Turning an Old and Rusty Wheelbarrow Into a Flower Planter

10,747

21

5

About: Hi! My name is Marija and this is the Creativity Hero channel! I make a variety of videos like DIY projects, crafts and lifehacks that anyone can complete with just a little time and creativity. My missi...

In this Instructable I’m going to show you how I turned an old, rusty wheelbarrow into a wonderful garden planter. It required a lot of work, but the end result was definitely worth every second I’ve put into this project.

This was my first restoration project, so you can check out the video as well, and tell me what you think in the comments section bellow.

Materials:

Tools:

Now, let’s get started!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Cleaning the Wheelbarrow and Scrubbing the Heavy Rust

I cleaned all the dirt from the surface with a small broom. Then, I took a wire brush and removed the heavy rust. After scrubbing all the rusted areas for a while, I couldn’t feel my arm anymore, so I threw away the wire brush and decided to continue with a power tool.

Step 2: Moving on With an Angle Grinder With a Wire Wheel Attached to It

I took an angle grinder and installed a wire wheel onto it, which actually has the same function as the wire brush that I used, but it is so much faster. I haven’t used angle grinder before, but I got used to it easily.

Disassembling the wheelbarrow was not an option, so some parts were hard to reach. That’s why I switched to a drill with 60 grit flap wheel attached to it. Also, I used small pieces of 60 grit sandpaper and sanded by hand.

Step 3: Mounting a Flap Disc to the Grinder to Remove All the Rust and the Paint

After that, I mounted a flap disc to the grinder to remove all the stubborn rust as well as the paint from the wheelbarrow.

You can notice that the wheelbarrow is very old and deformed with bumps all over it, which made it so hard to take off all the old paint. Using Dremel multitool I was able to reach every spot covered in rust.

Step 4: Using Rust Remover

Although I spend a few hours of grinding and sanding, I couldn’t clean everything, therefore I decided to use rust remover. It did a pretty good job, and made all the rust gone in an hour.

Step 5: Painting the Wheelbarrow

This led me to the next step – painting! First, I applied one coat of white oil-based primer, and left it to dry for 24 hours. I used a combination of brush for all the corners, and a roller for all the large surfaces.

The next day I applied white oil-based paint, and it perfectly covered everything. A second coat was not necessary, so I left it to completely dry for 48 hours before doing anything else.

Step 6: Removing the Rusted Nuts From the Shaft of the Wheel

Meanwhile I moved on to the wheel. The rim didn’t have rust at all which meant that I only needed to remove the paint from it. The shaft, the nuts and the washers were all covered in rust which made them stuck to each other. I tried to remove them from the shaft, but I couldn’t, hence I sprayed WD40 in order to loosen them. After an hour I was finally able to remove them easily.

To remove the rust from the nuts and the washers, I soaked them in rust remover.

Step 7: Removing the Paint From the Wheel

The wheel was in a pretty good condition, so this was the easiest step of the entire project. The paint from the rim I removed with Dremel multitool and some parts that were hard to reach I sanded by hand.

Step 8: Painting the Wheel

Once I was done sanding, I moved on to painting every part of the wheel, except the tire, which I protected with foil and masking tape.

Then, I used white spray paint for metal and applied 2 coats in total.

Step 9: Assembling the Wheelbarrow

The next day I assembled the wheelbarrow. Here, I just needed to mount the wheel to the wheelbarrow with wrenches. Unfortunately, I scrapped some of the paint with the wrenches, so I applied spray paint to those parts again.

To bring the tire back to life I rubbed it with a combination of sugar and water. I was surprised of how good the tire came out.

Step 10: Planting Petunias Into the Wheelbarrow

Now that I’m done with the assembly, I mowed the lawn, and found the perfect spot for the wheelbarrow. Then, I filled it with soil, and finally planted some red petunias into the wheelbarrow.

Here, I want to point out that I didn’t make drain holes because the wheelbarrow actually has small gaps on the corners that I guess were there since creating of the wheelbarrow itself.

Step 11: Final Result

This means that I’m done with this project. Although this was my first restoration, I really like how it turned out. I’ve learnt a lot in the process, and gave my backyard a simple refresh.

Don’t forget to watch the video for full experience!

Also, follow me on social media and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Trash to Treasure

Runner Up in the
Trash to Treasure

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest

    5 Discussions

    None
    WUVIE

    5 months ago

    Wow, what a lot of work!

    We have an old bicycle laying in the weeds that would look great with the same treatment.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    None
    MagazineD

    5 months ago on Step 11

    really cool idea and you make it looks so easy to do :) thanks for sharing

    None
    BeanieandCecilC

    5 months ago

    Nice job. I probably would have just clear-coated the wheel-barrow after a quick once over with the wire wheel to keep the rustic look. Interesting, with the sugar and water on the tire. That's a new one on me.

    None
    The Flying Alpaca

    5 months ago

    I will do that soon! I pin it for the moment, thanks!