Asked on Jul 16, 2014

How can I make a Fedex container look like a barn?

Crystal Spratt
by Crystal Spratt
My husband got a really good deal on a 8 x 24 FedEx storage container. It is not far off the back of the house. It's between a hammock on one side and tree and large swingset on the other. It's white and has the roll up door on the end and logos all around. I've heard a heat gun will remove the logos but then what? We are going to come off the back of it with a small shelter and pavers. My house is clay (dark tan) with black shingles and is new. If we paint it, what color? We had pondered barn red. I had even had the idea to cover in pallet boards (cleaned and stained) but just not sure. I don't want to put more holes in the container. I like mixing new, old and modern but not sure. Just need some ideas and fresh perspective.
  42 answers
  • check into using fence pickets usually at Home Depot (which are kept inside) and Lowe's (which are outside in the garden center). I use fence pickets to build all kinds of things because they are around $1.59 and 6' long and about 5 1/2" wide and they look like barnboards. if you use regular pine and treat them with a good stain and sealer you can get many years out of non treated but they will eventually rot but you have a few years. then if you look at their trusses for sheds to see how they are but if you have a compound/miter saw you can build your own trusses for the roof and space them about and look at corrugated tin roofing which is what many old farmers used in the midwest because they are cheap and last a long time. Plus you can paint them! To attach the wood I would attach 2x4s to the FedEx trailer along where the metal strips are securing them with screws so you have something to secure the 'siding' too. plus the attaching the roof. Hope this idea helps. good luck
  • Crystal Spratt Crystal Spratt on Jul 16, 2014
    It doesn't have to look like a barn, but less like a Fedex container. I was wondering about edging or border, should I? I don't care if it looks modern, I like the mixture of new and old.
    • @Crystal Spratt I think it would look cool if you made it look like an old barn or shed with the wood and then put nice curvy bed about 2-3' out from it filled with flowers and maybe some shrubs. You could use pallet wood but that would take a lot of pallets. plus you have to take pallets apart. I would even think about putting a "front porch or deck" on the front where the doors are too!
  • Crystal Spratt Crystal Spratt on Jul 17, 2014
    Thanks for good ideas. I have to do some brainstorming and pricing and see what we can do.
  • Robin Hauser T Robin Hauser T on Jul 17, 2014
    Looking forward to seeing the "after" pics!! Good luck!
  • Amy Furlong Amy Furlong on Jul 17, 2014
    I would start by painting it barn red. use fence pickets to make the end doors like like barn doors.
  • Jan C Jan C on Jul 17, 2014
    Why not just paint it barn red, and tape it off and put on the white "X" doors with white paint and make it look like a barn. You wouldn't be able to tell it was metal and you'd save the price of the wood and changing it out when it rots.
  • Bre Casey Bre Casey on Jul 17, 2014
    How did he get it??? Would love to have storage about that size...THANKS!!!
  • La Mac La Mac on Jul 17, 2014
    Pallets is what comes to my mind. 😉
  • Melinda smith Melinda smith on Jul 17, 2014
    I would love to know how he got it also!! I can see quite the chicken coop coming our of this structure!!
  • Bonnie T Bonnie T on Jul 17, 2014
    I agree that painting it red with barn features is an excellent idea... look online at pix of barns until you see one you like
  • Michele Arnold Michele Arnold on Jul 17, 2014
    We did the same to an old railroad car that the doors swung outward on the end but, it was already red. We also cut a small door in the back to have an extra entry. Good luck! There are so many possibilities! Can't wait to see the after photos.
  • Gretchen Hintz Gretchen Hintz on Jul 17, 2014
    do some faux painting as in barn doors and windows
  • Elaine S Elaine S on Jul 17, 2014
    You could paint it barn red and paint the door to look like double barn doors, as Amy and Jan suggested (above). You could also paint "windows" with "shutters" and put up window boxes below the windows. Mount them on legs painted red so you won't have to put any holes in the container. Then add flower beds all around to tie the building in and make it part of the yard. This would give you a nice looking barn for a few years for not too much money, and you could always add the wood on the outside later if you wanted to. Alternately, you could paint it to match your house and still pait the doors "barn style" in the colors of the trim on your house. If you did put windows in it it would make it more useable with some natural light and ventilation, unless you intend to just use it for storage.
