Whether you use it for camping or business, you cannot deny the massive utility that comes from a trailer. These days, trailers come in all sorts of designs ranging from powered, semi-powered, or good-old mechanical. In most cases, people use a truck or similar power-driven vehicle to pull them.
Since a trailer consists mostly of metal sections, it is quite vulnerable to rusting. The intensity and frequency of rust vary depending on how you use it. For instance, a trailer that you use for camping rusts a lot less than the one you use for hauling fishing goods.
The secret to keeping your trailer fresh and healthy is to apply a fresh coat of paint every now and then. This would keep it well-protected against corrosion and also hide away many of its chips and dents that can occur over time. But unless you are using the right type of paint, you will not get the best results.
In this article, we will give you a thorough rundown of everything you need to know about the best paint for trailer that you can buy to give it a long-lasting shine and enhance its durability.
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Things to Consider Before Buying Trailer Paint
Before we head further, let us take a moment and look at some of the critical factors that you want to consider before buying the paint for your trailer. It is imperative to understand these aspects as it dictates your long-term satisfaction with your purchase. The last thing you want is to end up with buyer’s remorse.
So, without further ado, here are a couple of things you want to think about before buying the best utility trailer paint.
Statistics show that most people think of painting as an aesthetic aspect rather than a protective element. If that is the case, then investing some time into finding the right color for your trailer does not seem too much to ask. You want to choose a color that matches the primary vehicle that will be pulling the utility trailer.
It might not seem like the most important thing in the world, especially if your goal is to protect your trailer from the elements solely. However, watching others appreciate your trailer’s looks is a good feeling you do not want to miss. With matching colors, your trailer will not only be protected but also look good.
If you are on a timer, then you might want to consider buying paint with a low curing time. Typically, with trailer cart paints, you are looking at at least a day’s worth of time for the paint to fully dry. However, some options in the market can dry up entirely in just a few hours.
Ultimately it comes down to how much time you can afford to allow the paint to settle correctly. For people who are looking for a quick paint job, getting a fast-acting color might be the only solution. However, if you have time to spare, this factor might not be the most crucial thing to think about.
Type of Finish
These days, there are many types of finish you can get from your paint. There are no good or bad choices here, and it all comes down to the preference of the owner. But you still want a good idea of the different available options before settling on a specific type of finish.
The three most popular options are matte, semi-gloss, or gloss, and you can usually find examples of these designs if you search on the internet. If you go with a glossy finish, you also need to think about whether you want a high-gloss or low-gloss finish. Whichever you choose, make sure you check out all the options beforehand.
What affects the durability of the paint that you use on your trailer? It is, in fact, the bonding strength of the paint with the surface of the trailer. In addition to simply enhancing durability, it also protects the metal parts from corrosion and rust. That is why you need to pick out a paint that comes with a superior bonding strength.
Remember, paint is not simply a coating, and it needs to properly attach to the surface of the trailer to make a lasting bond. You do not want the paint to start chipping off after a couple of months. It is best to ask someone who has an idea about a certain product that you are planning to buy to know of its bonding strength.
Do you want enough paint for a single trailer, or do you want a bit extra? Think about this carefully before you commit to a small can of paint. IF you have leftover paint and can store it properly, you can use it to repaint your trailer when it starts to show signs of wearing.
Besides, if you rent out trailers professionally, it is a good idea to buy a large volume of paint. That way, you will be able to repaint multiple trailers and give all of them a fresh new look. For casual people who require a single trailer paint job, on the other hand, it might not be a good idea to buy a large quantity of paint.
Rust and UV Protection
Regardless of the quality of paint you are using; it is natural for it to start wearing out after a certain period. However, if you want a decent lifespan for the paint, you need to ensure it has excellent resistance against rust and ultraviolet light. Since your trailer will be outside most of the time, you need all the protection you can get.
Some paints you find on the market come with a non-porous design that helps protect them against moisture and sunlight. Going with these types of paints will ensure the color of your trailer remains strong even after long exposure to rain or sunlight.
