How to Get a Locker Primed for Painting: Tips and Tricks

We’re always telling you about our amazing new lockers and the varied selection of styles and colors we have available that can match pretty much any decor…but we have to admit that there’s a certain charm to an old set of vintage lockers. 😉 But sometimes the color and rust-covered doors just aren’t for you, and it’s time to give that locker a makeover! A new coat of paint will immediately spruce up any locker, but there are a few steps you need to take before you get your brush or roller out. Read on for our tips on how to get a locker primed for painting.


The first step to get a locker primed for painting is sanding. Having a smooth surface that paint can actually adhere to is critical in ensuring a successful locker makeover. The more you sand, the better the paint will stick.

You need to sand enough on all surfaces to allow both the primer and paint to stick to the metal. You can use sandpaper, but using a palm sanding machine is much easier, faster and more efficient.

get a locker primed for painting

If there are spots where the paint is flaking, make sure you sand those areas really, really well. Doing this will ensure that the primer and paint will take hold and last for years to come.

If you have any chips or minor rust spots on your lockers, make sure you grab a sanding block and really go to town on them. It’s also a good idea to sand all of the uneven surfaces in order to give yourself a smoother surface when the final application of paint is applied.

get a locker primed for painting

Keep in mind that if you’re planning on having the lockers be freestanding in a room rather than placed against a wall, you’ll need to sand both sides of the locker before painting. Otherwise you’ll end up with a poor paint job and a sad-looking locker.


Once you’ve done a thorough job sanding every surface of the locker, you’re ready to move onto the next step to get a locker primed for painting: busting out the primer. First things first, you can either take the latches and hinges off entirely or use some regular old masking tape or painter’s tape and tape off the latches, hinges, and number plate. (If you’re not planning on re-using the old locker plates, go ahead and prime right over the old numbers!)

get a locker primed for painting

Now get your primer out and go to town! It’s a good idea to do your spraying on a day when there’s no wind (or at least not very much) to make sure the primer sticks to the locker and not the sidewalk. 😉 Simply take the can of whatever primer you choose, stand a few feet away from the locker, and liberally spray each surface of the locker.

get a locker primed for painting

It’s OK if the spray doesn’t cover the surface of your locker entirely and smoothly, just make sure you spray well enough to cover the sanded surface–we’re talking every nook and cranny, from top to bottom.

Now give the primer time to dry and then you can get to the fun part—transforming the locker with a new coat of paint!

get a locker primed for painting

*Stay tuned for a blog post full of painting tips!*

Did you know that we have a whole division dedicated to selling used lockers? Browse through our selection HERE. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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