How To Paint A Vintage Trailer

It’s the post you’ve been waiting for.

I’m not going to clog it up with words.  Just the facts.

 

To tape off the windows and lights, I used painters tape meant for stucco.

How to paint a vintage trailer

 

How to paint a vintage trailer

I bought this automotive paint sprayer for $60 from Harbor Freight.  Normally I don’t do HF tools.  But I didn’t want to over-spend on this tool in case I never used it again.  Turns out I LOVE it and have since painted several more things not auto related.

How to paint a vintage trailer

 

Use oil based exterior paint with enamel.  Thin with acetone according to the directions on the back of the paint can.

I used RustOleum’s Aluminum for the silver.  Unfortunately RustOleum doesn’t make tintable oil based exterior paint, so I hit up Sherwin-Williams to mix up some Nifty Turquoise for me.

I tested them on a spare piece of corrugate metal to make sure I liked the way they looked.

How to paint a vintage trailer

I sprayed starting at the top.  The technique is similar to spray painting.  Lots of light coats or else drips will happen.

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

I taped off where I wanted the stripe to be.  I did NOT use the stucco tape.  I used auto-paint masking tape.  I noticed there was some slight over-spray from the aluminum.  I knew that when I painted the teal that I’d have to be extra careful.  I waited for the aluminum to dry and taped some plastic to the stripe to protect it from overspray.  It worked great.  Unfortunately, I did not take a picture.

Make sure to cover up.  I was the tin man.  And oil based paint does NOT come off easily.  I literally had to bathe in acetone and pumice to clean up.  It was the most painful bath of my life.

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

Then we had the joy of removing the tape.  Be prepared.  The stucco tape is STICKY.  Like, really really really sticky.  But nothing bled through at all.

How to paint a vintage trailer

We took the trailer camping over Easter weekend.  Last minute we needed to put the Xterra in the shop, but luckily we were able to use Aaron’s brother’s car to pull it.  She was STUNNING in the trailer park.

How to paint a vintage trailer

There are still more updates we plan on doing to the exterior.  Hub caps, new light covers, paint the trim around the windows.  But the paint scheme is settled!  Originally I wanted something a little more feminine, like scallops.  But Aaron and I decided something classic to the era would be best.  And he was right.

This wasn’t an ideal “after” picture because of the way the sun is shining, but I’m so in love with how shiny the RustOleum Aluminum is.  It looks so classic.

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

This has been the funnest project.  It has been hard work.  I did most of the painting by myself in the hot sun (as my sunburned neck testifies of).  The reward is great!  We had so much family-fun this weekend.

Waking up with my two loves in the canned ham on Easter was pure joy.

How to paint a vintage trailer

How to paint a vintage trailer

I even made Rice Crispy treats :)

How to paint a vintage trailer

 

And most importantly, she has a name.  Welcome to the family, Myrtle.

How to paint a vintage trailer

 

 

 

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  • http://relativelyrealistic.blogspot.com/ Bethany Kline

    what a perfect name! The picture of you all painted up reminds me of the one of you after having painted the fireplace, lol! I love the paint job, it looks so crisp and wonderful! And that picture of Aaron and Evelyn sleeping together is priceless, I’m so happy for y’all and your new adventure machine!

    • Kenz

      haha, oh man, what’s wrong with me?! You’d think I’d learn to cover up properly. Some of us are slower than others.

  • Katja @ Shift Ctrl ART

    What a charming vintage trailer. I love it! The paint scheme is wonderful. I love that you gave it a good dose of silver with the turquoise. I can’t wait to see all the other things you have planned on doing to it :)

    • kenz

      Thanks Katja! It seemed like the perfect combo to dress her in. I’m excited to get working on the inside.

  • http://www.sentimentaljourneyz.com/ Vickie Medley

    What a wow factor you’ve given the camper. You’ve also just boosted the value upward for the camper with that marvelous paint job. If you want to see some great painted scenes on campers, go to my blog and read about Bob & Rita Meredith. Unfortunately, they don’t have a website yet. http://sentimentaljourneyz.com/june-2012/art-campers-dream/

    • Kenz

      What a great camper! I love it soooo much!!!!

  • Emma (Broke Ass Home)

    so.freaking.amazing.

    • Kenz

      Thank you!

  • Jesse

    I love this! You know, I’ve looked for a camper forever and always immediately passed on the corrugated side ones because I didn’t know if they could look good, but now I’m convinced – they can!

    • Kenz

      Yes! You should definitely do it! I might need to hire you do make an awesome little string art for the interior :)

  • Sarah Hornstein

    This looks great! My dad has a vintage Scotty trailer and he painted it camo…I don’t know why, but he likes it. If I get my hands on it, I would love to do something similar to what you did! Hope you all enjoy trips with it!

    • Kenz

      haha, men and their camo!

  • karin

    Sooooo cute. This is my favorite project you have done by far.

    • Kenz

      Thanks love. Me too. You’ll always have a place to stay when you visit :)

  • Amber @ Wills Casa

    Oh Myrtle you dashing gal you! Can’t wait for you to meet Opal. ;)

    • Kenz

      It will be the most epic caravanning trip of all time.

