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by Craig Pryce October 16, 2020

Painting wheelie bins and external rubbish bins has become an extremely popular activity recently and often impresses people passing by home or work premises.

Keep reading for information on when you’re allowed to paint your wheelie bin and how to paint your bin in a professional way.

Are you allowed to paint your wheelie bin?

It is important to note here that you should only paint your wheelie bin if you own it yourself; bins provided by local authorities and waste management companies, for example, must often not be painted or defaced in any way.

 If in doubt, check with the bin’s owner and get permission.

 If you have an old wheelie bin in your garden that belongs to you, you can paint this in any way you like.

 Likewise, if you have bought a wheelie bin from a company such as Wheelie Bin Solutions, it is entirely up to you how you decorate it.

How do I paint a wheelie bin?

You may have tried to paint your entire wheelie bin before, or perhaps painted your house number on it, and found that the paint just peels and cracks off.

As wheelie bins are made of flexible vinyl, they must be prepared properly before you paint them; HDPE sheds and flakes paint unless you prepare it in a specific way.

Here is how you should prepare and paint your wheelie bin.

Wash the wheelie bin

Begin by washing your wheelie bin with a water-based cleanser. Once you have washed the bin properly, you can use a hose pipe to rinse and spray it down or use a bucket and water; choose whichever is most convenient for you.

Wait for it to dry

Once you have washed the wheelie bin, it needs to dry thoroughly. Usually, it takes around two hours for a wheelie bin to properly dry.

The best way to dry your bin is to roll it onto a fabric dust sheet and leaving it outside on a dry day with the lid open.

Sand the bin

Next, you must sand the dustbin until it feels rough all over. This is to ensure the wheelie bin has the correct surface for the paint to stick to.

When you are sanding, make sure you are doing it safely and wear a mask and goggles to avoid any of the substance going into your face.

Time for the first layer

To start the painting process, make sure you thoroughly coat the dustbin with acrylic primer.

Keep around eight inches between the spray top and wheelie bin when you are applying the spray; this will allow you to get an even coating.

Once you have coated the wheelie bin with acrylic primer, leave it to dry again for around two hours.

A person spraying with a spray nozzle.

Get painting

Now for the exciting part — it’s time to paint and get creative!

There are plenty of wheelie bin art ideas that you can copy, or you can create a completely unique design.

The best paint to use is flexible vinyl paint. By using this paint, your design will stay on your bin and remain vibrant for a lot longer.

Be mindful

Although you can be extremely creative with your wheelie bin design, it is important to be mindful.

If your bin is being used for rubbish collections, it is a good idea to leave the bin lid with the original colour showing.

This way, you can use the right bin for the right rubbish, and waste can be collected accordingly.

If you are decorating a wheelie bin that is not used for waste collection or an outdoor bin that is kept in your garden, you can have a little more creative freedom and design the entire bin exactly how you want it.

Craig Pryce

Craig Pryce

With over 17 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, Craig is passionate about making recycling easier and reducing the negative impact of litter. He has been the managing director of Wheelie Bin Solutions (WBS) since January 2016, and prides the company on his expert knowledge, top-quality products, and customer service. His proudest moment was when WBS supported the 2012 Olympic Games, working in partnership with Contenur UK to supply over 9000 bin containers to all Olympic venues. Craig is always keen to share his knowledge, so whether you need advice about the benefits of a wheelie bin lock, or ideas for alternative uses for your wheelie bin, Craig will ensure your recycling and waste disposal habits are gold medal worthy.