How to Properly Paint Your Enclosed Trailer

You can do it relatively easily, but you need the right tools, materials, and a little elbow grease. A well-painted enclosed trailer can serve dual purposes: to make the trailer’s life last longer, and to make sure it stands out from other trailers.

In this article, we’ll go through the materials and steps you’ll need to take when painting an enclosed trailer.

How to Properly Paint Your Enclosed Trailer


Step By Step Guide How to Properly Paint Your Enclosed Trailer

Painting your enclosed trailer is a great way to protect it from rust and corrosion, as well as to give it a fresh, appealing look.

Here are the steps to properly paint your enclosed trailer:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Enclosed Trailer: Make sure it’s clean and free of any dirt, rust, or loose paint.
  2. Paint: Choose a high-quality paint designed for metal surfaces. You can use either oil-based or water-based paints, depending on your preference.
  3. Primer: Use a metal primer suitable for your chosen paint. This is essential for good adhesion and rust prevention.
  4. Paint Brushes/Rollers or Spray Gun: Select the appropriate tools for your paint type and the size of the trailer.
  5. Masking Tape and Plastic Sheeting: To protect areas you don’t want to paint.
  6. Sandpaper: Rough-grit sandpaper (80-120 grit) for preparing the surface and fine-grit sandpaper (180-220 grit) for smoothing.
  7. Rust Converter (if needed): If there’s rust, use a rust converter to neutralize it before painting.
  8. Paint Thinner or Mineral Spirits: For cleaning tools and spills.

Read more in here about to know if you can use or not the Wagner paint sprayer’s 

Step-by-Step Guide to Paint Enclosed Trailer:

  1. Prepare the Trailer:
    • Park your trailer in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and strong winds.
    • Clean the surface thoroughly by removing dirt, grime, and loose paint. You can use a pressure washer or a combination of soap and water.
  2. Remove Rust (if necessary):
    • If there’s rust, sand the affected areas with rough-grit sandpaper.
    • Apply a rust converter to stop further rusting. Follow the product instructions for drying time.
  3. Surface Preparation:
    • Sand the entire trailer to create a rough surface for better paint adhesion. Use fine-grit sandpaper for a smoother finish. Make sure to remove any loose paint.
  4. Mask Off Areas:
    • Use masking tape and plastic sheeting to protect areas like lights, tires, and any parts you don’t want to paint.
  5. Apply Primer:
    • Apply a thin, even coat of primer to the entire surface of the trailer. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Apply Paint:
    • Once the primer is dry, apply the first coat of paint using the chosen method (brush, roller, or spray gun).
    • Allow it to dry as recommended by the paint manufacturer (usually a few hours).
  7. Sand and Repeat:
    • After the first coat has dried, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish.
    • Apply a second coat of paint. You may need more coats for full coverage, depending on the paint’s thickness and color.
  8. Final Touches:
    • Remove masking tape and plastic sheeting.
    • Allow the final coat to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. Clean Up:
    • Clean your tools with paint thinner or mineral spirits.
  10. Inspect and Maintain:
    • Once the paint is dry, inspect the trailer for any missed spots or imperfections.
    • Regularly inspect and maintain the paint job to keep it in good condition and prevent rust.

Remember to follow all safety precautions, including wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and a mask. Additionally, ensure proper ventilation when working with paint and primers.

Properly painting your enclosed trailer can not only protect it from the elements but also give it a fresh, polished appearance.

Additional information about the clear coat over primer.

Maintaining Your Trailer

Maintaining your trailer includes proper cleaning techniques for a painted trailer. The painted surface on an enclosed trailer requires regular upkeep to prevent damage and maintain the appearance. Best practices for a long-lasting paint job include thoroughly cleaning the trailer with soap and water, and avoiding abrasive materials to scrub it.

Before painting, make sure the trailer is completely dry and free of any dirt or debris. It’s important to note that the timeline for this project will vary depending on the size of the trailer and complexity of the painting required.

With proper maintenance and care, your painted trailer can remain in great condition for years to come.


Painting an enclosed trailer takes time, effort, and patience. With proper preparation, careful attention to detail, and a few helpful tips, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will provide protection and aesthetic appeal for years to come.

Remember to begin by preparing the surface properly, selecting the right paint and equipment, following safety guidelines, and applying the paint in thin, even coats.

Additionally, consider hiring a professional painter to save time and ensure a flawless finish. Whether you’re using your trailer for work or play, a fresh coat of paint can improve its appearance and protect it from the elements. With these tips in mind, you can tackle your enclosed trailer painting project with confidence and achieve great results!