How do you paint a horse trailer?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you paint a horse trailer? We will also discuss how to restore and improve a horse trailer. 

How do you paint a horse trailer?

To paint a horse trailer you will need a few materials, but lots of patience. A horse trailer in need of painting is more of an eyesore; it can be dangerous to the animal if paint chips away in the area where your horse eats, for example. Repainting a horse trailer also greatly raises its resale value if you plan to sell.

The process is just as much preparation as the actual painting: if you skimp on the first part, you’ll have to pay for it in the second. Take your time and do a good job.

Here’s how you paint a horse trailer step-by-step

  1. Scrub the entire trailer, inside and out, with a garden hose and brush. You want to remove all the dirt, animal waste and other contaminants that will get in the way of the new paint.
  1. Sandblast the entire trailer, removing rust and old paint. Lightly mark the surface so that it will accept painting more easily. You can sand it by hand or with an electric sander if you want, but it will take a lot longer.
  1. Spray the trailer one final time with the high pressure garden hose to remove dust left by the sanding process. Allow the trailer to dry completely before continuing.
  1. Block windows, taillights, fenders and other areas you don’t want painted with tape. Use a razor blade to cut the clean edges.
  1. Add white automotive primer to an electric paint sprayer. A sprayer will allow you to work faster than painting by hand, without the danger of leaving brush strokes behind.

Apply one or two coats of primer to the entire interior and exterior of the trailer, depending on the coverage that the primer provides. It is always better to apply thinner coats than thick ones to avoid dripping.

  1. Allow the primer to dry completely. Meanwhile, clean the paint sprayer.
  1. Add light coloured automotive paint to the sprayer. Brighter colors are more welcoming to the horses, especially inside the trailer. Horses instinctively avoid caves and other underground areas, so if you use dark paint on the inside of the trailer you might have a hard time getting your horse to go into.
  1. Paint the trailer with several thin coats of paint. Allow each coat to dry before moving on to the next.
  1. Allow all of the paint to dry, then carefully remove the masking tape.

How to maintain a horse trailer?

Horses require a lot of maintenance, including needing to have a safe and comfortable horse trailer to be transported. It is important to keep your horse trailer as clean and safe as possible, which can be achieved by fixing any problems you are having right away and regularly checking the trailer for any new faults.

  1.  Check the boards. Lift the rubber mat on the floor of the horse trailer to check the floor underneath. The most dangerous thing for a horse is to stand on the unsecured ground, especially if it is made from wood. 

Replace the wood planks if they show signs of wear or start to rot. Use a screwdriver and tap the wood to check for rot. The weak spots you find are rotten wood. Replace the boards with high-quality lumber. Check the sides of the trailer and underbody for potential problem areas.

  1. Check the tires for any wear. Check that they are at the correct pressure. Remember to check the spare tire as well. If no tires are replaced, make sure they are reassembled correctly and tight.
  1. Replace defective bulbs. Run new wiring through the trailer if there is a problem with the wiring.
  1. Open all doors and windows so that the trailer is well ventilated. Remove all bedding and rugs. Wash off the trailer assembly and then use a wire brush to scrub any dirt or debris with hot water and dish soap. Power wash the detergent away and then allow the trailer to dry. Replace the old litter.
  1. Lubricate the wheel bearings. This should be done at least once every two years. Park the horse trailer in a covered area if you are not going to use it very often. This will protect against the elements and reduce general wear and tear.

How to customize and improve a horse trailer?

Customizing a horse trailer can be simple or difficult depending on the complexity of the design. A basic trailer with a small rig area will usually come with a couple of saddle racks and saddle hooks. Interior lights are used many times to make towing and packing in the dark easier.

A trailer can be customized for trail riding or horse shows with a few different pieces. There is no limit to what can be done to make towing a better experience for both horse and rider, it all depends on your needs.

  • Place a large tack trunk in the bedbug room floor for additional products and upholstery such as grooming bits.
  • Add storage bins for saddle pads, gaiters, stall curtains and other miscellaneous equipment. Organize and label each storage bin for quick access.
  • Hang a hay sack in each stall section for the horse to eat while travelling.
  • •Mount a personal battery-powered fan on the back of each stall section as close to the ceiling as possible to keep the horse dry and cool while on the trailer. Make sure the horse is accustomed to a fan before turning it on while the horse is in the trailer.
  • Add a quick release tie trailer to each stall divider, and adjust to the desired length so each horse can comfortably reach their hay sack.
  • Apply custom decals to the exterior of the trailer to include barn logos, safety signage and reflective tape. Apply safety signs to the back and sides of the trailer so that other drivers are aware of the animals inside.
  • Measure and unhook cutting rubber mats to the trailer floor to preserve the trailer floor and provide comfort to the horse.

Final thoughts

Painting and customizing a horse trailer is not enough. For the sake of your horse(s), you must ensure that your trailer is also well maintained. Remember to check those tires, that all bulbs are working perfectly, and of course, make sure you clean and paint your trailer so it looks well and comfortable. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on How do you paint a horse trailer?

Can you paint the interior of a trailer?

Yes, you can paint the interior of a trailer, just like you would paint its exterior. Just make sure you clean it first, sand, apply a primer then the first layer of paint. 

How to paint without leaving traces?

To paint without leaving any traces start by painting the edges, with a round brush. Divide the area into imaginary square meters. Distribute the paint well on the roller (using the grid) and paint in strips over the first square meter. Pass the roll in one direction and the other of this square meter.

Can you paint the trailer ceiling?

Yes, you can paint the trailer ceiling. It can seem trivial and easy to do the job, however, professionals will tell you that many precautions must be taken to protect the floor and walls, to prepare the surface before painting or to avoid having to spend three or four coats of paint. 

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