Container, container conversion & modular building paints

Container, container conversion & modular building paints

Shipping Container and Container Conversion Paints

Did you realise just how versatile a shipping container can be? Here is how to dress it up in the colour of your choice.

At Avenue and sold on our webstore we have a range of Primer finishes (paint that is a primer/undercoat & topcoat in one) designed for shipping containers and ideal for container conversions.

The vast majority of shipping containers that arrive into the UK are single use in terms of its sea-fairing life i.e. one-way, non-returnable! A shipping containers intended use is to carry goods via a ship from one country to another in a dry, safe and secure enclosure. Not only are the shipping containers built to withstand the weight of numerous other containers

 and their respective contents on top on them, but they must also endure some of the toughest atmospheric conditions. Typically measured in months, a container faces the constant salt-spray from the ocean as well as exposure to the elements for the duration while in the dock and in transit before reaching their final destination. It stands to reason that the paint used to coat the containers is a functional coating that meets the demands of the environment is it likely to be subjected to.

With property, both commercial and domestic increasing in price, these same shipping containers are being transformed in many ways after their intended life-span. These containers in the past have found their way into commercial use for

 cheap and convenient secure storage space. Creative shipping container usages today could be as varied as a restaurant, changing rooms, garden offices through to accommodation units, the uses are limited only by imagination. This is where the term “container conversions” has arisen and a whole industry has grown.




Typically, the coating on a shipping container needs to last a minimum of three months or its transit period. The shipping containers and its coatings will usually last a lot longer if not damaged but may not be to everyone’s taste in terms of colour. A dark blue shipping container may well be suitable by the beach or if used for storage out of sight, as would a green container in a garden. The requirement to apply a coating that both protects it from the elements and enhances the viability to blend into its surroundings is available in a number of ways, for example, by cladding or the more popular option of painting.


A colour option may be offered and applied at the point of purchase by some sellers. The colour of a shipping container could then meet the visual demands of its intended environment. At Avenue we have a range of primer finishes designed for shipping containers and container conversions. These are available for spraying and also brushing or roller application. The products we offer typically incorporate a zinc phosphate additive that protects against corrosion and will be similar in terms of performance to the existing coating. At Avenue we have the ability to tint many of these products to a colour of your choice, in various size tins or we can also make and supply in touch-up aerosols.

We have a number of options when it comes to the type of paint, application method and gloss levels that are available. We offer top quality shipping container and container conversion coatings from the leading manufacturers in this field such as Manor Coating Systems (M.C.S.).

M.C.S have a range of sprayable product offering sheen levels from semi-matt to semi-gloss.
M.C.S. Zinfos 800 typically yields a gloss level of 20% semi-matt.
M.C.S. Zinfos 750 offers a 75% semi-gloss finish.
M.C.S. Zinfos 490 which gives a 40% sheen.

The variant for brush and roller application from M.C.S. is Zinfos 340 and this a 50% sheen finish. Rust-oleum’s Alkythane can be applied via spray, brush or roller and is available in gloss and satin finishes in the same multitude of colour options.
Water-based versions are also available from M.C.S. with their Akwacoat primer finish. This is a water-based primer finish, available in a semi-matt 20% sheen levels. Application is via spray, brush or roller.

Water-based versions are also available from M.C.S. with their Akwacoat primer finish. This is a water-based primer finish, available in a semi-matt 20% sheen levels. Application is via spray, brush or roller.

All these products are primer-finishes, which in short means they offer the benefits of a primer including corrosion

 protection with the added benefit of colour options that may be more sympathetic to the eye.

In terms of application and preparation on an existing container; Clean the containers with a jet wash or similar and allow to dry. Remove any rust back to sound metal, removing any loose or flaky paint. Bring forward by patch priming any exposed metal areas. Sound previously painted surfaces should be lightly abraded prior to application in order to promote adhesion. Remove dust, oil or grease with panel cleaner. If using a waterborne degreaser remove fully. Apply a small amount of paint to a test area prior to painting to ensure there is no adverse reaction with the existing coating. Once the container is clean, dry and prepared as described, the coating can be applied. In a commercial setting, spraying usually means application via airless spray equipment in a suitably ventilated area with appropriate P.P.E. Any of the brushing or roller application alternatives can be used in areas where spraying is not an option.

Further details on all of these products are available from or via our technical support staff on 01753 686888 / 684084 or email: