Paint Numbers On Garbage Cans | What To Know?

Are you looking for an efficient way to manage your waste?

Have you ever struggled to identify which garbage cans belong to your house on collection day? It’s a common pain point for many homeowners.

Painting numbers on your garbage cans can help you overcome this problem.

This simple solution provides an easy and effective way to organize your waste and reduce confusion on garbage collection days. Keep reading to learn how to paint numbers on your garbage cans and simplify your waste management routine.

Whatever you are up to, keep reading this guide, and I’ll share some straightforward ways to keep your garbage cans safe from stealing or mixing up with others. 

What’s the Matter of Painting Numbers on Garbage Cans?

The problem is simple, yet many have faced this just because of having similar garbage cans while living on a street. 

I live in California, and here in my town, most people have garbage cans of the same colors without special recognition or signs. 

These usually mix up with the garbage cans of other people. 

The problem is when these get mixed, or some letters steal them away by replacing their broken, damaged, and out-of-use garbage cans with mine. 

That’s most people’s problem; if you face it, you end up here. But no worries, I’ll tell you how to cope with this problem since I countered it.

Does Labeling Trash Cans or Recycling Bins Give You Any Benefits?

Labelling your trash cans or spraying paint on them might have several benefits. You will eventually know when you will do something like that. 

But generally, labelling your garbage cans or recycling bins gives the following benefits when labelled with paints, numbers, or specific codes. 

Please have a look!

Avoid Mixing with Neighbor Trash Cans

By printing numbers on your trash can, you’ll be able to quickly identify your bin and avoid any mix-ups with your neighbour’s trash.

Label your trash can with your address or name. Also, you can add other distinguishing features to personalize your trash can further so the waste management company knows whose trash it is.

Number printed Trash cans to identify easily
You can print the numbers on your trash can to identify them easily and avoid mix-ups with neighbours’ trash cans.

An Eye-Catching Look

When labeled or painted, containers look more eye-catching and appealing when placed outside your home. Some decorative garbage cans make your recycling or waste management unique in this way!

Easy Waste Management

Easy waste management and recycling are ensured when these bins or garbage cans are marked or painted with particular color codes. 

Different types of waste categorized into different trash cans
When trash cans are painted with different symbols, it is easy to manage waste.

Different Garbage Bins for Different Materials

When recycling bins are marked with colors, you can organize and keep solid and unsolid as well as organic and un-organic materials in separate recycling bins. 

Having a Prior Idea of Where Waste Goes

Marked recycling bins are marked with recycling symbols and some chasing arrows. The pictures and other logos give a lot of aspiration to all the waste managers. 

People know where their waste will go when a sign or anything is marked on a specific garbage bin. 

Safety of Your Garbage Cans

Another benefit of having garbage or recycled cans marked or painted is that your garbage cans will stay safe, and nobody can steal them from outside your house.

They will easily be recognized by reading the number painted on the garbage cans if the wind or any storm puts them away from their place. 

How Do You Paint Numbers on Garbage Cans or Labalize Them?

Painting or having labels on your garbage cans is simple if you know how to paint your other house or office items. 

It could be anything, including painting chairs, tables, and others. In short;

Decide which color paints you want to use for each recycling bin. Once done, use the necessary equipment and find the most specific place to paint your desired logo, mark, or sign. Instead, you can have garbage cans or recycling bins painted with unique colors to have organized and managed recyclable waste. 

I did it on my recycling bins or whatever you name them. Therefore, I am here to share my experience painting numbers on garbage cans. Please have a look!

Step 1: Gather the Needed Equipment

Since it was a painting procedure, so, before starting, I collected some equipment that I needed to complete this process. 

The list of equipment you may also require for painting garbage cans is as follows. 

  • Make some stencils of your desired choice or creativity. It could be anything, such as a cartoon, a flower, a favourite logo, etc.
Stencils for paint on your trash can
Any shape of stencil can use for paint on your trash can
A scissor will be needed to cut the papers/stencils/tapes while doing the painting.
A scissor will be needed to cut the papers/stencils/tapes while doing the painting.
  • Some spray paints
Spray-paints for the painting on the trash can
Spray-paints needed for the painting on the trash can
  • Old Newspaper 
Old newspapers to cover the outside of the stencil
Old newspapers can use to cover the outside of the stencil
  • Gloves to wear
Wearing gloves can save your hands from the paints
Wearing gloves can save your hands from the paints
Painter's tape for sticking the stencil on the trash can
Painter’s tape for sticking the stencil on the trash can
  • Your recycling or garbage cans
  • Ruler (this could be optional)

Step 2: Gear Yourself Up

First, you need to wear the proper gloves and consider wearing some old clothes that are no longer wearable.