  • Sue Salley Sue Salley on Jul 17, 2014
    I have been wanting one of those to use as a workshop for painting furniture. I would put a tin roof on it no matter what else you do. I can see it painted like Jan suggested but paint the doors, no pickets or I don't think the door would open right. You could paint windows with horses or cows looking out or chickens sitting in them. Or paint like old wood and hang vintage metal buckets,hubcaps,tools,etc. Maybe too tacky for your neighborhood but what I had in mind if I ever get one. But I live off the road so I can do what ever I want. Please post your results. I am really interested to see what you do.
  • Terri Brodfuehrer Terri Brodfuehrer on Jul 17, 2014
    google has a LOT of storage container re-do's.. here's one that they cut openings and added windows..
    • Shari Shari on Jul 17, 2014
      @Terri Brodfuehrer That is super cute! Love the real windows and barn wood fashioned into shutters. :)
  • Heather Koepke Heather Koepke on Jul 17, 2014
    How about faux painting either wood planks, or red bricks or stone blocks or combo of a stone foundation with wood or brick on top (using a grout sponge) and make a roof with a cupola or weather vane?
  • MaryElizabeth Q MaryElizabeth Q on Jul 17, 2014
  • Shari Shari on Jul 17, 2014
    If you are going for the barn look, I think a different roof line is in order. The current flat roof doesn't say "barn" to me. Maybe a *fake* roof is where you could use the pallet wood.
  • Vicki C Vicki C on Jul 17, 2014
    Check out "container box" structure sites for hundreds of ideas. Here's just one of many:
  • Maria C Maria C on Jul 17, 2014
    A year ago here in Vegas open a container park, all of it is built out of ship containers, it's awesome.
  • Jennifer Kyzer Jennifer Kyzer on Jul 17, 2014
    add "lean-to" sheds on either side and paint!
  • Christina Christina on Jul 17, 2014
    Where do you get these from?
    • See 1 previous
    • Brenda Wells Brenda Wells on Jul 21, 2014
      @Lynn Lawson google them in your town many companies sell them now " shipping containers" read further down for more comments I've posted I used to sell them at work
  • Catherine Blankley Catherine Blankley on Jul 17, 2014
    I would try covering it in half bricks I think that would look nice
  • P.j. C P.j. C on Jul 17, 2014
    To create the look of a barn, I'd consider adding narrow strips of wood with LocTite Power Grab to resemble reverse board & batten siding, then paint the exterior. It would probably be a good idea to install screws in at the top & bottom of each board though, to make sure they don't pop off over time, then seal the interior holes with latex caulk. Stock lumber (1" x 4") could also be applied to the door to create the look of crossbuck barn doors.
  • Tony Phillips Tony Phillips on Jul 17, 2014
    Paint it Tan with white trim, like your house and black Roof.
  • Deborah Owen David Deborah Owen David on Jul 18, 2014
    Attach housing siding n paint it.
  • Diane Mastermaker Diane Mastermaker on Jul 18, 2014
    Try googling "container homes" then hit "images." You will not believe the imagination some people have turning these containers into homes and sheds!
  • Crystal Spratt Crystal Spratt on Jul 18, 2014
    I am loving the ideas! Since we just got the house and redid one bedroom for our teenage daughter and still need to do other work with landscaping and some tearing down of a rotting lean to, repairing another barn, we have to be frugal. We are thinking of painting it, maybe barn red and coming off part of it with a tin shelter and maybe a little patio type thing. We are still debating. The one end without the door, we may be able to do a wood look with pickets or something. (a faux door) With limited budget and husband working so much, I hope it won't take too long. We are rural but have neighbors nearby. I know they think it's an eyesore and so do I, but I hope we can do a good job either way. I'll post pictures once we are done.
