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Painting a Used Shipping Container

04.09.2016 - Posted by Updated On 04.09.2016    

Used shipping containers sometimes require a layer of paint to clean them up and make them blend in with the surrounding area; and depending on what shipping line owned or managed the container the colors will vary and it may or may not fit in where you plan to place it. But how do you paint a shipping container so that the paint will last and you won’t have maintenance issues in the future? It will require some effort, but may not be as hard as you think.

Cleaning a Shipping Container

The first step to painting a shipping container is making sure that it’s clean. If the container has corporate branding or stickers on the outside you may want to remove them, or you can just paint over them (some are nearly impossible to pull off). Ideally, a high pressure washer can be rented or purchased for a reasonable price. A high pressure washer will blast off any dirt, grease, and loose paint in places where you can and can’t see it. Power washing can also expose any rust, or potentially rusting areas, and you can get ahead of any problems by giving these areas some special attention with a wire brush or white vinegar to halt any corrosion. Along with the outside, it’s a good idea to spray off the inside of the container as well. Don’t worry about pooling water on the floor, it can be brushed out later.

Painting a Shipping Container

Once the container is cleaned, don’t waste much time after it dries before you paint it. If there is any rust that needs to be grinded off, do so right before painting. If you do grind off rust and leave it sit for any period longer than a few days it can make the rust worse.

The best paint to choose is an alkyd enamel paint, or "hard surfaced paint". This type of high quality commercial paint may cost a little more, but it will last much longer and provide a better quality coat than a cheaper paint.

For painting the container, it can either be sprayed with an industrial sprayer or rolled on. Spraying the paint on with a power sprayer provides an even coat, and makes the job go much faster than rolling. However, if cost is a factor rolling may take a little longer but you’ll get a nice heavy, even coat of paint on the container. It’s best to give the container two coats of paint, just to be sure no areas are missed and the box has extra protection from the elements.

shipping container paint

ContainerAuction.com is an online marketplace for new and used shipping containers, and active sellers provide containers of all commercially available sizes and colors. Our sellers are leasing companies and shipping lines from around the world, and are highly experienced in selling the best quality, best price off hire and off lease containers. To inquire about a shipping container on the site just use the contact button on the listing page, and that will put you in direct touch with the seller.



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