This is how its done

How to Make an Upcycle Planter from Corrugated Sheeting, using Prominent Roof Paint

Step 1

Find yourself a piece of corrugated iron sheeting. You want a decent-sized piece of corrugated sheeting as you want to be able to keep the form of the corrugation when wrapping the sheet around. The size we suggest should be at least 80cm long. We are using a piece that will stand 35cm high when completed, but the height isn’t too important.

Step 2

The piece of sheet we have chosen to use is nicely Upcycle-ready! It is old and rusty so it is necessary to give it a good sanding down before working on it, in order to remove the rusty, uneven parts on the surface. Sand off the rust on both sides of the sheet making sure all the loose surface rust is removed – it isn’t necessary to sand it to bare metal, but all the loose stuff must be removed. After you’ve finished sanding, paint the surface with an Ultra Primer, from Prominent Paint, and leave it to dry. On inspection, if any rust spots are noticeable through the primer, repeat the process. An Upcycle Planter needs to remain presentable, after all!

old sheet currgated roof

Step 3

If you are using a new piece of corrugated iron, wash the sheet down with Prominent Paint’s Galvanised Iron Cleaner. Make sure that the sheet is nicely scrubbed as most galvanised sheets have a protective layer on them. Once you have washed the sheet it is important to rinse it properly with water too, as there will be an oily residue left after using the cleaner.

Step 4

Apply two coats of Prominent Ultra Primer at a spreading rate of 6-10m² per litre and achieving a DFT of 35µm per coat, and allow it to cure for 24 hours. The Prominent Ultra Primer usually comes in white which is a perfect base colour to work on as the technique we are using is going to be applied to a layer of white Prominent Roof Paint.

ultra primer

Step 5

For our Upcycle Planters we’ll be utilising six 1L Prominent Roof Paints of differing colours and a litre of white Prominent Roof Paint. You can carry out this project with any colours you choose to.

Step 6

Once the Prominent Ultra Primer undercoat is dry, paint over it with a layer of white Prominent Roof Paint. We are using a decent quality 25mm paintbrush in this instance, but a roof roller could be used for bigger surfaces. Cheap brushes tend to lose their bristles during the job, so rather go for a good quality paintbrush. Also, always wash a new paintbrush before use to remove any starches.

Step 7

When applying the white Prominent Roof Paint, rather apply two thin layers than a single very thick layer as you want to try to avoid the brush stroke marks from appearing in the applied paint. At this point, leave your Upcycle Planter project to dry overnight or at least for a number of hours.


Remember to wash your paintbrush thoroughly between sessions as replacing good quality paintbrushes every time you use them can get expensive. Using a water-based paint like we are for this project means that you can wash the old paint out of the brush with water, but we also use Sunlight green soap, which helps to clean the brush more thoroughly. Some of this green soap can be left in the brush to dry in order to maintain the original shape of the brush & keep the bristles in a decent condition. Before your next painting session, fluff or beat the bristles in order to get the brush ready for use again.

Step 8

As we are working with 2 different colours of Prominent Roof Paint to create the effect for our Upcycle Planter project, it is advisable to have two decanted tubs of paint put out to make accessibility between colours easy & any mistakes less serious. It is easier and less painful to throw away a little paint than to discard a whole litre!

mixing roof paint from separate containers

Step 9

Having applied the white paint, the next coat applied to our Upcycle Planter project is going to be middle tone blue (a mixture of white and blue), which we’re going to mix with the white at different stages to create our effect. To get the middle tone blue we will be dipping our brush into the blue Prominent Roof Paint, dabbing it on the side of the tub, dipping it into the white Prominent Roof Paint & then dabbling it together with the blue to create a lighter blue. Be careful only have a little paint on your brush as you want the paint to spread easily and not create lumps of paint on the sheet. This lighter blue colour you have from mixing the two paints will be your middle blend and should be applied to the side slopes of each corrugation. Make sure that you paint from the bottom of your Planter wall all the way through to top, which will ensure that any difficult touching-up will not be necessary. This process can be quite tricky to finish all at once but don’t stress… it is always easy to go back and do more later once you’ve got your initial blended colour mixed. In the long run you’ll want to produce a retro-type, faded blue tin-can kind of effect in your finished product.

painting slopes

Step 10

Once you have painted all of the sides, or slopes, of the corrugation in the blended blue, you will need to use the original darker blue colour to paint the corrugation valleys – the lowest points of the corrugation – while softly stroking out of the valley to give the dark-to-light blended effect.

painting darker tonepainting darker tones

Step 11

With the same uncleaned brush that you used to apply the blue Prominent Roof Paint, paint the upper ridges of the corrugation of your Upcycle Planter in white Prominent Roof Paint. Any leftover blue paint on the paintbrush will help with the blending effect. Start just below the upper corrugation and paint across with the very lightly blended white-blue on your brush, leaving the highest points completely white to complete the blended white-to-blue effect. If necessary, stroke your brush on a piece of paper before applying, in order to check whether your blend is too white or too blue, and add some more of the desired colour where necessary The trick is to always keep the paint thin on application and apply more often rather than too much at once.

blending lighter highlightsblending lighter highlight

Step 11

Afterwards, with a dry paintbrush, go over each section softly in order to even out the effect.

close up

Once you have completed this step, leave the finished but unjoined Upcycle Planter to dry.

painted flat sheet

Step 12

When the Planter is totally dry, bend the corrugation round so that one edge of the corrugated sheet overlaps the other very slightly, with the painted surface on the outside. Drill three holes and apply pop-rivets to join the two edges together. I personally plant my flowers into cut-open 5 litre water bottles and surround them with my new Planters. With thanks to the colourful magic of Prominent Paint, you have now created your finished Upcycle Planter!


Practical content and ideas: Winnie McHenry
Writing: Warren Potter

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