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  1. #1
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    Default 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. #2
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote 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.

  3. #3
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    Default 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.

  4. #4

    Default 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!

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote 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. #6
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    i have had excellent service from rustoleum. they even have Marine Paint now.
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  7. #7
    Petty Officer 1st Class cdnfthree2's Avatar
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    Default 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!!!

  8. #8
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    Default 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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    Default 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.
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  10. #10
    Captain mthieme's Avatar
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Another option is zinc chromate....nasty stuff by a step up from Rustoleum.

    Nothing is so broken that Government can't make it worse.

  11. #11
    Fleet Admiral Gary H NC's Avatar
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    Default 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...


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  12. #12
    Lieutenant Commander NSBCraig's Avatar
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    Default 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.
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  13. #13
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    Default 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
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  14. #14
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    Default 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.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote 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.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote Originally Posted by kabcpapc View Post
    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.
    99% of all paints, marine and otherwise are not designed for water immersion. They are talking about leaving it in the water not an occasional dip. If the later were the case it would also say "Do not wash, dry clean only".

    DO NOT OVER PAINT - One coat of Red Oxide primer and 2 coats of finish coat will give you the longest lasting finish. The first coat is preceeded by a tack coat where you shoot a cover only coat and when it is tacky to the point where you finger will leave a print and take off paint you shoot it with the first full coat. When the paint dries to the point where if you touch it, it leaves a finger print but does not remove paint you should shoot your second and final full coat.
    Last edited by sschefer; December 27th, 2008 at 12:40 AM. Reason: Changed Coat to Paint - takes away all doubt as to the meaning.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    I noticed TSC had a Valspar Enamel Hardener 8 oz at 12.99 and also a Restoration Series Tractor and Implement Hardener 16 oz at 21.99. I wonder what the difference is besides size? One pint of hardener is added to one gallon of paint so the Restoration Series may be a better buy since after you mix the hardener and paint you are suppose to discard the mix after 8 hours. I wouldn't be mixing a whole gallon of paint or primer with the hardener at one time. I believe the trailer would take only about 2 quarts of primer and paint but I have been known to be wrong.

    At the Valspar website it said that the Restoration Series enamel is for spray application only.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Word of caution. If ya use the hardener make sure you wear a good mask so you can't breath any of the stuff in. You should wear a mask anyhow but especially with the catalyst or hardener. Trust me, I was watching a buddy paint a car one time with that stuff and got some in my system and was in bed for three days and only got up to puke or out the other end. I thought I was dieing.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    TSC has reps onsite at least weekly, find out from the paint department when the rep will be in next and meet them there. I ran the paint department at HD until I got sick of the BS. It was supposed to be a retirement job but they kept promoting me.

    Anyhow, I used to setup meetings between customers and reps when I couldn't honestly answer their questions correctly.

  20. #20
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Smile Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote Originally Posted by arks View Post
    ..... 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.
    OK here's a couple pictures I just took. Remember, I only used rattle cans to paint it. It's actually called a "L'Il Dude" trailer, manufactured in October 1969 by Texas Royal Manufacturing Co.:





    It originally had 8" wheels with tiny tires, so I was able to replace them with much beefier tires and added another leaf to each spring, which raised the hauling capacity about 50%. I've used it for hauling lawn equipment, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and garden mulch (with plywood sides). I'll never sell it.
    I've been thinking about making a bolt-down frame for hauling 6-8 kayaks at once. Just too cold to do it now.....
    Last edited by arks; August 12th, 2009 at 09:12 PM.
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  21. #21
    Cadet pteal28377's Avatar
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    Talking Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Why not have is sprayed with a spay in bed liner?? Not the crap in a can but like a Rhino or Linex. We have done many trailers like this and have turned out really great. Last a heck of a lot longer than paint and no maintenance. It is there for life. Just a thought..... Cost about 350 to 500 hundred bucks depending on shop.
    PhiLL

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    It's hard to beat good ole Rustolium for availability and price. Having said that, we use "formula 150" epoxy primer and paint extensively in underwater/ regularly exposed/submerged salt water applications in many of our US navy projects. TOUGH STUFF!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote 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?

    POR-15!!

    Since you have already sandblasted. Stuff is great. Prime it with their primer then use their color coat. Paints on nicely by brush but roller should be just as good.

    Check it out..

    http://www.por15.com/

  24. #24

    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    PRO 15 is great stuff, BUT it is not UV protected. The sun will deterorate it!
    It must be covered, so more work. Check out the fine print.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What paint to use on trailer?

    Quote Originally Posted by fire831 View Post
    Word of caution. If ya use the hardener make sure you wear a good mask so you can't breath any of the stuff in. You should wear a mask anyhow but especially with the catalyst or hardener. Trust me, I was watching a buddy paint a car one time with that stuff and got some in my system and was in bed for three days and only got up to puke or out the other end. I thought I was dieing.
    it's isopherone diisocyanate, and makes the paint MUCH harder and tougher, but if you're going to do that, might as well shoot it in imron. do it outside and ONLY use a 3m combination particulare and charcoal filter mask. throw the cartridges away after you do it and buy new each time you shoot that kind of paint. by the time you can smell it you're on your way to some serious problems - maybe even an untimely death. epoxy paints are not a lot better for you. I would consider zinc chromate 2-part urethane etch primer with imron top coat for this kind of thing in general. Imron is old technology and has gotten to be a real bargain. It has been reformulated a number of times and has a lower free iso content by far today than in the past. I love por-15 both the epoxys and he urethanes (uv stable), but it is kinda expensive...

    The Valspar tracor and impliment paint you're talking about is decent paint. when you put iso hardener in alkyd resin paint you wind up someplace between where you started and two part urethane in terms of toughness, solvent resistance, etc...

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