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Painting (or Repainting) your Shipping or Storage Container

28.03.2022 - Posted by Updated On 28.03.2022    

You've purchased a used shipping container that perfectly meets your needs:  The size is right, the condition is strong and secure, and the price was cheap.  The only thing left to do is give it a fresh coat of paint so that "neutralizes" the markings of the shipping line.  Your initial thought may be to rush out to the hardware store and pick up a case of spray paint to give it a quick.  While this may meet the requirements of the purchase agreement from the shipping line, it won't do you any favors in the long term.  Prior to painting the container is an ideal time to perform some general maintenance and repairs that will extend the life of your container.

Before you get started, there are a few things that will be helpful to the maintenance and painting process:

Start by thoroughly cleaning the outside of the container with the pressure washer.  The goal is to remove all dirt, debris, and loose paint chips.  This will also expose any areas on the shell of the container that may need special attention.  Don't forget to clean the top of the container, as you'll also need to paint there as well.  Once the container has been cleaned, allow some time for it to completely dry.  (If you're not able to wait that long you're welcome to use towels or a chamois and dry it as you would your car.)

Once the container is dry, inspect the outside of the container for loose paint, surface rust, or other areas that may have been exposed during the washing process.  You'll want to sand these areas to completely remove the corrosion or loose paint from the container.  If the loose areas aren't completely removed they will compromise the new paint later on.  Once you have cleaned all of the loose areas, it's advised to spray wash the container again to remove any dust or debris that may be sticking to the container.  Again, allow the container to completely dry before starting to apply the fresh paint.

Once you've selected your paint color and are ready to start, you'll want to start by getting your equipment in order, and make sure that you have the necessary clothing and face masks to protect from fumes and paint vapors.  We recommend the Wagner EZ Tilt sprayer.  It covers a lot of area and provides a nice even coat.  Pick a side to start on, and begin painting at the top of your container working your way down.  Working from top to bottom means that if your paint does run it won't run over an area that you've already painted.  Allow enough time to dry and give your container a second coat.  The second coat is important because it will cover any area that you may have missed, and seal up any cracks, joints, or missed areas that you overlooked.

After your container has a new coat of paint it should be sealed up for years to come.  Under normal circumstances it's not necessary, but an annual walk around inspection in the spring in fall will give you the opportunity to catch any spots that may need attention as the seasons change.  As always, if you have any questions you're welcome to contact the staff at

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