Painting Your Geocache


Geocachers are opportunists at heart. Whether that means sneaking out during a lunch break to find a cache or repurposing of old containers for new caches to hide. While an old ammo can or pill bottle makes an excellent waterproof container to hide a logbook and some swag in, they often aren’t camouflaged very well in their original format. This means that we as cachers have to get creative through tape, glue or paint to hide the reused container. Unfortunately while I applaud this ingenuity I see a lot of containers with pealing paint where the geocache owner didn’t know how to properly paint the cache container. I spent a lot of my early life working on boats where proper painting technique is critical to properly maintaining everything. If you’re interested in creating a painted cache container that will hold the efforts you put into it, read on for our tips.

And of course remember: you want to paint your cache container so that it is hard to find. Camouflage is the name of the game here.

Painting Metal and Plastic

Ammo cans, used food tins, Tupperware and other metal or plastic containers are popular selections when hiding a cache. What some people might not know is that some paints like latex will not stick directly to the metal if it is not properly prepped. But that is no reason to avoid using them; painting cache containers is easy if you just follow these easy steps.

  1. Before you start your work or even buy your supplies you should read all labels on your primer and paint. This is important to not only make sure that your paint is suitable for metal or plastic but so that you know important things like dry time and safety considerations. When painting you need to make sure you always do it in a well-ventilated area to avoid the accumulation of toxic fumes.
  2. Before painting you need to make sure that the surface is free of dirt, grime, rust, grease or other blemishes. The surface should be wiped clean with a rag or solvents as needed. This is a critical step to ensure that the primer adheres to the surface properly.
  3. Once you have the surface cleaned you’re ready for the next step, which is to gently sand the metal or plastic. Once you’ve sanded the area you’ll want to wipe it down again to remove any dust that was generated during the sanding. This sanding is critical to make sure that the primer adheres to the container properly.
  4. If the area you are painting over is rusted it’s important that you use a zinc-based primer, which will stop the rust from spreading. Regardless of the primer you use you should apply two coats allowing for proper dry time between coats.
  5. Once your primer dries you’re ready to paint! Paint it camo, green, brown whatever to your hearts content.


Need a free logbook for that new cache? Download and print one here!

We hope that you’ve found this helpful in creating your latest hide. If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them below, place them on our Facebook wall, or write to us through our contact page.

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