In December, I purchased a 2005 Longhorn, all-steel, 2 horse slant load trailer. My first trailer!!! I wasn't anticipating buying a fixer-upper but I received a little bonus at work and I couldn't stand to patiently wait to save up a little more money. In retrospect, the amount of money I ended up spending at Home Depot probably would have allowed me to buy a decent low budget brand new trailer. But hey, that wouldn't have been as fun right?!
I'm going to share my 3 month renovation journey with you. The good, bad, and the ugly. I will leave it up to you to decide if you ever want to take on such a project!
Full disclosure, I am not a professional. I did do a lot of research before starting but there are probably things I could have done better and there were definitely mistakes I made along the way. Time will tell when we see how my paint job holds up! Hopefully I will remember to do a one-year update!
I highly recommend having the trailer inspected for safety at a local trailer shop before diving into a renovation. (Mine ended up needing all new tires! They looked great when I bought it but apparently were the original tires from 2005!)
Also note, this renovation consisted of a structurally sound trailer with surface rust only. If your trailer has rust with holes, you might need to have sections of metal replaced and welded back together.
Here's a summary of the steps I would take if I were to do it all over again, sans mistakes and trial and error issues. I've also included a list of materials. There are other great options for things such as paint and sealant, but this is what I used, and what ended up working quite well!
I highly recommend joining the Facebook group called This Old Horse Trailer for more suggestions and ideas.
**Please wear protective face masks and glasses when sanding/angle grinding!!!**
(Note: Some of the links contained in this blog are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
Check photo captions for more details and tips!
Angle Grinder (optional)
60-100 Grit Sand Paper
220 Grit Sand Paper
Rustoleum Rust Reformer Spray Cans (a lot!)
Rustoleum Professional High Performance Enamel - White Gloss (2 gallons)
Rustoleum Professional High Performance Enamel Clean Metal Primer (2 gallons)
Rustoleum Professional High Performance Enamel - White Gloss Spray Cans (a lot!)
Henry All Purpose Crystal Clear Sealant (3-6 tubes)
Acetone (a lot)
Lint Free Rags (a lot)
Blue Painters Tape
Mineral Spirits (to clean brushes and spilled paint)
Paint trays (lots)
6" Foam Rollers (lots, not washable/reusable)
Paint Roller Frames (2)
Paint Roller Extension Pole
High Quality White China Bristle Paint Brush
Tarp or Plastic
The optional rubber matting on the interior walls is only 1/4" thick and fairly lightweight. I secured it using "extreme" double sided mounting tape. Traditional methods suggest gluing or bolting to the walls, however I have heard that glue is extremely hard to remove if a section ever needs to be replaced and I was hesitant to put bolts through my brand new paint job and invite new rust to begin.
Please leave any questions you have in the comments section and I will do my best to help! Would also love to hear about any similar projects you guys have going on!