repainting trailer interior? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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repainting trailer interior?

It's that time of year again, when I am evaluating my options in terms of buying or renting a horse trailer for the summer. DD wants to do more lessons at her coach's with Harley so we're looking at probably spending 1000$ in trailer rentals for the summer. I am not in a good financial position due to my son's cancer treatments and buying a third horse this year. But I feel like buying makes more sense than renting if I can get the right trailer at the right price. My budget is limited though, so I am not in a position of buying my dream trailer.

So this trailer came up, it's not that far away from me. It's an older trailer (1988), but has been completely redone and very well-kept. In fact, the exterior is immaculate. They've repainted it, and done body work where it was needed. They also re-did floors, brakes, tires, axles and lights, and have greased the bearings annually. It has an inspection sticker on it. DH agrees, it appears to be in great shape (we have not yet gone to see it in person since it's a bit of a drive away) and he's fussy. The seller tells me the interior could use some work though. Apparently it was painted at some point using cheap paint which crackled. She is supposed to send me pics today.

Assuming the frame is in good shape (if not, we pass, obviously), and everything else looks good, what kind of a job is it to sand down and repaint the interior of a trailer? I'd like to do it myself if possible, though I might get a quote from a local guy who has repainted our cars and has pretty good prices. It doesn't have to look perfect, but I feel like a coat of white paint would make it more inviting for Harley. I don't have pics of the interior yet, but here is one of the exterior.
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 08:19 AM
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I've re-painted a bunch of trailers throughout my life. I've sprayed, brushed, and rollered at different times. It's really not that bad to do. The hardest part is making up your mind, "I'm going to do this and start today." Wire brush, sand, then paint. It only takes a couple of days. Use the best quality paint. And then "just do it." After you are done, you think, "Why did I dread this job so much? It's really not that hard."

That's a nice trailer you are considering.
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post #3 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 08:27 AM
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Acadian, is it an aluminum trailer? If it is, that would explain the peeling paint on the inside if it wasn't done correctly. I had the same thing with my little two horse bumper pull. Paint doesn't like to adhere to aluminum and you have to use a self etching primer first.

It's really not a big deal to paint though.

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post #4 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure if it's aluminum. Will have to ask.

I figure re-doing the interior isn't as bad as the exterior (doesn't have to be perfect, just light), but yeah, it will all have to be sanded down to get rid of the flaking paint. What's the best tool for this? Obviously some kind of electric sander.
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post #5 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 09:53 AM
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We used a palm sander when redoing an older trailer we had and it worked great. We used Marine paint when we repainted our as it is more water (condensation) resistant.

Good Luck!
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post #6 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carshon View Post
We used a palm sander when redoing an older trailer we had and it worked great. We used Marine paint when we repainted our as it is more water (condensation) resistant.

Good Luck!
Thanks! I've heard of using marine paint. Might try that...
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post #7 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 11:36 AM
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I've hand sanded and painted the exterior on a trailer and that was hard enough, I think the interior would be even harder. You'll be having to work up instead of down, if that makes sense to anyone but me LOL, and the inward curves will be hard to get to. If you get the trailer and the damage on the inside is just cosmetic, I'd save up my pennies and have it sand blasted and then do my own painting to save money. I used rustoleum paint when I painted my trailer. It's a paint that stops and prevents rust erosion.
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 11:36 AM
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You'll find an electric sander a lot faster than by hand but you'll have to use hand sanding for any hard to get too fiddly areas
I'd spray paint it, practice on some old wood first. You get a much better finish. If you don't fancy spraying then do as much as you can with rollers and the rest with a really soft brush
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post #9 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 09:09 PM
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I did the inside of my old trailer. Itís a mix of wood and metal. As knight rider said, the hardest part is getting it together enough to actually start.

I used a brush on the wood and a roller on the metal. Taped and covered the windows and put an old tarp on floor to protect from drippings. Hand sanded a few spots that needed it (that was a little hard to do but there just wasnít enough to justify power tools).

I was surprised how decent it came out but I know it was no where near the class act of an auto body professionalís ability.

Iíd also recommend a light colour - white, light grey, etc., as it does make it more welcoming to a horse.

And I do like the look of that trailer.

Good luck and, of course, pictures of the progress.
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post #10 of 30 Old 03-20-2019, 09:56 PM
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I'll be the nay-sayer...

A 1988 trailer is going to be steel.
Looks like a nice trailer if the pictures are actual and factual...
Painting the inside if the paint is cracked and flaking/falling off...
Well, unless you want that to repeat it needs to be prepped correctly.
Not only lightly sanded but scraped well, and sanded.
Metal needs to be prepped with proper adherents so paint will stick.
I would not paint without priming the interior, carefully working all roof seams with special sealant then using appropriate primer.
Honestly it is a lot of work and not a pleasant contortionist position to be in working over your head 90% of the time..exhausting is one word I would describe this particular job as.
By the time you purchase proper will have spent a few hundred dollars minimum...paint, primers, reducer and all the add-in chemicals to do a good job cost more than many realize today.
Yes you can do the job...but do you really want to?
Do you have breathing respirators to wear when you strip the bad paint job?
Do you know how to prep metal so primer and paint adhere correctly?
You already are told it has a bad interior paint job...
That tells me there may be problems that you must now go to bare metal again to fix and treat the surface for adhesion...
Me...if you are referring to $1000 and it is a finished product I would find the money and let someone else do the sweat equity of prep and paint the darn thing properly so it is a one-time job and done.
It does make a difference and don't forget you will also need to be on a ladder up, down, up and down every 6" of roof done...
I see a awful stiff neck, back exhaustion at a minimum.
I see delivering a trailer needing much work to strip and paying someone to have a professional quality job done the first time.
You are aware some paints are noxious to your lungs are you not?

I'm fussy...
There is a difference in a job professionally done and done right when you have a problem needing corrected...first.
Otherwise, buy cans of Rustoleum and spray away...
It appears a nice trailer...finish the job correctly increases its value...
Do the job wrong and well...reduce value is what happens too.

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