We painted our trailer about 2 years ago
I absolutely second the angle grinder. We tried sand blasting and it just was not powerful enough to remove all the rust, and it took a LONG time. Also tried a 'paint remover' - looks like a buffer but with a sander, also didn't do a very good job. In the end, our trusty angle grinder with a wire wheel did the best job.
Here's a pic of me grinding
Definitely wear gloves, eye pro, and ear protection as well- it's loud. My husband and I took turns because the vibration of the grinder kills after a while.
Another trick we used was Rust Converter. It converts rust into this black substance, and gets rid of the rust. You still want to try to grind everything you can get to off FIRST but this stuff was awesome for getting in the nooks and crannies and ensuring all the rust got killed! Ha.
Here's the best pic I could find of the trailer after we applied the first coat of rust converter (had to use the trailer for a rodeo)
After grinding and 2 coats of rust converter we did 2 (we may have done 3?) coats of primer and 3 coats of paint. We used an air compressor and a paint gun attachment. Definitely get some masks for when your painting, a respirator would be best but we didn't use one. We were outside.
We also got some Liquid Nails and caulked that into the seams between panels on the roof to waterproof it. It's still totally waterproof (unless it comes in the giant open windows on the sides of course) but the manger is safe for tack and hay.
It's perfectly functional, has resisted rust so far (it's been 2 years), and looks well enough for us :)
The only other piece of advice I can offer is, however long you think it will take, triple it. :) Good luck with your paint job! Make sure you take lots of pictures for us! Haha
I'm going to have to plan this carefully since I can't take time off work (no more paid days off). Could I use the grinder to clear off an area then use the rust converter then prime it. I don't think I could do it all in one weekend and I would worry about leaving spots uncovered. Would that work? Once done I would do another all over coat with the defender stuff to make sure it's all even then paint.
I'm going to see if the shops have an angle grinder on special this weekend. Posted via Mobile Device
Not sure where you live, but you might want to wait til summer to do it, when it's dry and you have less chance of condensation, rain, precipitation in general.
You absolutely can do it piece by piece, that's pretty much what we did. We didn't leave anything bare overnight so we'd guess how much we could get done that day, grind, rust converter, prime and call it good. We got through the whole trailer like this and then did the paint all at once (well, over a few days, one coat a day) once we were done with all the prep
The primer alone will protect against rust for about 2 months in my experience, depending on your moisture. We did the back door first and primed it and couldn't get back to it for, I believe, 2 months? A long time. It ended up rusting through the primer and we had to re-grind it. Then we really dug into it and got it done.
How big of a trailer do you have?
Sounds like you're on the right track. I love when people do things themselves! We have such a huge sense of satisfaction every time we see the trailer.
You might be right - might be a project to put on the shelf until summer.
I'm in Maryland.
It's a 2H BP with dressing room. It's pretty old but structurally sound, which is why I bought it. I figured that all the ugly bits could be fixed and I could keep it on the road safely for a while. I'd like it to last me at least 6 years, so I'd have my truck paid off then I could consider if I wanted to upgrade to a newer model.
I painted mine myself with rattle cans and paint (both rust-o-lium paints). It cost me roughly $150 for everything start to finish.
As for sanding I used those square sanding blocks that look like sponges almost. I used a medium and a course one, but I think it took two of each.
It really wasn't hard, but it took a good week. I only clear coated the outside because I couldn't find the right color to match up. I might have some mixed next year when it gets warm to cover up the rust. I painted the entire inside white.