Rubbermaid is a leader in providing top-notch, versatile storage solutions for your backyard.
Their affordable resin sheds, storage containers, and food storage solutions come in a variety of sizes and styles so that you can always keep your refrigerator, cabinets, kids’ room, garage, and outdoors well organized and clutter-free.
Although Rubbermaid products are low-maintenance, they all require some cleanup and touchups with time. And that’s why I often get questions from my visitors about whether they can paint their Rubbermaid stuff.
Well, in my opinion, painting is one of the best ways to upkeep the looks and integrity of your Rubbermaid resin sheds, bins, and other storage containers, especially if they are placed outside in the open.
If you coat them with a plastic primer before spraying paint, you can refinish them without any problem.
Further, in this article, I will provide the exact steps to spray paint Rubbermaid sheds, along with some design options that will help you decorate your outdoor space.
Ready? Let’s get started, then.
How to Paint a Rubbermaid Resin Shed?
Before we start – while I’ll continue to use the term “shed” throughout this article, please be aware that the same will hold with Rubbermaid containers, bins, and various other storage units.
So, if you’re planning on giving one of your Rubbermaid sheds a new look, here are the steps you must follow when painting…
Step 1: Clean the shed
Even if it looks clean, wash the entire shed using a garden hose, mild detergent, and warm water from inside and out, including all sides.
Wipe the plastic down with rubbing alcohol once it’s dry to remove any grease that could prevent the primer or paint from sticking.
Step 2: Sand the glossiness off
After cleaning, use fine-grit sandpaper (liquid sander or a Scotch Brite pad) to remove the shine from the surfaces of the storage shed that are too glossy or smooth. This will help the primer and paint stick better.
You may also need to mask off the areas of the shed with painter’s tape – those you do not intend to put the paint on.
Step 3: Prime the shed surface
Sheds can be primed and spray painted where they are without moving them to a different location; just push some cardboard under its edges to avoid painting the lawn or foundation.
Once ready, apply at least two coats of plastic primer with a brush or a sprayer gun, making sure to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.
This ensures that the paint you put up later adheres well to the plastic surface without getting peeled off very soon.
Remember that you can skip the priming step if you are able to find a good dedicated plastic spray paint designed to use on resin or plastic surfaces. But these types of paints come in a very limited color range and can be expensive to use.
Step 4: Spray paint the Rubbermaid unit
Once primed, you can spray paint your Rubbermaid shed in a color that matches your other surroundings.
- Shake the can of Rust-Oleum All Surface Spray Paint
- Apply the paint while keeping the sprayer at least 6 inches from the Rubbermaid storage shed surface.
- Allow the first coat to dry completely, then apply the second one.
- When applying the color, use even, back-and-forth strokes to ensure that the whole surface is covered properly.
Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Spray Paint is what I recommend to use on plastic sheds. But 100% acrylic latex paint will also do the job well.
Avoid using acrylic paint for the Rubbermaid shed. If you use it without a good primer or a sealer on a hard, slick plastic surface, it will surely peel off sooner or later.
Step 5: Seal the paint on your Rubbermaid shed
Once the spray paint color has thoroughly dried, finish off the unit with an acrylic sealer coat (like Krylon spray) to protect the paint from chipping and fading.
When spraying the sealant, use an in-and-out motion to ensure even coverage. Allow it to dry and cure completely for about 24 hours before you store or use your newly painted Rubbermaid storage units again.
Tips and Warnings
When choosing the paint for Rubbermaid stackable bins, baskets, or other storage containers, look for top brands like Rust-Oleum, Valspar®, Sherwin Williams, and Krylon.
They manufacture the most durable specialty paints for plastic materials, including vinyl and synthetic resin.
Follow the recommended curing time of the paint and sealant from the spray can label; it may differ depending on the brand.
Decorating and Designing the Rubbermaid Storage Units
If you want something more unique and stylish (that your guests will admire), consider putting decorative designs to your Rubbermaid stuff while applying solid colors.
Lay out your design with painter’s tape to create stripes or chevrons on the shed, then paint a new bright color between the tape strips.
If you plan to spray the storage bins and containers, you can use premade stencils by securing them with painter’s tape or spray adhesive, then painting through the stencil holes.
Need a car, unicorn, or dolphin silhouette for your toy storage bin – that’s not a problem either.
All you will need to do is create your stencils by first drawing and cutting the shape out of contact paper. Place the contact paper “frame” over the desired area, paint inside the cutout area, and then peel off once dry.
The bottom line
Planning to paint your 5×4 Rubbermaid sheds or storage units: don’t be afraid to get creative and turn them into a work of art.
Whether your shed is brand new or has already seen the good old days, with the right paint supplies, a bit of effort, and the steps outlined above, you can easily create a long-lasting, stylish piece that will make your outdoor place look amazing for years to come.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.