Painting Rubbermaid Sheds & Storage Containers – What You Need to Know?

steps to paint storage bins

Rubbermaid is a leader in providing top-notch storage solutions for your home or office.

Their 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 organized and clutter-free.

However, no matter the type of Rubbermaid products you have, they all require some maintenance.

And I think that’s why I often get the question from my visitors whether they can paint their Rubbermaid stuff!

Well, in my opinion, painting is one of the best ways to maintain your Rubbermaid bins, resin sheds, and other storage containers, especially if they are placed outside in the open.

And yes, you can paint them without any problem if you coat them with a plastic primer before spraying paint.

Further, in this short article, I will provide the exact steps to spray paint Rubbermaid containers and bins, along with some design options that will help you decorate your outdoor space.

Ready? Let’s get started, then!

Painting Storage Bins and Sheds

If you’re planning on giving one of your Rubbermaid storage units a new look, such as painting it, here are the steps you must follow…

Step 1: Clean the Bins

First and foremost, clean the surface of the Rubbermaid container or bin you want to paint.

Even if they look clean, wash the bins using mild detergent and warm water from inside and out, including the lids.

If you are cleaning a shed, use a garden hose and a bucket of warm water with some mild dishwashing soap.

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 any shiny surface of the bin or the shed.

This will help the primer and paint stick better. However, make sure to avoid areas that are not glossy or smooth.

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 Surface

After sanding, apply at least two coats of plastic primer, making sure to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

This is important as it will help ensure that the paint adheres well to the plastic surface.

You can skip the priming step if you find a dedicated plastic spray paint designed to use on plastic.

These types of paints, however, come in a very limited color range, so you might want to look for a decent primer first if you have a specific color in mind that matches your other surroundings.

Step 4: Spray Paint the Rubbermaid Unit

Once your Rubbermaid container bins are primed, you can spray paint them.

  • In a well-ventilated area or outdoors, cover the work area with a plastic tarp
  • Place the container upside down on the tarp with lids a few inches away
  • Sheds can be 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
  • Shake the spray can and apply at least two coats of the paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one
  • When applying the color on your Rubbermaid storage units, use even, back-and-forth strokes to ensure that the whole surface is covered properly.

Step 5: Seal the Paint on the Rubbermaid Storage Unit

Once the base paint color has thoroughly dried, finishing off the unit with an acrylic sealer coat will help protect the paint from chipping and fading.

When applying the sealant, use an in-and-out motion to ensure even coverage.

Allow the sealant to dry and cure completely before storing or using your newly painted Rubbermaid containers and storage units again.

To do this, follow the recommended curing time from the spray can label; it may differ depending on the brand.

Tips and Warnings

When choosing the paint for Rubbermaid stackable bins, baskets, or other storage containers, look for top brands like Rust-Oleum, Valspar®, and Krylon.

They manufacture the most durable specialty paints for plastic materials, including vinyl and synthetic resin.

Avoid using paints such as acrylic paint for Rubbermaid sheds. Especially if you use it without a primer or a sealer on a hard, slick plastic surface, it will surely peel off sooner or later.

Decorating and Designing the Rubbermaid Units

If you want something more unique and stylish, consider putting some decorative designs to your Rubbermaid stuff while applying solid colors.

Lay out your design with painter’s tape to create stripes or chevrons, then paint a new color between the tape strips.

Or use premade stencils by securing them to the bins 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? No problem!

Create your stencils by first drawing and cutting the shape out of contact paper.

Place the contact paper “frame” over the desired area of the bin; paint inside the cutout area, and then peel off once dry.

The bottom line

Planning to paint your Rubbermaid storage units: don’t be afraid to get creative and turn them into a work of art.

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 place look amazing.

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