Revamping an Old Barrel Planter




About: Amateur pyrographer (woodburner) I enjoy building custom furniture, working on my 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited, my dog, going to the movies, food, camping, and trying new things.

Step 1: Getting a Barrel Planter

So about a month ago the bar near my apartment was getting rid of a few old whiskey barrel planters and I thought to myself those must still be useable and sure enough they were.

So i set out to find a way to make myself some nice planters to grow some fresh veggies in while spending as little money as possible.

Step 2: Prepping the Barrel

So while the planters sat outside over the last month until i determined what exactly i wanted to do with them i noticed a few things.

1st, water did not drain out of them very well, which most likely will make them rot faster and 2nd, the metal on them was pretty rusty.

So i determined i needed to at least take care of the water issue right away. I took my trusty drill and the largest drill bit i could find in my mess of a tool box. I then put four holes in the bottom of the planter and made sure the existing drainage holes were clear.

Next i wanted to keep the old look of the barrels while making sure they would not rot out on me completely so i started by taking the sander and some 120grit sandpaper to the whole thing.

Step 3: Protecting the Wood From Rot

After sanding everything down including the metal i wanted to protect all of it. I had half a can of Minwax Gloss Polyurethane laying around so I set to staining it all, wood, metal, all of it.

Step 4: Don't Miss a Spot!

In order to make sure i didn't miss any spots I placed the barrel onto an outdoor table where I wouldn't have the break my back bending over. I spent the time to put a thin coat of poly on every surface that will be showing once dirt and veggies are planted. This included the entire outside, top and about 3 inches of the inside.

Step 5: Pick a Spot

The next step is very important. Pick a spot. Once dirt is added the planter will be very heavy. I picked a spot where the planter will get sun most of the day and my tomato plants should thrive.

Step 6: Add the Dirt

Since these planters are so big I wanted to spend as little on dirt as possible. So I went to the store and found 4 bags of potting soil for $10 then since i wanted to make sure I had good soil i spent a little more on some Miracle Grow garden soil about $5.

I put the potting soil in first knowing that it would fill up space and hoping that I had enough dirt to fill it. I then added the garden soil.

Step 7: Almost Done!

Almost done! I leveled out all the dirt and grabbed the plants i wanted to put in. I had two that i wanted to put in. A growing tomato plant and a seed pod for another tomato plant that I hadn't gotten around to planting yet. So i followed the planting instruction and made sure to water both the plant and seed. Can't wait for fresh tomatoes this summer.



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