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How I Turned a Galvanized Stock Tank into a Stylish Planter

last month

Stock tank planters are popping up everywhere. Been to a brewery or an outdoor restaurant lately? I love their functionality and height, but not the industrial metal appearance next to my cottage style garden.

After researching the galvanization process and the presence of zinc, I devised a plan to paint the interior and exterior of my tanks to create the aesthetic that fit my style better. According to multiple sources, the zinc coating from the galvanization process is not harmful to people and is not dangerous to plants. It can be detrimental if sanded and inhaled or compromised through acidic interactions. Therefore, I chose to be extra cautious and use a food grade paint that vintners use for winemaking equipment.

After cleaning the tanks, I painted the interiors with the special ordered paint. For the exterior, I used a metal primer paint first and then added two coats of my favorite white paint, Alabaster (Sherwin Williams).

To prepare the tanks for soil, I removed the brass drain plug on the side and drilled several 1/2 inch holes in the bottom for better drainage. My husband laid out level flagstone bases for the tanks and set them in place. We added a layer of pea gravel in the bottom to prevent the drainage holes from becoming clogged. You could also use landscape fabric or pottery shards. Next we tossed in small branches, yard clippings (chemical free), dead leaves and debris until we were about 18 inches from the top. We finished with a mix of garden soil and compost to provide a nutrient rich growing medium.

My plants thrive in the stock tank planters, and I love how the white exterior accentuates my garden style. I even brought one to our new house when we moved!

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