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Edit Aug 7, 2015: We still stand by all the ideas below, but just wanted to add more pictures, including an award-winning design painted on a Super Cubes container. Also, if you need help picking the right paint, give us a call and we can point you in the right direction.
So you either have a container or are going to buy a container and you want to paint it. But what all is involved? Like all painting project, planning! Today we will explore why you might want to paint a container and how to go about painting it.
Why paint a container? The obvious reasons – to make it look nicer, make it blend in with your property, marketing, all of those usually reasons. But is there another reason? You bet! By painting your container you are putting one more layer between the steel in your container and the elements. That slows down rust, making your container last longer. Whatever your reason, painting is a good thing.
How to Prep Your Container
We’re going to assume you have a used container. One-trip/”new” containers generally don’t need painting. But used ones can come in a variety of colors, or variety of shades (or “spotted cow”) of a color you might not just love. Usually, your container will have markings from the shipping line and some surface rust on it. So what do you need to do to prep it?
- Peel off the shipping line markings. You may need to get a razor blade out to do that, but they are just stickers, so they should come off. If you don’t care that much about the final product, you can skip this of course.
- Wash the container. It has been in some not so clean places, it has sat in muddy yards and has grime and grit on it. Get the power-washer out and have at it.
- Once the container is dry, check out the rust on your container. If you have a grinder, grind off any heavier rust. If it is just light surface rust, you can usually keep that. But remember – the more you prep, the better it looks in the end. Just be sure to grind right before you paint.
There are 2 schools of thought on this one – to spray or to roll. Industrial paint sprayers can make the project go quickly and easily. If you don’t have access to one, you can roll the paint on as well. We recommend using an industrial, alkyd enamel. Industrial paint stores and Sherwin Williams can help you pick out just the right one. There are direct to metal and oil-based ones to fit your needs. Or feel free to call us for different paint numbers we have used in the past.
Once you get a nice coat of paint on your container, you can put finishing touches – from camouflage to murals. Just be sure that you continue to use container-friendly paints to finish your project.