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How to Line a Metal Planter Box

Metal planter boxes are an attractive alternative to standard plastic or wood planters. Many come embossed with a variety of designs, and the metal takes on an interesting patina over the years. Rust is the main issue with most metal planters. The constant contact with moist soil over long periods of time may lead them to rusting through. Liners are sold with some planters, but if you already own a metal planter without one, an alternate method of lining it is necessary.

Clean the inside of the planter with a wire brush and water if it has been used before. Remove any soil residue. Rinse a new planter to remove any dust that may be on the inside. Dry completely after cleaning.

Paint the inside of the planter with a lead-free asphalt paint. Paint a single coat on, taking care not to paint over any drainage holes in the bottom of the planter. Asphalt paint protects it without chipping off and adding toxins to the soil.

Paint with a second coat of asphalt paint once the first coat is dry. Shine a flashlight into the planter, looking for any areas that were missed with the second coat and touch-up as needed. Allow both coats of paint to dry overnight.

Fill the planter with your preferred potting mix and plants. Water regularly to keep the soil moist, as metal planters heat up and dry out more quickly.

Diy Wood & Metal Planter Box Designs

Corrugated metal roofing comes in sheets just over 2 feet wide and 8 feet long that are just the right size for the walls of a large planter. A third sheet cut in half makes two end walls for a final planter size of 4 feet by 8 feet by 2 feet deep -- ample space for serious vegetable production. The key is to frame the metal with either 1-by-4 or 2-by-4 lumber to make it rigid enough to support the weight of the soil. A wooden bottom with drain holes is needed to contain the soil and a vertical strip of wood where the metal sheet overlaps itself gives a sturdy support to screw the metal to. Curving a sheet of metal along its long axis makes a long narrow planter suitable to use as a window box. Rot-resistant wood, such as cedar and redwood, is preferable for building planters so they do not decay prematurely. Fill the planters with a lightweight soilless growing mix to give plants the drainage they need in the confined growing space. Always wear leather gloves when working with sheet metal and corrugated roofing materials to avoid being cut by the sharp edges.


You can seal the outside of the planter with a rust inhibitor. This provides some protection without changing the appearance of the planter.

Also, you can plant your flowers in a plastic pot that is smaller than your metal container and set it inside the metal planter.

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