How To Paint A Horse Trailer Yourself?

As a horse owner, you know the importance of having your own horse trailer. It makes it easy to take your horse to events such as trail rides, rodeos, shows and more. If you need to take your horse to a vet or equine hospital, having your own trailer makes the task that much easier. In the event of an emergency evacuation, a horse trailer can be a lifesaver.

Of course if you have a trailer of your own, you must also take care of it. It’s important to keep it safe (have you installed your horse trailer cameras?), clean and decent looking. Having a ratty, broken down horse trailer on your property is sure to displease your neighbors, and hauling it down the road is sure to attract the attention of the local police.

Keeping your horse trailer in good condition just makes sense!

In this article, we provide tips to help you paint your horse trailer. Read on to learn more on how to paint a horse trailer yourself.

What Do You Need To Paint A Horse Trailer?

What Do You Need To Paint A Horse Trailer

The amount and types of materials you’ll need will vary depending upon the size and condition of the horse trailer, but here’s a basic list of the items you may wish to acquire to paint your horse trailer.

  • Oil-based liquid paint such as Rustoleum
  • Spray paint such as Rustoleum
  • Sander and sanding disk
  • High-quality gray primer
  • High-quality paintbrush
  • High quality paint roller
  • Masking/painters’ tape
  • Metal bonding primer
  • Plastic drop cloths
  • Painters’ masks
  • Paint thinner
  • Wire brush
  • Large tarp
  • Paint gun
  • Grinder
  • Caulk

Depending upon the job you have at hand, you may not need all of these items. On the other hand, you may need additional items depending upon the challenges you face and your desired results.

If you’re restoring a secondhand treasure that’s in very poor condition, you will naturally need more and different materials than if you are simply spiffing up your own well-cared-for horse trailer.

For routine maintenance, you may just need to buff and wax the existing paint. If you need to do a complete renovation, you may be faced with a lot of grinding, sanding, caulking, priming and several of coats of paint.

If you’re doing a lot of painting, be sure to wear a painter’s mask to protect yourself against fumes. Do your painting outdoors or in a very well ventilated area such as an open barn.

Follow These Steps To Paint Your Horse Trailer

Follow These Steps to Paint Your Horse Trailer

1. Put a large tarp or plastic drop cloths in place and roll the trailer onto it. This will completely protect the ground or flooring beneath the trailer. You can then remove the trailer tires if you want to keep them clean.

2. Sand the entire trailer for a uniform, smooth surface. Be sure to get rid of all old, chipping paint and bits of rust.

3. Use masking tape or painters’ tape to cover surfaces you do not wish to paint (e.g. window frames). If using a paint sprayer, cover windows, tires and other large areas with paper or plastic.

4. Use your roller to cover large surfaces with primer and use your brush to fill in detail in corners and tight spots.

5. If using a paint sprayer, thin your oil-based paint with an appropriate thinner and spray all surfaces steadily and evenly. If using a roller and paintbrush to apply paint, use your roller to cover large surfaces, allow the paint to dry thoroughly and then fill in detail with your small brush.

6. Allow all paint to dry for twenty-four hours and then apply a second coat. If a third coat is needed, wait another twenty-four hours and repeat this final process.

I Painted My Horse Trailer With Rustoleum Paint

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Horse Trailer

Does the horse trailer have a clean title? Is there any lien holder involved?

It is important to be sure that the trailer has a clean title and there are no lien holders. Having a lien holder could make you liable for the previous owner’s debt.

What is the overall condition of the trailer?

When evaluating the trailer’s condition, rate its general appearance on a scale of 1 to 10. A lower number indicates that the trailer has probably had poor maintenance. Look for any signs of damage, such as a bow in the side or walls, broken welds, loose bolts, or gaps between the arch, especially in larger trailers.

How are the floors, walls, and ceilings of the trailer?

Inspect the floor for sturdiness, whether it’s aluminum or wood. Be on the lookout for pitting, holes, warping, and missing boards. Examine the walls and ceilings to be sure that they are solid. Check for leaks and damage, especially in the dressing room and/or living quarters.

Are the doors and drop windows in good condition?

Verify that the doors and drop windows are solid and not made with plywood fillers because this material can rot over time. Be sure that all the doors shut and open easily. Check to make sure they are not bent and don’t have sharp edges. Check the hinges for free movement and proper condition.

How are the tires and axles of the trailer?

Pay attention to the tires’ condition, even if they appear round and rubbery. Unusual tire wear patterns can indicate bent axles, so examine the tires on the same axle for consistent wear. Verify the proper tire size using the VIN plate.

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