  • Rita

    That trailer is the most stinkin’ cute thing I’ve seen since…I don’t know, since I saw your adorable Easter pics of your adorable girl. You are just too full of cuteness these days! I love how your trailer turned out. You are a far, far braver DIYer than I will ever be! (bowing down)

    • Kenz

      hahaha oh please! You could easily paint a trailer if you wanted. It’s as easy as knowing the right paint to buy, and pulling the trigger on a paint gun. BOOM. You got this :)

  • JaneEllen

    Myrtle is adorable, almost as adorable as your baby girl. She’s so sweet. Are you and hubs enjoying being first time parents? Good for you taking your little one on a camping trip, get her used to it early. Little ones adjust far easier than parents give them credit for.
    Can hardly wait to see what you do with Myrtle after the paint job, fantastic job by the way, love silver and turqoise.
    Our daughter has a little one like yours she fixed up so cute when they got it. Now with teenagers they rarely use it, too much going on on weekends.
    I miss going in our trailer, little bigger than yours. Hubs not able to balance it and all that stuff too well anymore, darn it. We have a decent state park camp ground about 7 1/2 miles away from our house with small lake we used to all go to. Not as nice a camp ground as you went to but it’s convenient.
    We’re wondering how we’d do with our dog, he’s very protective so we’re worried he’d bark alot, has big booming voice. Have to be far from other campers, have to muzzle that big boy. Happy Camping

    • kenz

      Trailers are so much fun! I’m glad that we can take little Ev on adventures. I hope we do it enough that she remembers them when she gets big. That’s hard that you don’t get to go out as much now. That sounds really awesome about your state camp ground! We left our pups at home this time. But I hope that we can take them on trips in the future. They bark too, so it makes me nervous!

  • Mindy

    Eeeeeeeee, so awesome! It turned out amazing. Love, love. Can’t wait to see more of the inside.

    • Kenz

      Thanks Mindy! I’m not sure when we’ll start doing work on the inside. But the ideas are definitely churning!

  • thediynurse

    Thats it. You’re officially my hero. Please don’t call the cops when you find me staying the night!

    • Kenz

      hahaha You can stay the night anytime you like :)

  • http://boxycolonial.com/ Gretchen@BoxyColonial

    oh! so shiny! that turquoise is perfect! LOVE!

    • Kenz

      Thank you!

  • Caitlin

    This is simply fabulous. I am taking notes for when I have kids and want to buy a trailer to take them on road trips :)

    • Kenz

      Yes yes yes! I loved camping in my parents’ trailer, and I knew it was something I wanted to do for my kids. I’m just so glad we found such a steal!

  • anne @ wit wisdom and food

    It turned out amazing! You have made me want my own now. Looking forward to all the other updates. I love the name Myrtle too.

    • Kenz

      We got ours for SOOO cheap! It’s such a good feeling to not be in debt over a travel trailer AND have something so cute. Definitely keep an eye on CL in your area. They come up quite often :)

  • http://www.decorandthedog.net/ Michelle {decorandthedog}

    Whoa! This turned out awesome! I really love the color combo. I also REALLY like your tin man look. It’s nice.

    And that kid. I can’t take the cuteness.

    • Kenz

      Thank you. I was just testing out this year’s halloween costume. I’ll make sure to use oil based paint so it really lasts.

  • kelly @ view along the way

    OhmahGAH. It is so super cool! I love the colors and the design, and I totally need one of those now to decorate. I mean use.

    • Kenz

      Right?!! I just want to decorate the crap otta her!

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

    she’s a beaut :) It really looks great, the color scheme and design are wicked nice.

    • Kenz

      Why thank you! I love how bold the colors are!

  • Julia @cuckoo4design

    You are the cutest family in you adorable trailer!

    • Kenz

      Oh thank you! I’m basically in love with this new way of vacationing.

  • http://www.desertdomicile.com/ Caitlin @ Desert Domicile

    Myrtle is amazing! I love her new ‘do :)

    • Kenz

      Thank you! She is quite the dime!

  • http://newlywoodwards.com/ Kim@NewlyWoodwards

    I want you to adopt me.

    I want to hang out with you guys and Myrtle.

    • Kenz

      I’ll start filling out the paperwork. Myrtle wants you to hang out too.

  • herbworkshop

    Love the outside, but would love to see photos of the inside and what you’ve done to fix it up. Awesome job! Thanks for sharing.

    • Kenz

      Hello! We haven’t done anything to the inside yet. It’s actually already in pretty great shape, so it isn’t pressing. But we do have some fun ideas of what we would like to do. Here is a link to where images of the interior are.
      http://interiorsbykenz.com/vintage-trailer-renovation/

  • Sarah

    Very lovely! We have a 1970 Yellowstone, and are thinking hard as to how we want to paint it.

    • Kenz

      Thank you! Good luck coming up with a paint scheme. There are so many options out there! It was hard for me to finally decide and commit to one. But I’m glad we did. We are having SO much fun!

  • Tracie

    Dying. I am dying. This is perfection.

    • kenz

      Oh thanks Tracie! I hope one day if you’re ever in the west, you can see old Myrtle in person.

  • Becky Hicks

    I just found you and love the trailer. I have a question! I have a vintage that I am working on and am agonizing over the paint, we have some old stickers on ours that are peeling at the edges, I’ve tried everything to get them off and haven’t been successful yet, any tips? And, did you sand any before you put the paint on?

    • Kenz

      Hi Becky,
      I’m not sure what to tell you about the stickers. I just put tape over ours, and it ended up being fine. If you want the stickers off you could maybe try GoofOff? That stuff is pretty strong. And no, we did not end up sanding. Good luck! I’d love to see pictures.

  • Sarah

    Hey Kenz! Beautiful job on this!! I’ve recently began fixing up a 1956 Century. Right now it is bare aluminum but very badly damaged. You are the first one I’ve come across that used a aluminum paint to create that shiny aluminum finish. I’m thinking about doing the same!! I’ve tried looking it up… do you happen to have a link or exact product name of what you used? Sorry if you mentioned it somewhere already, can’t seem to find it. How has it held up? Looking forward to hearing from you :) http://allthingswithpurpose.com/2014/11/vintagetrailer/

  • Marti Sha

    Beautiful job! That paint on your skin is highly toxic. It’s absorbed right into your bloodstream. Wouldn’t do that again! Good info, I’m about to paint a full side 1962 vintage one.