VOC Compliance and Environmental Sustainability
There used to be a time when paints for trailers came with toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your health and the environment. Thankfully those days are behind us, and we have access to eco-friendly paints that do not emit any toxic fumes or cause any harm to your body.
However, toxic paints are still available, and unless you are careful, you can end up with one yourself. Make sure to check the specification of the paint that you buy and see if it is VOC compliant. The term VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, and you do not want any of it to be present in your paint.
Our Best Paint for Trailer Reviews and Buying Guide for 2021 in The Below
Now that you understand some of the key aspects to consider, let us look at which options are worth your time and money. If you are a beginner, there is a good chance that you do not know which unit will give you the optimal results. So, without further ado, here are seven of the best paint for a trailer that you can find on the market.
1. POR-15 45004 Gloss black Rust Preventive Paint
Let us start off with one of the most reliable names in the industry when it comes to protective paints, Por-15. The 45004 by them is a user-friendly paint that comes in five different finish options. If you want a quick and simple one that you can rely on, you can go with this one without any worry.
The best part about this paint is its easy three-step application method. All you have to do is wipe the surface with a bit of degreaser, apply a bit of primer and then put on a thorough coat of paint on the trailer. Even if your trailer is rusty, the natural rust-protection property of the unit means you do not have to remove the rust before applying the paint.
It is a completely non-porous paint that will protect the surface of the trailer from moisture or chemicals that can accelerate corrosion. In addition, applying this paint makes your trailer impervious to other deteriorating elements such as oil, alkalis, or fuel spills.
The paint also has a self-leveling feature making it easy for first timers to get full area coverage while applying it. It is completely lead-free, which means you do not have to worry about any harmful chemicals. The paint can survive 2,000 hours of salt spray tests without showing any signs of wearing.
2. Rust-Oleum, Black, 207006 Marine Topside Paint
Coming up next, we have a unit by another powerhouse brand in the world of paints and a protective coating. The Marine Topside Paint by Rust-Oleum is widely considered as one of the best boat trailer paint because of the high level of protection it provides against saltwater.
With this purchase, you have the choice between many different colors and finish styles, including gloss, semi-gloss, navy-blue, etc. It is extremely versatile and offers a lot of different options to the user. If you plan on using it for your boat trailer, you can expect excellent results.
Most trailer paints on the market caution you against applying them on any other surface except metal. However, you can use this particular paint with not only the metal sections but also fiberglass and wood. Because of its oil-based formula, it spreads easily and covers wide surfaces without any issues.
It also features self-leveling properties, which makes it easy to ensure you have an even application across the entire surface. The paint boasts a quick-drying formula that minimizes a lot of the waiting period that usually comes after a paint job. It is also highly UV-resistant and prevents rust and corrosion build-up.
3. Rust-Oleum 7798502 Stops Rust Brush on Paint
Coming up next is another great pick by the brand Rust-Oleum. And now that you have already seen a unit by them, you should have a pretty decent idea about the quality of products you can expect from them. The 7798502 Enamel Paint by them is another fine choice that can give you excellent results.
Similar to the last unit, this one features an oil-based formula making the application of the paint almost effortless. It not only bonds well with the metal parts but also can be applied to surfaces like masonry, concrete, wood, etc., to prevent any chance of rust and corrosion build-up.
What makes this paint great is the superior shine it offers once you let it dry up. With a curating period of only two to four hours, this paint is perfect for people who do not want to wait around a whole day before using their trailer. If you feel the paint is a bit thick for your liking, you can apply some paint thinner for a better result.
This paint comes in a can of 32-ounces which should be enough to breathe a new life into your trailer. After application, the paint can hide away any chips or dents from the trailer, making it look fresh as new. It also enhances the durability of your trailer tenfold, preventing any further rusting.
4. POR-15 45904 Top Coat Chassis Black Paint
If you want the least bit of hassle while painting your trailer, the Top Coat by the brand POR-15 might be exactly what you are looking for. Its direct-to-metal formula allows you to apply the paint directly to the surface without having to use any primer, making the paint job quick and easy.
With this option, you can apply the paint on the surface after wiping it clean of any dust and debris directly. Since you do not need to apply an undercoat, the overall process becomes a lot faster. You can also apply the paint on previously painted surfaces without any issues.
