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What paint to use on trailer?

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  • What paint to use on trailer?

    I am in the process of refurbishing my 1977 Little Dude boat trailer. After I sandblast the trailer I will be painting it. What paint would be best, Rustoleum or an auto urethane paint? Someone said Rustoleum would require sanding between coats but auto urethane paint would not require sanding? What's your opinion?


  • #2
    Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Originally posted by kabcpapc View Post
    I am in the process of refurbishing my 1977 Little Dude boat trailer. After I sandblast the trailer I will be painting it. What paint would be best, Rustoleum or an auto urethane paint? Someone said Rustoleum would require sanding between coats but auto urethane paint would not require sanding? What's your opinion?
    I did the trailer for the boat I am currently working on using Tremclad. It is similar to the Rustoleum product. There was no problem in applying multiple coats but I was careful to follow the recoat time lines of 8 - 12 hours as listed on the can. I did two coats of red oxide primer and 3 coats of gloss black without any thinner. It looks great so far but I haven't had it out because I am still working on it and on the boat.

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    • #3
      Re: What paint to use on trailer?

      Man if you went that far as to sandblast it, then what you should do now is have it sprayed with a two part epoxie primer followed up with a catalyst type enamel. I consider rustoleum brush paint or even spray bomb (cans)a backyard down and dirty job, (not that there's anything wrong with rustoleum) it's just that it takes sooo long to cure and getting into all those little tight spots and corners can be enduring and since you blasted it your going to really get evrything covered 100%. I do have to say though some of those DIY backyard jobs turn out better than anything.
      '90 Chaparral 2000SL
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      • #4
        Re: What paint to use on trailer?

        If you decide to use Rustoleum try to find some acrylic enamel hardener and reducer for it. I know Rustoleum is an alkyd enamel, but the acrylic enamel hardener will work great, reduce cure time, and extend the durability and gloss. Mix about 8 parts paint to 1 part of hardener. When I want an inexpensive paint job that will last, this is what I've used for 20yrs. I always spray, but in a pinch you could brush on this mixture w/o reducing it. I have sprayed farm equip. that has retained good gloss for 5-7yrs. while sitting outside. You should be able to find PPG Omni hardener for about $15 which should be more than enough to do your trailer. Hope this helps!

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        • #5
          Re: What paint to use on trailer?

          Originally posted by kabcpapc View Post
          I am in the process of refurbishing my 1977 Little Dude boat trailer. After I sandblast the trailer I will be painting it.

          Wow- I thought I had the only "Little Dude" trailer still out there.
          My dad bought it -used- back in 1972. It was originally a 3-rail motorcycle trailer but he modified it to haul our Sunfish sailboat. I re-painted it one summer when in high school, so that would've been sometime before 1975. It faithfully served it's duty hauling that Sunfish for many years.

          3 or 4 years ago I sold the sailboat and converted that trailer into a flatbed for hauling mulch, lawnmowers, etc. It was getting rusty, so I sandblasted it and used spray can primer. I then laid on a good quality gloss spray paint for the finish. I think it turned out pretty nice and it's holding up fine. If I have a chance I'll take a picture of it.
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          • #6
            Re: What paint to use on trailer?

            i have had excellent service from rustoleum. they even have Marine Paint now.
            FLORIDA GATORS
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            • #7
              Re: What paint to use on trailer?

              I recently used rustoleum primer and the VALSPAR Truck and Trailer paint from Tractor Supply on both my white tool trailer and my blue boat trailer. I just can sprayed the boat trailer but rolled thinned down product from a gallon on the tool trailer and got proffesionally sprayed results. You couldn't find a brush mark or roll mark on it anywhere. The thinner is the key!!!

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              • #8
                Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                I've used both Rustoleum paint, (enamel and epoxy versions), as well as implement paint from the tractor supply store. All work just fine. I like the epoxy paint the best, but only if I deem the trailer worth while or if it's something I intend to keep for a while due to the cost.

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                • #9
                  Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                  The key to any nice, long lasting paint job is the prep. I would recommend that you have all of your materials lined up and ready to go before you sandblast. Once done mother nature has this funny thing about turning clean metal into areas of rust.
                  Whatever product you decide on read up on it and all of its related recommendations as per prep, primer, thinner, etc.
                  The temperature and humidity also play important roles in the process. It is not a difficult process but it does involve some special attention.
                  Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

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                  • #10
                    Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                    Another option is zinc chromate....nasty stuff by a step up from Rustoleum.
                    sigpic
                    Nothing is so broken that Government can't make it worse.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                      I have used the Valspar industrial paint...It can be thinned and sprayed with a gun..about 25 to 30 bucks a gallon but it lasts forever and works great on metal.Most Home Depot stores will mix the color you want.
                      The Zinc Chromate primer is a great idea too...
                      sigpic

                      1981 ChrisCraft 210 Scorpion K,175 Johnson SeaHorse

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                      • #12
                        Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                        If your down to bare metal I'd go the extra step and pretreat the metal before applying primer.

                        Just about every paint manufacturer makes a metal prep/ phosphate pretreat that your supposed to use first ad is often over looked.
                        sigpic1982 Baja 16ss

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                        • #13
                          Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                          I would agree with all that was said.

                          here is my take on it.

                          If its just a weekend wire wheel job and you maintain your boat and trailer regularly, I would go with some rattle cans. Keep in mind its not going to last as long.

                          However, if you really dont spend any time keeping the trailer up, it sees salt water or (in your case) spent the time / money having it blasted I would spend the extra time / money and spray it with a high quality auto/industrial paint.

                          I have a small boat I can lift off the trailer with the help of one other person and mine never sees salt and is stored inside, so I just gave it a coat of rattle can black. I figure for a $5 investment and a few hours on a Saturday I can have it look fine. BUT, if it was a heavier boat and or sat outside, I would have used a different product
                          '68 Alumacraft FD, '65 Johnson 6HP "The Sea Monkey"

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                          • #14
                            Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                            Thanks for all of your advice. After researching the different paints and running around town to see who had what, I have decided to go with the VALSPAR Truck and Trailer paint from Tractor Supply. Lowes and Home Depot didn't have the Rustoleum Marine paint. On the label of the Rustoleum Industrial paint it said that it was not for water immersion. I'm sure the Marine paint would be but nobody had it. I'll put down several coats of red oxide primer (at 29.99 per gal) then finish up with several coats of gloss black (at 27.99 per gal). Also picked up a HVLP air spray gun from Harbor Freight on sale at 15.99 with my 20% off coupon.

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                            • #15
                              Re: What paint to use on trailer?

                              Originally posted by kabcpapc View Post
                              Also picked up a HVLP air spray gun from Harbor Freight
                              I think your going to like that gun. I've had one for a few years and shot lacquer, polyurethane, oil based paint and even contact cement, it keeps performing nicely. Clean it spotlessly, put it away and it's good to go the next time around.
                              2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
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