What is the Best Way to Repaint a Utility Trailer?

September 26, 2019 by

What is the Best Way to Repaint a Utility Trailer

When times are tough you can’t always afford to buy new equipment for your business or personal use, but nobody wants to drive around or arrive at a job site dragging a rusty old trailer. It just doesn’t set the right tone. But that does not mean you have to spend unnecessary money on a new trailer. If you have a perfectly well-functioning rusty single axle utility trailer that is safe to use and still gets the job done but looks a bit long in the tooth, maybe it is time for an overhaul. A rusty trailer can be restored with a good repaint that will extend its lifespan and usefulness by a few years.


The key to any successful paint job is preparation. You need to remove as much of the rust as you can before you apply your new coat of paint or all your hard work will be for nothing. Use a hard-bristled wire brush to get rid of as much of the rust as possible. Once you have removed all the biggest bits, you can use a steel wool pad to get rid of the smaller pieces in the hard to reach places. If you can’t get rid of all the rust, you should consider sealing the worst affected areas with a commercial rust sealer before you start painting. The more rust you can get rid of, the better your trailer will look and the longer it will last.

If your single axle utility trailer has a wooden deck you will need to tackle this as well. You can remove every board and sand, treat and paint it individually before putting it back in place or you can use an orbital sander to sand the boards in situ before painting and sealing them.

Once you have tackled the rust and sanded the wooden bed of the trailer, you need to hose everything down with water and wash it with auto soap. This will remove any grease and dirt as well as any dust and rust particles that you have created while preparing the trailer for its new coat of paint. Once the trailer is completely dry, you need to use painters tape and old paper to tape off the areas where you don’t want to paint.


If you are painting in your driveway, make sure to put down plastic sheeting or a tarpaulin to keep the area around your trailer paint-free. And don’t spray paint on a windy day as you might end up with more paint on the side of your house than on your actual trailer.

You will probably need to spray at least two layers of paint on your trailer to get complete coverage. Make sure that you paint all the corners and edges. After you have applied the first coat of paint, allow it to dry completely before applying the second layer. To add a nice finishing touch and complete the look you can also paint the white part of the wheels so that they don’t look out of place on your newly painted trailer. Once the paint is completely dry you can remove all the painter’s tape and your trailer should look as good as new and you will no longer be embarrassed to be seen towing it.

Remember a paint job can only do so much to restore a trailer and if your trailer has reached the point of no return or is unsafe, then you need to replace it. At McFarlane’s, we have a wide variety of new and used single-axle utility trailers and we will help you find something that fits both your needs and your budget.