The manufacturers recommend the application of two thin coats of this paint for optimal performance and protection. Although the paint dries in around an hour, for best results, you should wait for at least a day before applying the second coat. It would ensure the perfect bonding strength between the paint and the substrate.
This paint, once applied, drastically enhances the rust-prevention capabilities of your trailer. It resists moisture to an excellent degree and can keep your trailer in top-notch condition for a long time. Overall, it is an excellent choice for people who care about the durability and performance of their trailer.
5. Magnet Paint UCP99-01 Chassis Saver Rust Preventative Paint
Magnet Paint might not be a brand that has a wide range of followers, but those who use their products vouch for their creditability. The UCP99-01 by them is one of the most popular choices out there when it comes to the best paint for steel trailers, and after trying it out ourselves, we can see why.
The level of protection that this paint offers on the underbody of a trailer or its frame is hard to find elsewhere. It actively prevents any sort of rust buildup, drastically enhancing the lifespan of your trailer. In addition, it does not bother about any grease or fuel.
For most beginners, who have no experience in applying paint, this sort of project can be a bit challenging. However, the easy-to-use nature of this paint ensures a good experience even for those who have absolutely no idea about projects like this. In fact, you do not even have to remove any previous rusting to apply this paint.
The paint formula also provides excellent resistance against elements such as snow, mud, or rain. It offers a non-porous finish that prevents moisture and presents you with a lasting shine on your trailer. If you want to restore a rickety old trailer to its former glory, this unit is an excellent choice.
6. Krylon 1962 Farm & Implement Brush, High Gloss, Black, 1 Gallon Architectural Paints
For people who put their trailer through heavy-duty work, getting heavy-duty paint seems like the only solution. The Farm and Implement color by the brand Krylon is one of the better choices in the market if you are planning on putting your trailer through rough use.
It features a direct-to-metal design, meaning you do not need to worry about any preparatory steps before applying the paint. That, combined with the wide area coverage of the paint, makes it a suitable choice for beginners who do not have any prior painting experience.
The paint has a drying period of around 3 hours which might not be the best but is still pretty decent. For the best results, you should apply around five coats of paint. The total curating period for this paint is only 56 hours, which means you will be able to start using your trailer pretty soon.
One of the best sides of this paint is its superior bonding strength. It provides excellent levels of protection against both rust and chipping, making it a great option for those who use their trailer frequently. The quality of finish it offers is truly stunning.
7. RUST-OLEUM 7466402 Gallon International Red Bright Enamel Paint
If you are a fan of bright red colors, then you should definitely try out the Red Bright Enamel Paint by Rust-Oleum. For our last product on this list, there are no other products that can come close to the performance it offers for the price. It is truly one of the best paints for trailer frames.
The paint offers a smooth and elegant finish on your trailer that presents a lasting shine. However, looks are not the only place where this paint makes an impact. Once you apply it to your trailer, you can be sure that it is fully protected against rust and corrosion for an indefinite period.
It is one of those paints that are suitable for extreme work conditions. Regardless of how you abuse it, the paint will not chip or fade any time soon. It is the perfect choice to brighten up the looks and feel of your old trailer. The color quality of this unit is truly one to admire.
Besides, applying it is also quite easy and effortless, even for a beginner. The paint can cover a large area, and you can even use it for boat trailers. For the best performance, manufacturers recommend applying a thick layer of coating. That way, you will get a long-lasting color that will not fade away anytime soon.
What are The Benefits Of Painting a Trailer
Painting an old trailer is not only a cosmetic upgrade but also does a lot for its overall performance and functionality. If you are wondering whether you should bite the bullet and repaint the old trailer, then the following section is for you. We will be discussing some of the major benefits you get from painting your trailer with the best trailer paint.
Gives You A Protective Layer
As time goes by, you will notice a lot of rust starting to build up on the metal parts of your trailer. By repainting the unit, you will be able to get rid of the rust and also place a protective layer to prevent any further corrosion. It essentially breathes a new life into your transport.
