Tire Planters

3 Easy Steps for Painting a Tire Planter


Recycling has become a necessity and a trend nowadays and, many people recycle their old stuff that is now useless. One such method is to reuse tires and convert them to planters to decorate the garden. Tires are inexpensive and commonly available and help create a buffer or planting bed for gardens. Single and double tire planters not only edge a pathway but also appear rustic. For an industrial ambiance, you can leave your tires as they appear conventionally. However, if you want to add a little drama and contrast to your garden, paint the tires.

What Type of Paint Should I Use for A Tire Planter?

The original black color of tires will absorb a high amount of sunlight and become warm. Hence it becomes necessary to paint the tires down for heat-sensitive plants. Brush off the excess dirt and dust from the surface. After this step, the paint will stick easily. Spray a white primer over the rubber tire to make a lighter color fix firmly on the base coat. Many of the spray paints available in the market have a primer included. Hence, verify the primer requirement and save up on unnecessary expenditure.

Choose a non-toxic outdoor paint that is safe for animals and does not pollute the soil for your tire planter ideas. Though outdoor latex paint will suit the purpose, you can choose industrial or marine grade paints for durability. You can use spray cans and brushes to paint the tires, but spray cans are a cleaner and more sophisticated alternative.

Decide on the location for your tire planter and determine the hues and colors for your pot consecutively. Lighter colors are suitable in warmer places as they reflect heat, while darker colors are favored in colder locations as they absorb heat.

Acrylic Paint

We can use acrylic paint of an exterior grade on a tire to protect it better from the action of external forces. We can also use traditional acrylic paint, but it would need a sealant. Though acrylic paints are expensive, they offer the opportunity to overcoat on drying and are resistant to cracks and flaking due to external forces.

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Steps To Paint Tires for Planters

Elevate a tire on raised mounds to make it more workable and to keep your backs away from aching. Raising them makes it easier to clean, prime, and apply paint to the tires.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber tire
  • Rag
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Drill
  • Spray paint for outdoor use
  • Contact paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
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Clean The Tire

Clean the tire using a rag and dishwashing soap to remove dirt and sticky substances. Ensure to wash it both from the inside and on the outside. Squeeze out the threads of the tire with the rag and clean it thoroughly. Rinse the tire and let it dry overnight. At this point, you can even use a commercial degreaser.

The degreaser will not only remove grease but also help your paint to stick better. You can even purchase non-toxic degreasers for play area planters. Ensure that the tire is fully dry before painting and for added precaution, wipe it off with a paper towel.

Apply The Primer

Spray a good quality, outdoor grade primer in a well-ventilated area. Shake the spray can vigorously and apply it in back and forth motion with a distance of at least thirty cm from the tire. You can even add a second coat after the first one has dried up for more durability and a firm base.

Spray Paint the Planter

Patterned tire planters

In a shared, semi-open space, spray up several layers of paint in a back-and-forth motion and cover the tire completely. When you spray paint, elevate the tire on the mounds so that the color does not damage any plastic underlayers. As the top side dries, flip up the tire and paint on the other side. You can choose darker or lighter color paints for this purpose. Darker color paints raise the temperature of the planter, while airy color paints keep the pots cooler. Darker colors give opacity in a single coat, while pastel tints take in layers to share opaque effects.

Furthermore, brush on the paint and push the color between the threads of the tire. You can even use heavy-duty paints in back and forth motions to increase durability. Apply at least two coats of paint for a more durable finish that will last a lifetime. However, allow the paint to dry for at least 15 – 20 minutes between coats

Make details with acrylic paints. As the paint dries, use brushes and acrylic paint to add geometrical shapes, designs, and patterns to your tire. Use outdoor acrylic paint for this purpose. You can even make contact paper stencils as guides for giving a professional finish to your tire planter. Draw the desired shape on the paper and cut it out using scissors. Smooth out the sheet, stick it on the tire and paint the motifs with acrylic. 

After painting the main parts of the tire, add designs to the walls that contrast the tire’s threads. You can use painter’s tape to depict the edges of the strip and brush on the strip for more precision. Once you finish, move it to its final location and start filling it.


Clean and paint your tires to add drama to your landscaping design. Go creative and, the planter will shine.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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  1. can you advise me on a brand of paint . i am trying to make wreaths for christmas

  2. Where to get marine paint or industrial paint

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