With the warm weather in full swing, a lot of us will be spending more time enjoying our gardens. In this article, we want to inspire you to upcycle old items many of us have stored away with leftover paint, and show you some useful tips to help bring your garden to life without causing waste.

We have looked at 3 common items we all have, and some great ways you can get upcycling.

Plant pots

Nearly everyone has a few unused plant pots, stored in their garage and shed. Before you head out to buy brand new pots, why not use some paint to make your old ones look as good as new!

plant pot upcycle
Image credit: Cuprinol, ideal home, Jamie Mason


To get the effect in the images above, you can use masking tape to create sharp lines and a sponge instead of a brush to fill out the larger areas. You can collect half tins of useable paint your paint from your local Community RePaint scheme, preventing usable paint from going to waste.


Upcycling an old ladder or even creating your own ladder with leftover wood can create a brilliant feature in your garden. It allows you to display a large selection of plants in a small space, perfect for a small garden. Using a bright colour can really draw the eye and compliment the plants you decide to display.

Image credit: Happy love Rosie, Pinterest

Before you start painting

  • Make sure to remove any old paint,
  • Sand down your surface, (this will help the paint adhere)
  • Test your primer and paint on a section under one of the steps to make sure you like the finish.

Once you are happy, apply the paint you have picked up from just £1 a litre at your local Community RePaint scheme, and follow the grain for the best results. Leave to dry completely and display your favourite plants and herbs.


Nearly all of us have an old chest of drawers, a side table or an old shelving unit in our garage. Now, these are some of the most upcycled items, but have you ever thought about using them as a planter?

Image credit: Great garden ideas, Jane Morgan, Sow and dipity


Making sure they are lined correctly, they can be the perfect choice for flowers and herbs and can be moved around the garden quite easily. Choosing usable leftover exterior wood stain or paint from your local Community RePaint scheme, makes sure they can withstand the elements.

Community RePaint scheme upcycles

Community RePaint schemes across the country have provided paint for a huge range of upcycling projects. Below are a few examples of some of the upcycle projects created using paint from Community RePaint Wirral, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall and Blackburn.

Upcycling is one of the best ways to stop items from ending up in landfills. Buying your paint from your local Community RePaint scheme also helps towards reducing the 50 million litres of paint wasted in the UK each year.

Find your nearest Community RePaint scheme here.

Or if you have found some leftover paint you no longer need, you can find your local Community RePaint drop off paint here, and get your paint reused in the community.

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