How to Restore an Old Trailer
I love fixing up old trailers and when I came across this “FREE” 4×8 Utility trailer on Craigslist I had to grab it! Within 5 minutes of it being listed I was on my way to pick it up. Lucky me, I beat someone else to it by about 20 minutes.
Step 1 – Remove old wood
The majority of the wood was connected to the trailer with old rusty bolts. I used a socket wrench and crescent wrench for this step.
You can see in the photo below that the old plywood needed to be replaced. It was attached with bolts and screws. I ended up using a pry bar to remove the wood.
Step 2 – Prep for Paint
Sweep and scrape all the dirt and gunk out of the trailer frame.
Sand the trailer frame using an orbital sander to remove flaking paint and rust. I used 120 grit sandpaper.
Once the frame has been sanded, remove lights if needed and tape off areas you don't want painted. Use a screwdriver to remove the lights. For information about re-wiring please check out my 5×10 trailer restore project.
Use enamel spray paint to make your trailer look like new. I used gloss black spray paint made by Rustoleum. I typically paint all metal surfaces, even underneath.
Step 3 – Paint!
I decided to paint the rims on for this project as well. Since it is a just a trailer, I simply spray painted the rims with white. To protect the wheels from overspray you can tape them off. One thing I like to do is spray the tires with “TireWet” to shine up the tires and make them look like new.
Paint the rims using gloss white enamel. You could take the tire completely off, but I simply taped the wheels and got to spraying. Don't worry if you overspray the tires. Simply use a scotch pad to remove the unwanted paint from the tire.
This is what the trailer looked like after completing all of the painting.
Step 4 – Attach new boards
Attach the plywood to your supports and attach boards to the front and back of the trailer as needed.
I decided this trailer is going to be great for hauling firewood and named it “the LumberJack.” If you'd like custom decals for your project, simply head over my sign store and contact me for a quote.
A look at the finished product!