How to Insulate a Cargo Container

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Insulate a cargo container with a ceramic paint additive.
Insulate a cargo container with a ceramic paint additive. (Image: Felipe Dupouy/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Cargo containers are large steel boxes that are loaded onto shipping freighters and trains. They are designed to be easily stacked on top of one another, as well as hold large amounts of weight. Though cargo containers are intended for shipping, they are sometimes used as ad-hoc garages or home storage spaces. No matter the intended use of a cargo container, they can have their walls insulated to keep in either warmth or cold. Standard fiberglass insulation doesn't hold up well to the sometimes harsh environment cargo containers withstand. Instead, a coat of insulating paint can be added to the container's interior.

Things You'll Need

  • Insulating paint additive
  • Paint
  • Paint stirrer
  • Paint brush

Add the insulating additive to a gallon of paint in the ratio recommended by your particular additive's instructions.

Mix the paint and the additive with the paint stirrer. Make sure that this is done thoroughly, so that there are no clumps of additive in the paint, and it appears entirely smooth.

Paint the inside walls of the cargo container with the paint brush. Make sure the cargo container's doors are wide open when you are doing this. If you do not have adequate ventilation, you could become ill from the paint's fumes.

Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • For optimum insulation, it is recommended that you put on a second coat of paint after the first has dried.

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