The Rebirth Of A Trailer

Story And Photos By Cliff Steele
Published: Fall 2013

He bought his current trailer 33 years ago, but never gave its appearance much thought ... until now.

The Facelift

Photo of removing the rollers and hardware from the trailer
Bringing a trailer back to its former glory is a multistep process, beginning with the removal of rollers and hardware.

The first step was to investigate the best paint products, which had to be easily applied, give outstanding gloss, and last the remainder of my boating years. A tall order! Among several good companies, I chose Interlux because their products seemed easy to apply and their extensive website guided me throughout the project. Next, I found a great sandblasting outfit not far from our home. For a pittance, our rusted old trailer was disassembled and prepped by wiping down the entire unit using Interlux 2316N to remove waxes and such before sandblasting. Next the entire trailer was sandblasted, making it ready for undercoating primer.

Photo of the author spray-painting the trailer

After sandblasting, one must start the undercoating process within a few hours, as freshly sandblasted metal allows corrosion to start immediately. The first coats on bare metal were Interlux's Vinyl Lux zinc chromate primer within six hours of sandblasting, followed by two coats of epoxy Primekote. Lastly, I sprayed two finish coats of Perfection color. All products are two-part mixes (find further info on Interlux's website or requested data sheets).

Photo of fenders ready to be painted

I have my own spray guns and the shop offered me their paint booth, a deal I just couldn't pass up! But outside painting is permissible due to the coatings' speedy drying (chemical curing). A good paint sprayer will set you back about $80 to $100; this method will give even a first-time user fantastic results. Remember, the "pot life," or useful working time, on two-part mixes is short (average five hours) so time is against you. Upon completion of the painting, I was impressed with the deep brilliance and extreme hardness of the finish. It took about two hours to spray each of the three products onto the once very tired and aged 28-foot trailer.

Photo of new rollers

Next step was to dress up the new trailer finish with pinstriping. If you can hold a pencil, you can pinstripe. Beugler still sells a striping kit (Deluxe #471) similar to one I used 60 years ago on my bicycle fenders! Fill the tool with your color choice and guide the nifty tool along any edge for professional results.

Photo of the pinstripped fenders
Sandblasting, priming, painting, and pinstriping finish the look.

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