How To Paint Shipping Containers

If you have just bought a container or have one, and it needs painting, where do you start?  This guide will look into why you might want to paint a container and how to go about painting it.

Why paint a container?

By painting your container, you are putting one more layer between the steel of your container and the elements.  That slows down rust, making your container last longer.  And, of course paint makes it look nicer.

Prepping your Container

  1. Peel off the shipping line markings if required – a razor blade may be needed.
  2. Wash the container. A high-powered spray brush does the best job.  Remove the obvious dirt, grime and grease, but also don’t forget to clean the floor and all the hidden corners.
  3. During the cleaning process, spray all the newly discovered rust you find.
  4. Once the container is dry, sand down the rust spots and grind off any heavier rust. Just remember to grind right before you paint.
  5. After we spot rust, then we begin to spot prime the shipping container. Do not prime the entire shipping container, just the areas you sanded.  These steel shipping containers already have a solid primer and several coats of protected paint.

Now you are ready to paint.

View Ultrimax 1 Direct to Metal Paint

View Ultrimax SGX Paint 

Painting – there are 2 options on this.

  1. Industrial paint sprayers make the project run smoothly, allowing for quick even strokes.
  2. Otherwise, you can roll the paint on as well. We recommend using an industrial, alkyd enamel.  There are direct to metal and oil-based ones to fit your needs.
  3. 2 coats are required.
  4. Finishing touches can be added, from camouflage to murals – just be sure that you continue to use container-friendly paints to finish your project.


If you need any more advice, you can speak to our friendly technical team on 01302 571507.  Alternatively, visit our website

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