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Painting an old trailer

Hello to all,
My name is Mike and I have visited this site many times in the past but have never posted a question. Previously I used this site for information that would help one of my students paint a 12' boat they built in my Industrial Arts class. It was made of exterior grade plywood and then fiberglassed. He did an outstanding job on the construction and finish thanks to some of the information posted on this site.

Today, I am looking for new information. Recently my wife and I purchased a 1992 18' Celebrity Bowrider (ski boat). The original trailer must have been replace quite some time ago with a galvanized aluminum trailer. I don't particularly care for the appearance of it under my RED boat. I would like to paint the trailer red with black and white stripes and accents to match the boat. I understand the importance of prep work and will be doing that. My real question is can I use a quality spray paint for the trailer? In most cases I am very particular about things but the trailer is not a major concern. However, I don't want the paint to crack and peel off from road debris or launch ramps. Does anyone think this will work?

Thanks for the advice,

Michael Magri
Industrial Arts Teacher - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
April 22, 2008

UV Additive for Epoxy

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May 4, 2008


It depends on what you mean by a "quality spray paint". I wouldn't expect a garden variety of paint from the local hardware store to last that long. If you can find a paint specifically designed for trailers or listed for such applications, then you should be OK. If you can't find something like that but still want to use spray paint, look for something designed for outdoor exposure.

Personally, I'd go with something like an epoxy if you want to paint it and be done with it. That will be the most resistant to the environment. Epoxies can chaulk, however, when exposed to UV. Of course, you may not care with a trailer.....

You may want to contact a local marina and ask them what they recommend. I'm sure they've dealt with this before.

Christian Restifo
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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