In addition, the paint will also protect the trailer from natural elements such as snow or rainfall. Some paints also come with UV-resistant properties that ensure your color will not fade over time, even if you keep it under bright sunlight. If you care about your trailer, painting it is a good way to ensure it stays in top condition.
It Looks Good
Even if you overlook the protective benefits of repainting your trailer, you have to admit that a freshly painted trailer looks good. It is the easiest way to restore a rickety old trailer to its former glory. You can also get creative and make different designs on the transport to make it look even better.
After all, hauling an old, run-down trailer down the road can be a bit embarrassing. With a fresh coat of paint, your trailer will look shiny and stunning, and you will be proud to drive it along the road. Make sure you match the color of the trailer with that of your vehicle for the best results.
You Can Get A Better Resell Value
If you are planning to sell your trailer, a good idea to get a better deal is to give it a fresh coat of paint. A clean and polished trailer will snag a much higher price than a rusty old one. In fact, after painting the trailer, you might even get second thoughts about selling the trailer at all.
Think of it this way, if you buy a second-hand trailer, would you spend big bucks on a worn-out trailer? Definitely not. That is why, you will find that most resellers opt to paint their trailer and give it a fresh new look before they put it up for sale. It is a smart and cheap way to get a better price.
It Hides Inconsistencies
Naturally, when you buy a new trailer, it will be polished and have a nice shine to it. However, as time goes by, it will start to wear out and lose most if not all of its shininess. A fresh coat of paint is all you need to restore the factory appearance of your trailer.
In addition to restoring the freshness, you will also be able to hide away most of the scratches or damages done to your trailer over the course of your use. It also gives you an opportunity to address some of the repair necessities, such as changing a few boards or tires on the trailer while painting.
It Looks Professional
Owning a trailer opens up many business opportunities. You can rent out your trailer or even get into the moving business. If you are planning to use it for your business purposes, the last thing you want is to haul a worn-out trailer in front of your clients.
It obviously does not look very professional. As a professional, you should make it your priority to maintain the looks and performance of your trailer. By painting it from time to time, you can maintain the shininess of your trailer and also protect it against the abuse it will no doubt face during the course of your work.
Tips To Apply Paint On Your Trailer
If this is your first-time applying paint on your trailer by yourself, it is normal to feel a bit anxious. Messing up your first paint job can take a hit on your confidence and make you think twice about doing it yourself. However, we are here to guide you through it so that you have nothing to worry about.
In the following section of the article, we will give you a few tips and ideas about how you should apply a fresh coat of paint to your trailer.
Sanding, Cleaning, And Masking
This is the first essential step before you actually get to the painting process. Unless you are painting a new and fresh trailer, you want to sand off any old paints from it. Make sure you sand as much as you can of the previous coating so that you have a smooth surface to work with.
You can use a simple broom or an air compressor if you have one to clean out any dust from the trailer. Then take a wet rag and give the trailer a thorough wipe. It is also a good idea to use masking tape to cover up the areas where you do not want to paint.
Painting The Metal Parts
With the preliminary preparation done, you can start with the paint job. You want to start with the metal parts of the trailer before heading on to any other section. Take your enamel spray paint and apply a fresh coat over the metal sections. This is your first layer of paint.
Give the first layer some time to settle, and then apply another fresh layer as uniformly as you can. After it dries, mix soap with water and clean the whole layer of paint. Now you have to wait for the paint to dry completely before using the trailer.
Painting the wheels
Painting the wheels of a trailer can be a bit annoying, especially for beginners. Make sure you remove the lug nuts so that you have a relatively even surface to work with. You also want to cover up sections where you do not want to paint using masking tape.
Ideal painting time
Painting during rainy weather or a humid summer afternoon is not usually a good idea. The excessive moisture in the air will keep the paint wet for longer and cause dripping. That is why you want to paint your trailer when the weather is dry, and humidity is low.
Brush and Rollers
The output of your painting project depends not only on the paint but also on the equipment that you use to paint it. That is why it is not a good idea to skimp on buying high-quality rollers and brushes. These tools will help you get the perfect finish while you apply the paint.
