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Preparing to build your container studio

Updated: Oct 5

When transforming a shipping container into a studio, ensuring its durability is vital. This article provides an overview of the essential steps to clean, treat rusting areas, and apply protective paint.

Materials Needed:

To get started, you'll need Rust Buster, Metal Paint (or Metal Primer and regular paint), Mineral Turps, a small bucket, rags, and optional tools like a sander/sandpaper, grinder or drill with a wire brush attachment (or a wire brush), a paint scraper, step ladder, and a paint brush. Ensure you wear proper safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, for protection.

Step 1: Treating Rust

Begin by identifying rusted areas on your container. Look for signs of rust, such as discolored or bubbling paint. Using a grinder, drill with a wire brush, or a wire brush itself, carefully remove the rust, taking care not to damage the thin container walls. Next, scrape off any loose or flaking paint. To address the rust, generously apply a rust converter using a paint brush, following the product's instructions. This converter neutralizes rust and prepares the surface for painting.

Step 2: Fresh Paint

If you've chosen to use a metal primer, apply it to the cleaned surfaces and allow it to dry according to the product's instructions. This step enhances paint adhesion and offers additional rust protection. Depending on your primer choice, apply a top coat. If you've used a metal primer, any exterior paint will suffice. However, if you've opted for a metal paint/primer combination, apply two coats for added protection.


For severe rust damage that has resulted in perforations in the container walls or roof, it's essential to address these issues before beginning the rust treatment and painting process.

Following these steps, your shipping container studio will be well-prepared to resist rust and increase its longevity. By treating it properly and applying a fresh coat of paint, your studio will serve as a creative space for many years to come.


To dive deeper check out the how-to instructional guide on building a soundproof music studio inside of a shipping container here.


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