    • Robin Miller Cresci Robin Miller Cresci on Jul 20, 2014
      @Crystal Spratt I would try to get 'reclaimed' lumber to use, but cleaning up other peoples property, etc. I just helped take down a barn and clean up the property for lumber in trade.
  • Crystal Spratt Crystal Spratt on Jul 18, 2014
    Oh and it's mainly storage and thankfully it's leak free. The roof lets light through so it's never dark in there during the day. It's wired for a light and security camera also. (not hooked up yet)
  • Heather  Seebold Heather Seebold on Jul 18, 2014
    That is really awesome! Wish I had one, looking forward to see what you do with it.
  • Hannah T Hannah T on Jul 19, 2014
    Please do keep us updated on the transformation!
  • Mary Mary on Jul 20, 2014
    Where did he get this? I could use one or a smaller one!!
    • See 1 previous
    • Brenda Wells Brenda Wells on Jul 21, 2014
      @ Prices are determined by size AND how many land / sea trips the container has made. Watch for too much rust or rotted floors. Does the company guarantee it to be water / rodent tight for a period of time. Here in Texas a 20 footer can go for about $2500 plus delivery. 40 footer for $3500 plus delivery. Trucks have to charge per mile round trip... they are only getting about 4 - 5 miles per gallon.
  • Robin Miller Cresci Robin Miller Cresci on Jul 20, 2014
    I would paint it barn red. Maybe attached some board/batten to make faux windows and barn doors...
  • Marilyn Froud Marilyn Froud on Jul 20, 2014
    Hiya, I would definitely clad it with recycled wood, using a top, middle and bottom battens to fix it to, then do the roof with a living garden roof of sedum and alpines.........very pretty ! Perhaps do the wood with a limewash to make it look vintage............looking forward to seeing what you do........
  • Brenda Wells Brenda Wells on Jul 21, 2014
    I was horseback riding on a ranch here in Texas. The owners painted it red. BUT the had joists attached to create a roof. The roof was ridge steel, it looked GREAT. I wish I had a pic to share. Be certain to use tar on the bottom to protect it from rot or put on a slab / concrete supports so water will run under it and not puddle. I see from the pic they have prepared the ground work to prevent puddling of rain.
  • Brenda Wells Brenda Wells on Jul 21, 2014
    There are so many wonderful things you can do with containers. But do your homework before attempting to alter the weight, etc. I'm not trying to spoil any ideas but they are made to carry weight / pressure on the floor, not the top or walls.. I would be hesitant to drill lots of holes in it. It would ruin the integrity of the strength and weather proof . These containers are strong when set level , which I see you have carefully done. You only have 1 sheet of metal on the sides and top. I really wish I had the pic I saw of one done with the roof. It really made a difference no matter what color you choose. *The roof can only handle weight that is distributed on the strong frame of the container. You can not put a garden on top with out it caving in. If you have ever seen a wreck involving a container, you'd see the can collapse of the sides or top are compromised. I would you a good oil base paint. Do faux technique if you like.
    • Crystal Spratt Crystal Spratt on Jul 21, 2014
      @Brenda Wells If we ever have to cover the top, we'd go over it and not put any weight on it. The top so far is leak proof and lets light in. (not sure what you call that) We'll be careful before we make decisions. I know what you mean. Thanks.
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Jul 21, 2014
    Please post pictures when you're done- can't wait to see what you did with the container! And why on earth was it left there by the company?
    • Crystal Spratt Crystal Spratt on Jul 21, 2014
      @Polly Zieper My husband bought it. Actually it was a guy he knew personally that had one too many containers and we got a real deal. I know they run around $1500 for that size. It's pretty tight, we check every day for water and critters.
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Jul 21, 2014
    How do you ensure that furry critter won't move in?
  • Swipes Harry Swipes Harry on Apr 02, 2018

    Where is the after pic?