Using A Primer
You also want to use a good quality primer that enhances the bond between the paint and the object. With a decent primer, your paint will last longer. If you are working with a smooth surface, you can mix the paint with the primer before application. Otherwise, it is better to apply the primer beforehand to ensure the best bonding performance.
Hanging the frame
While painting, you want to hang the trailer from an anchor point to have easy access to all parts. If that is not an option, try to rest it in a way that has little contact with any other parts. This would ensure there are no blind spots while you paint.
Top Rated Trailer Paint Brands On The Market
Since you have already gone through our list of reviews, you should have a pretty decent idea of the brands that are worth your consideration. In any case, here is a quick rundown of three of the top trailer brands as a refresher.
Considering we picked out three of our seven reviewed products from this brand, it should be a no-brainer that it is a true powerhouse. The best part about this brand is how it takes a problem and offers elegant and innovative solutions. Because of their unflinching dedication to quality, they have amassed a wide range of followers.
Their product catalog contains paints and accessories for all sorts of projects. It tends to take innovative steps towards offering painting solutions and protecting against rust and corrosion. It is undoubtedly one of the trusted names in the industry for all the right reasons.
Por-15 is another top brand that has taken firm ground against rust prevention. The trademark feature of this brand is its three-step application system that has revolutionized the way we apply paint. Their commitment to innovation and quality control sets them apart from the competition.
The president of the company, Jason Anagnostis, has a Ph.D. in Chemistry. That, combined with his 17 years of industry experience, makes him a well-armed man to lead the company to legendary status. Por-15 also holds an excellent reputation at listening to their customer’s needs and complaints.
The brand Krylon is not solely dedicated to the protective coating, and that is what makes this brand different. It is more suited towards DIY-ers and enthusiasts. However, that does not mean they take the quality of their products lightly. In fact, Krylon is one of the most trusted names when it comes to painting products.
Their large catalog of products includes enamel paints, acrylic paints, and many other variants that come in both aerosol and container designs. Innovation is the primary goal of this brand, and its products are a true reflection of that.
Whether you want to paint your home or want to use it for professional use, you can safely rely on them to have your back.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it better to powder coat my trailer instead of painting it?
Answer: Not necessarily. Powder coating your trailer is a very different process, and it has its fair share of advantages. For instance, it is quite economical and also friendly to the environment. However, when painting your trailer these days is also quite affordable.
By powder coating, you are essentially covering the surface of the trailer with small plastic particles that enhance its durability. Painting, on the other hand, does simply forms a protective barrier over your trailer.
In terms of durability, powder coating is probably the choice for most people. However, you can also paint the trailer after applying a coating of epoxy primer for the same level of longevity and bonding strength. So ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference.
2. Is there any difference between boat trailer paint and land trailer paint?
Answer: To put it simply, you can use boat trailer paint for your land trailer. However, not all land trailer paint is suited for your boat trailers. Since your boat trailer faces relatively harsher work conditions, your paint needs to be able to protect it against those elements.
Besides, a boat trailer paint needs to be compatible with materials other than only metal such as wood and fiberglass. In addition, your boat trailer is constantly exposed to fish oil on the water. Unless your paint is oil-based, the fish oil can easily lead to rust or corrosion as time passes.
3. What is cure time?
Answer: Most beginners often confuse cure time with the drying period. The two things are, in fact, very different. By the drying period, we understand the time that it takes for the paint to dry. However, even dry paints need additional time to reach the maximum level of bonding strength. This additional time is known as the cure time for the paint.
4. What is primer, and do I need it?
Answer: Primer is a type of undercoat that you use before applying the paint to a specific surface. Whether you need to apply it or not depends on a couple of factors, such as the surface that you are working with or the paint that you are using.
When it comes to trailer paints, you will find some products that are labeled as direct-to-metal. With these paints, you do not need to apply a primer as they form a strong bond with metal without any preparations.
However, it is a good idea to apply primer before applying the paint as it ensures the best bonding strength and lasting performance for the paint in most cases.
If you care about your trailer, giving it a fresh coat of paint every once in a while, is not too much of a bother.
Considering the significant boost, it offers, you should definitely go for it. We hope our article on the best paint for trailer gave you a lot of great options to consider.