How to Paint your Used or New Shipping Container
Professional Guide to Paint a Shipping Container
The need or desire to paint a shipping container depends on many factors and specific customer preferences. For example, if you’re buying a used storage container, there might be rust stains or old logos present that you’ll want to clean up with paint. If the container is only going to be used for storage on your property, the color may not matter. However, if you’re going to transform the shipping container into a shed, garage or additional residential or business space, the exterior color is important for overall aesthetic. East Coast Containers provides a guide for shipping container painting considerations and guidelines.
Cosmetic Reasons to Paint a Shipping Container
Whether you just want your shipping container to look fresh and new, or match the surrounding buildings, a new coat of paint is an easy & affordable way to achieve this new appearance. While removing the labels and getting rid of rust spots will help the container look nice and clean, painting allows you to achieve a polished exterior.
Extend Life Span
Besides revamping the appearance of your container, quality paint also protects it from harsh weather and helps slow the corrosion process. It is important for you to understand the process and tools you need to achieve clean, smooth results. You must properly prepare the surface of the shipping container before any paint is applied; surface preparation is a critical factor.
Further, you must select a quality paint product. The steel surface of your shipping container must be painted with an acrylic-based, specialized paint. It must be chemical and corrosion resistant.
Container Surface Preparation for Painting
Depending on the intended usage for your container will determine the amount of time you spend preparing the surface for paint application. There are three basic levels of preparation:
This level of paint prep is sufficient when you are more concerned about protecting the unit from the weather, rather than how it looks cosmetically.
- Pressure wash the outside of the container to remove surface dirt or mud
- Let the container thoroughly dry
- Apply your chosen paint with a sprayer or roller. Five gallons is enough for one coat on 40-foot containers. Three gallons for 20-footer.
- Let the paint dry – you’re done!
If the container is going to be in a high-profile area and aesthetics is important, you’ll want to spend more time on surface prep.
- Pressure wash the container twice
- Remove all labels and stickers
- Remove rust spots using a wire brush
- Paint the container with at least two coats of paint
For the best, most aesthetically pleasing results, follow all of the steps above, focusing more time on completing removing all rust and labels before painting. Once you’re ready to paint, use a sprayer instead of a roller for more consistent paint coverage.
Selecting the Best Paint for your Storage Container
When selecting the paint for your shipping container, you need to select the best one available, even if it’s just for protection purposes. Purchase an industrial grade direct to metal acrylic (DTM) paint, which can be used inside or outside, water-based and corrosion-resistant. Your container paint should be:
- Chemical resistant
- Corrosion resistant
- Color match capability
- Fast dry
- Flash rust-ready rust resistance
- Suitable for use in USDA inspected facilities
East Coast Containers offers a full line of used shipping containers that can be easily painted after purchase. Use our easy online ordering system to select the container of your choice and make a secure payment. For questions or to place a phone order, call 215-407-8529.