We needed to renovate our house a few years back. There were collapsed ceilings in parts of the house. We feared that rats would just drop in on us at any moment. Some of our plumbing didn’t work. Cabinet fixtures were hanging on by a thread. You get the point. We needed a lot of work done, and so we did! But this post isn’t about the renovation. It’s about what happened after the renovation. We were left with sooo many used paint containers. I didn’t want to just throw them away. This post is going to be about upcycling Boysen paint cans.

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans

Of course, we converted some of them to water buckets. But we can’t turn all of them to pails. Luckily, our housekeeper figured out a way to use all of the empty paint cans that littered our garage post-renovation. She turned them into plant pots!

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans: Paint Pots to Plant Pots | MyBoysen

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans: Paint Pots to Plant Pots | MyBoysen

The process is quite simple. Why not upcycle Boysen paint cans into planters pots? It’s definitely better than throwing them out to the landfills!

Official Regulations

This particular blog post is specifically for the plastic containers of water-based paints like Permacoat, Healthy Home, and Virtuoso. Water-based paints are classified as non-hazardous. Therefore, cans and containers of water-based paint can definitely (and are even encouraged to) be upcycled.

However, solvent-based paints such as Acrytex and Quick Drying Enamel are considered hazardous substances. Leftovers of these types of paint should be sent to your local government unit’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

Don’t Throw Out that Paint!

Please, for the love of all things crafting and DIY, do not throw out that little bit of extra paint in the can! We have tons of painting DIYs here in the blog. You can turn those leftover paints to something amazing!

Transfer the leftover paints to any old glass or plastic container you have at the back of your cupboards. It could be anything! Old sardine bottles, empty pill bottles, you name it. The important thing is that the bottles are squeaky clean to avoid contamination. You should also make sure that these bottles can be screwed shut to avoid any spills and air contamination.

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans: Paint Pots to Plant Pots | MyBoysen

After transferring the paint, label these bottles properly (ie. paint type, color name). Keep them away from direct heat or sunlight. Moreover, make sure that these are kept away from children.

How to Clean the Container

The next step in upcycling Boysen paint cans is cleaning the container. Now, as I mentioned previously, water-based paints are considered non-hazardous substances. But, we should still be extra careful to avoid polluting the environment! Paint should be kept out of our sewage systems as much as possible. Save as much of the excess paint as you can and reuse it for other projects.

Once you’ve transferred and saved every last drop of paint, wipe down the inside of the can with old pieces of newspaper. This soaks up any remaining liquid sticking on the inside walls of the container. Once these dry, dispose of them properly along with your other household wastes. Using some water and mild household detergent, wash the can thoroughly inside and out. We don’t want any of those chemicals seeping into our plants! Finally, use a rag to dry the container.

But what if the paint in the can is already dried up? This makes things a whole lot easier! Just pick away at the dried paint at the bottom carefully. Then, like the used newspapers, just dispose them properly along with your other wastes.

Make the Cans Plant-Ready

Your cans should be squeaky clean by now. Next, puncture some holes at the bottom of the plastic pail. This is a really important step! If you don’t place holes on the container, your plants will drown when you water them. We don’t want that now, do we? But, don’t make the holes too big! It’ll definitely drain your pot well but it will also probably take a lot of soil out too.

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans: Paint Pots to Plant Pots | MyBoysen

I hope you guys don’t mind that I didn’t clean up the dirt and soil all over the containers. But that’s just what gardening is, you know. You gotta get down and dirty with it. If you know what I mean.

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans: Paint Pots to Plant Pots | MyBoysen

Some Plant Ideas

Time to flex on my yaya’s green thumb. She’s already managed to grow cacao, avocado, calamansi, and guyabano trees in our garden. For smaller plants, we have some oreganos, eggplants, okras, and some ginger. We have a lot of dogs so it’s a good idea for us to use pots for our smaller plants. We don’t want them trampled or peed on.

Upcycling Boysen Paint Cans: Paint Pots to Plant Pots | MyBoysen

Plastic pots not aesthetic enough for you? Just want some good ol’ terra cotta? You can read more on them here and how to spice them up even more.

Do you have any fresh ideas for upcycling Boysen paint cans? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at ask@myboysen.com. Happy planting!


Inah is an avid overplanner with a manic desire to organize everything. She dedicates most of her time and attention to her two chunky dogs, Prince and Peanut. If there's a bit of extra time on hand, she will spring clean her entire house.

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