrel or researching for rain barrel workshops in your local area.  We had one coming through in a month for $40.  They provided the barrel and all the lil extras.  But with our Craigslist steal...we knew we could do this ourselves.

Matt drove out and picked up the barrel after work and brought it home.  We realized that in its former life it held vinegar... yum.   So first things first... we Matt cleaned it out.  Suggestion would be to use cleaners that won't harm your lawn.  If you want to use bleach... dilute it down a lot!  Ah, here's my stud-muffin working so hard. (I'm inside slaving over a hot stove...and taking sexy-water-barrel-washing pictures)
Once dry (solar or towel), you can start spray painting it.  We chose to paint ours because we wanted it to blend in with the house.  It's totally optional, but I would recommend at least applying a coat of clear UV protective coating.  We stuck with Krylon coatings.  They dry super quick.
I work as a Chemist for Sherwin-Williams...so I spend a lot of time "painting" (or watching paint dry).  Matt thought he would spray without me... for his first time ever.  I turned my back for seriously a min...and this is what I find when I look back!
We couldn't stop laughing... I had to take over.

All finished!  Now all it needs is a UV Protective coat and get the hose bib attached. 

UV-Resistant Clear

You may ask, "Where are you guys going to put it?"...well, good question.  We decided to put the barrel in a conspicuous spot in  the back of the house.  Key point is to make sure you have clear access to a down spout.  Somewhere where it wouldn't drop the curb appeal.  Thing is, our backyard is just as well seen by our neighbors.  But we found a spot on the left side that suits it perfectly. We'll stack it on some cement blocks so that we can easily fit a bucket under the hose bib.

Gotta love my awesome art skills that I used to simulate the barrel location. :)  It'll be outside the office window.  We don't expect a lot of people to be looking out that window and saying... "Hey?  What's this barrel  doing out here? 

Well, that's all for now folks!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of assembly and installation!  



  1. hahahahaha, this makes me laugh when I see what Matt did! he looks confused in the picture ... as if you are telling him, what did you do? and he has no idea why you are saying that! lol

  2. Um....hello- you guys are awesome for doing this!!! We need more earth-conscience people such as yourselves around! That is amazing, and hilarious with the step by step photos- so awesome!!! So jealous of your huge yard! I would offer to mow it if you allowed an over-sized slip-n-slide session in return ;) What a steal on the drum from Craigslist, sweet!

  3. What did you use for the UV protective coat?

  4. How many cans of paint and UV coating did you need for this? We just scored the same drum off Craigslist!!! The only reason I really want to paint it is because I am afraid that the light color will allow access algae to grow. How has the paint held up over time? Thanks!

    1. If I remember correctly, about 2-3 cans...


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