Such as those shorts and shirts you will dispose of next week. You should know that paint and paint can damage your new clothes and hands. 

Therefore, don’t use the paint or sprays openly when your hands are not covered and you are not wearing anything old. I did the same. 

Step 3: Clean The Garbage Cans And Decide Place Where You Want To Paint Numbers

Once you are ready, take a clean cloth and clean the outside of your garbage cans. 

You must still clean it out if you have brought a new one. 

Clean it, then identify where you want to paint numbers or other symbols. You must create stencils for these marks, signs, or numbers. 

Or you can purchase some already-made ones. Afterward, you must use a strip or many painter’s tapes above the garbage can. 

This will help you create guides where you can put or position those stencils. If needed, take the help of a ruler to keep those lines leveled or in the center wherever you want. 

Take some tape and fix your stencils on the garbage cans. 

Spraying the paints on the stencil

Image source: Youtube video:

Step 4: Have a Newspaper Piece

In this step, I cut a piece of newspaper according to the stencil size, which went in the center of that paper. 

I taped this newspaper shield over the stencil and fixed it there. 

Step 5: Spray the Paint

Finally, it’s time you paint your garbage cans. Do it while wearing gloves, and ensure you regularly paint on the stencil. 

Step 6: Removing the Extra Stuff

Once painted fully, consider removing the newspaper shield. Do it gently, and after that, remove the stencil gently. 

At last, you will also need to remove the tap guides from the recycling or garbage can in the house.

Can You Paint Stainless Steel Garbage Cans?

Like your heavy-duty plastic garbage cans inside your house, your stainless steel cans may also have the same problems. 

Therefore, you can keep them safe and well-managed by marking numbers or drawings using paint. However, painting stainless steel can usually not be required in most cases. 

Painted on stainless trash can
Stainless steel trash cans also can be painted for easy use.

This is because these stainless steel garbage cans are usually put inside the houses instead of outside. 

However, even if there is a stainless steel garbage can down the street, it will be so heavy to be removed from its place. 

Besides, no air or storm may be able to remove it from its place. Therefore, painting is not always required for your stainless steel garbage cans. 

What are Some of the Best Paints For Plastic Garbage Cans?

Paints do have brands and varieties to choose from. Therefore, you should always select paint to apply to your plastic garbage cans. 

In this regard, please consider choosing from any of the most recommended ones given below. 

These would solve your painting problems on your house’s garbage cans. 

Can You Spray Paint on a Plastic Garbage Can?

Only the plastic cans are the ones that would require painting numbers on them. We hardly see something like this in the stainless steel garbage cans collection. 

However, it is simpler and easier to paint a trash can or a garbage can made of plastic. Just do it adequately as I did and tell you here. 

A video tutorial on explaining how to paint garbage can using stencil and spray paints

Can You Have the Garbage Cans Address Labels?

Instead of painting or pasting numbers on your garbage cans, one should consider putting or painting your home or street address on the garbage cans. 

Because doing so will always help you find your garbage cans if they have been stolen, removed, or replaced by any other official or unofficial identity(air, storm). 

Removing the paint from these garbage cans as soon as possible is difficult. And believe me; nobody is ready to do that. 

Therefore, consider putting your house number or home address on your garbage can to keep it safe. 

What’s the Best Way of Painting Numbers on Garbage Cans?

The best way is not to paint by yourself; instead, buy a garbage can with instructions. 

In that case, garbage can like VWAQ Personalized Trash Can Stickers Numbers Street Address Garbage will serve your personalized garbage can needs. 

Have it with a couple of stickers and other stuff that would ensure the needed privacy. 

Final Thoughts

Finally, it’s not that difficult to paint numbers on garbage cans. Despite those distinctive motives of having innovative, personalized, and particular garbage cans, you can keep them safe and secured and find a way to make them continually return to your house. 

So, that was all for today. Let me know if your mind struggles with any queries. I am here to help. Have a nice day!


  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Cincinnati, U. of, LinkedIn and School, H.U.E. (n.d.). Do Labels Help People Recycle? [online] Treehugger. Available at:
  • Talkin’ Trash. (2007). Talkin’ Trash: Mark your recycling and trash containers with your house number. [online] Available at:
  • John E. DerossettUpdated:, J.E.D. (2018). How to Keep Your Trash Can from Flying in the Wind. [online] Family Handyman. Available at:

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