Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How to Hanlde 55 Gallon Drums

55 gallon drums of black paint weigh in between 450-500 lbs, with white paint weighing more. This can create challenges for the farmer, home owner, and even contractor. 

With our combined 100+ years of paint experience we have gotten extremely efficient at handling these drums.

The most common question we get asked when a customer decides to purchase paint in drums is, how do I get the paint out of the drum to apply it?

Our customers tend to assume a drum pump is the best way. There are several types of drum pumps and the proper type will work fine. However, choose the wrong pump and it will work as well… For about 10 minutes before you have a giant mess to clean up. Drum pumps are also expensive.

For the customer painting by hand or with small sprayers we have found a much cheaper and easier option, valves. 55 gallon drums come with 2 bung holes in the top. These holes are both threaded. One is 2” and the other is ¾”. A common boiler/spigot valve or specialty drum valve work well. We sell both sizes of valves. However, ¾” are much cheaper and easier to locate if not purchasing from us. The valves screw directly into the bung hole(s) on top of the drum.

Steps for removing paint from a drum using a valve:

1.      Place drum in elevated position. i.e. Pickup truck bed, farm wagon, trailer, loading chute etc. Make sure a 5 gallon bucket can fit between drum and ground.
2.      Remove desired bung lid. Screw valve into bung hole. Make sure remaining bung is sealed properly.
3.      Carefully tip drum onto its side taking precautions to not let valve hit anything on the way over. If drum valve comes into contact with ground or other object it can break off causing paint to spill. The best way to achieve this without spillage is to tip drum so that once it lands the valve is in the top position, rather than on the bottom.
4.      Roll drum so that valve is now at bottom of drum.
5.      Place 5 gallon bucket under spigot.
6.      Open spigot and fill bucket. Be careful, open valve slowly until you have achieved desired fill rate. For the first 5-10 gallons (1-2 buckets) the non-valved bung must remain in place to avoid spillage. That bung can be loosened to allow venting. The paint will gurgle and flow slowly as long as that bung is in place. After the remaining paint is below that bung it can be removed. This will allow air flow, reducing gurgling and increasing flow.
7.      Close valve and go paint. Refill bucket as needed.

For contractor or large users with large paint spray pumps:

We assemble and sell drum suction kits. These kits attach in place of the 5 gallon bucket snorkel kits that come with most every sprayer. The kit we make allows the paint sprayer to pull paint directly out of 55 gallon drums eliminating the need to pour paint into buckets which greatly increases efficiency, productivity and painting speed. As with 5 gallon kits, these come with suction hose, drum length intake pipe, and rock guard. We have various size adapters to fit most commercial sprayers.
I must stress that these kits generally only work for large sprayers. Please call us with sprayer make and model readily available. We can determine if your sprayer will handle this kit. Many customers don’t realize that even though most sprayers are capable of holding high pressures on the pump side, they do not have much suction power.

Thanks you for choosing Lexington Paint & Supply! 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. he Genex beef team is in the thick of spring breeding, but a couple of our Independent Contractors took a few precious moments to answer some questions for me. white pvc fence