Recycle, reuse and reduce! Once you have finished painting your home and used up all the leftover paint with other projects, what happens to the empty paint buckets? Paint buckets are durable and sturdy so there is no reason to throw them away only to end up in a landfill. In fact there are several ways to recycle them. First remove any leftover paint on the bucket with rubbing alcohol, turpentine or paint stripper, depending on the type of paint. Then, recycle like a boss and transform paint buckets into functional or arty items. And with that in mind…drumroll…

Caution… wet floor – Not as sexy as “Verimark” mop buckets, but they are ideal for carrying water to dip the mop in to clean those marble tiles. Empty paint buckets are also great for carrying around your cleaning supplies from room to room in your home.

Storage wars – Plastic buckets can be recycled into indoor or outdoor storage containers. If you don’t already have a toolbox, you can recycle a plastic paint bucket into one and keep your garden tools safe and rust-free. Alternatively, store seeds in it to protect them from moisture.

Toy story – A nifty storage container for all those toys lying around the house. Yay! A home for all those Lego pieces that you keep stepping on!

Colour me happy – Organise all your art supplies in one place. We love the idea of a portable art studio that is easily made by sewing an apron with pockets to store pencils, pens, crayons, etc. It can even be used for storing sewing supplies or pretty much anything you can think of! For a simple storage bucket tutorial, visit

Fake it till you make it décor – Using paint buckets for outdoor seating is inexpensive and super-easy to make. Making these funky seats can be as simple as some spray paint, and foam and fabric for the cushion on top. The seats could double as storage as well. Watch this video to make a cool bucket chair with rope

My box is cooler than yours – If you are having a braai or a party, recycling plastic paint buckets is a great way to make your own cooler box. Simply fill any size bucket with ice and add your drinks of choice.

Potty for plants – Cheap and portable, plastic buckets are an ideal choice for planters in your garden or patio. A bucket of at least 20L is recommended when it comes to size, especially for growing squash, tomato, spinach, or strawberry plants. Smaller size buckets can be used for growing herbs. Remember to make drainage holes in the bottom of your planters.

Gone fishing – Yet another use for paint buckets! For the more adventurous DIY-er, you can transform a plastic paint bucket into a fishing rod holder and carrier using PVC pipes and suitable glue.

Looking for more ideas? Watch this video for 50 (crazy right?) uses from toilets to lights and you will be recycling like a boss in no time!

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