What is the Best Paint for a Shipping Container?

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Appearances matter when it comes to moving cargo – so are there specific paints that work better for shipping containers?

Suppose you intend to change the appearance of your shipping container and need information about the different types of paint to use, the best choice of color, including the benefits and drawbacks of certain paints. We’ve got you covered. 

When and Why Should You Paint a Shipping Container?

Because shipping containers are made of metal, they are prone to corrosion and undergo considerable wear and tear. 

As a result, painting provides some degree of coat to guard against possible corruption and wearing off.

Additionally, shipping containers are products for transportation and movement. They are essential for moving cargo and other items across a wide range of locations.

Therefore, painting a shipping container is a necessity, not just for aesthetics but for the branding and marketing of the logistics company.

Benefits of Painting a Shipping Container

My husband painting a shipping container – this is what he does for work.
Whether you are in the moving business, are big on aesthetics, or want to follow the usual protocol, here are a few benefits of painting your shipping container.

To Raise Its Aesthetic Value

A fresh coat of paint gives a polished appearance to your shipping container, which can boost the marketability of your business.

Also, the prim and proper appearance gives an excellent and appealing initial perception of the contents of the container. 

It Extends Its Life Span

Painting your shipping container delays the process of corrosion by forming a coating layer that protects it from adverse weather conditions.

As a result, painting reduces the chances or susceptibility of the shipping container to increased wear and tear.

It Is Essential for Branding and Marketing

Colors are a vital element of branding and marketing. As a result, for those in the logistics business, painting a shipping container increases the company’s marketability by making the shipping container stand out with specific paint colors.

Having understood the benefits of painting a shipping container, there are a few initial thoughts before the actual painting.

Prerequisites for Painting a Shipping Container

Choosing to paint a shipping container is no different from choosing to paint a wall. As a result, there are some initial elements to keep in mind before painting a shipping container.

Initial Surface Preparation of the Shipping Container

It is the preliminary and most important aspect of painting a shipping container. The reason is that you want your painting to last longer and look fresh and clean. Preparing the surface of your shipping container requires some scraping off of dirt, dust and other contaminants to reveal a nice smooth, paintable surface. 

After that comes the priming stage, which is essential for a smooth finish. Occasionally, the paint and primer can be mixed and used at once.

During the painting process, ensure that the container receives multiple coatings of color for a more permanent finish.

Choosing the Type of Paint for the Shipping Container

The type of paint you choose is very vital for setting out to paint a shipping container. The reason is that there are several paint types available in the market, and your choice might depend on your container usage.

For example, the types or quality of paint for a cargo shipping container will differ from your choice if your shipping container is for house construction.

Choosing the Color of Paint for the Shipping Container

When choosing the right color for a shipping container, your choice of paint should go beyond your favorite color. Essentially you would want to consider your intention for the container, purpose and reason for painting.

For example, if your container is for business, you might want to stick to neutral shades since they require fewer touch-ups.

Also, you should consider the contents of the container since darker shades will increase the container’s internal temperature due to the absorption of light.

In comparison, lighter shades will decrease the internal temperature because of the reflection of light.

Now that we have successfully gone over the prerequisites for painting a shipping container, let us take a look at some of the best types of paint to use.

Best Types of Paint for a Shipping Container

Among the number of paint types available in the market, here is a list of the five best types of paint to use, their advantages and disadvantages to help you make that choice.

Water-Based Paint

Water-based paints are otherwise known as water-soluble paints because their resin component and pigments readily disperse when they contact water. As a result, they are considered the most environmentally friendly paints with a reduced percentage of volatile organic compound emission. 

In other words, they are safer to use and less likely to be carcinogenic, making them suitable for container houses.

Benefits of Using Water-Based Paints

Here are some of the benefits of painting shipping containers with water-based paint:

  • They are readily available because state laws endorse them
  • Water-based paints are eco-friendly and less likely to pose health hazards.
  • They are a good fit for shipping container houses

Now, let’s move on to the drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Using Water-Based Paints

Here are some of the drawbacks of painting shipping containers with water-based paint:

  • They do not give a permanent finish
  • They are not suitable for exterior painting

Now, let’s move on to the next type of paint.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are similar to water-based paint except that they are made of acrylic resin and are chemical-based. The chemicals give more stability to the paint component compounds making them more durable.

Benefits of Acrylic Paints

Here are some of the benefits of painting shipping containers with acrylic paint:

  • They are more durable and give a more permanent finish
  • Acrylic paints are also readily available
  • They make a good choice for exterior paintings

Now, let’s take a look at the drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Acrylic Paints

Here are some of the drawbacks of painting shipping containers with acrylic paint:

  • They are slightly expensive
  • Acrylic paints are more likely to pose a health hazard than their water-based counterparts

Now, let’s take a look at the next type of paint.

Alkyd Enamel Paint

This type of paint is highly durable and functions as an industrial paint grade. It works well as spray paint and is pretty easy to use. As a result, they are mainly used for big projects.

Benefits of Alkyd Enamel Paint

Here are some of the benefits of painting shipping containers with Alkyd Enamel paint:

  • They are easy to use and spray
  • They are highly durable and give a permanent finish
  • They are not as expensive to obtain

Now, let’s take a look at the drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Alkyd Enamel Paint

Here are some of the drawbacks of painting shipping containers with Alkyd Enamel paint:

  • They are high in chemical content and therefore not healthy
  • They may not be suitable for shipping container houses

Now, let’s take a look at the next type of paint.

Polyurethane Paint

These paints are similar to the Alkyd Enamel paint because they are both industry-based. They are one of the most durable and permanent paints on the market.

Benefits of Polyurethane Paint

Here are some of the benefits of painting shipping containers with Polyurethane paint:

  • They are suitable for industrial usage
  • They give a more permanent finish
  • They do not require frequent touch-ups or repainting

Now, let’s take a look at the downsides.

Drawbacks of polyurethane paint

Here are some of the drawbacks of painting shipping containers with Polyurethane paint:

  • They are not eco friendly
  • They are potentially carcinogenic and pose enormous health hazards
  • They require expertise and sufficient training before usage

Now, let’s take a look at Rust Primer.

Rust Primer

Rust primers are a particular type of paint used for preventing the proliferation of rapid spread of rust. As a result, they serve quick-fix paint. Essentially, they function as a base coat and are used in the initial preparation process before the actual painting process.

Benefits of Rust Primers

Here are some of the benefits of painting shipping containers with Rust Primers:

  • They are long-lasting and give a permanent finish to your painting
  • They are more specific and serve a singular purpose- mainly as quick fixes
  • They can take extra coating of paint because they are base-paints

Now, let’s take a look at the drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Rust Primers    

Here are some of the drawbacks of painting shipping containers with Rust Primers:  

  • They may not always be stand-alone paints since they require extra coating
  • They incur extra costs to the user who has to buy an additional coating of paint

Now you know the different reasons to paint a shipping container, as well as what paints you should use on them.

Conclusion

Care and considerable thought are required before choosing to paint a Shipping container since they serve multiple purposes. Therefore every container is painted according to its purpose or the intention of the user.

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About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.

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