2y3k Review

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The Best Paint to Protect and Keep Your Trailer Looking New

When we go out boating, our boat trailers bear the brunt of most of the towing and hauling. It's time we started showing them some love and care. And what better way to do that than with the best boat trailer paint available?

These types of paints can handle salt and fresh water and perform very well in either situation. They won't damage your health and compromise your painting skills as much as possible. There is no denying that they also have an eye appeal factor.

More importantly, they help keep your trailer free from rust and sun damage that would otherwise wear down its durability. I can say that because I've enjoyed these benefits from most of the products I've used. Here are the ones that stand out for me in terms of basic factors such as longevity, protection and overall adhesion.

Best Paint Reviews for Boat Trailers

1. Rust-Oleum 207006 Marine Topcoat

This is a multi-purpose marine paint that I love for its longevity, versatility and near complete protection.

I used it on my boat to address the rusting problem. Once I discovered the sweet spot of how to use it and achieved consistently good results, this easily became my boat paint of choice. The secret to making it last 6+ years is to combine it with a good primer and a good sanding beforehand.

My first hand advice from Rust-Oleum is that I should wait a full day after sanding between coats. I do this consistently for all my trailers every time I use this product and have enjoyed long term protection from rust, UV and weather for all the years I have relied on it for marine paint jobs. Its self-leveling properties aren't bad either, as I've noticed that it consistently achieves an even coat over a long period of time.

It may not be as good as most gelcoat products out there, especially when I judge the general thickness of its coating. However, as a glossy marine trailer paint, it is generally solid, especially when applied to hulls and trailers. I would be hard pressed to name another brand that can match what this product offers relative to its price tag.

As for complaints, it needs to tone down its strong odor. I had to mix the navy blue one I use with vanilla extract to reduce the smell. Also, while it is cheaper than many gelcoats I have tried, it is still more expensive than other paints I have used. Despite these drawbacks, I believe I get my money's worth out of it every time.

What We like

Works great on boats and trailers

Complete protection

Self leveling

Proven to last a long time if applied properly

Excellent value for money

What we don't like

Very heavy smell

A bit pricey

If you're like me and want a marine paint that you can confidently switch applications between your boat and trailer, know that this Rust-Oleum trailer paint is actually intended for that purpose.

2. TotalBoat Wet Edge

If you're not used to painting, this can be a bit tricky to master. However, once you learn how to use it to its fullest, you'll find it hard to settle for other options.

I use it more often on my trailer than my boat, but it works just as well for the latter. While I did say it was tricky, in general I agree with the brand that it is easy to use, or apply to be precise. That said, it's not exactly easy to manage because of the relative thickness of the whole thing, even with a good thinner, plus the fact that it doesn't handle high temperatures very well.

I once made the mistake of painting in the summer. The result was that it didn't flow out properly. Even so, it was more of a mistake on my part, so I wouldn't list it as a drawback. However, in the right weather, it sticks extremely well.

Speaking of application, I often use 180 grit paper and tack cloth to prepare the surface before application. I then choose to spray it after mixing it with xylene to make sure my coating stays thin. I often get a smooth, even surface this way, and I assume the product does as well, since it makes such a claim.

However, the one drawback I would like to point out is that it is limited to xylene, especially if you are going to spray it. Xylene is not always available in my area. However, I have tested it and it does seem easier to handle, but when I brush with other thinners, it doesn't affect the quality of the end result that much.

What we like

Long-lasting and heavy-duty protection

Easy to apply when spraying

Self-smoothing

Excellent adhesion

What we don't like

Quite difficult to manage

Xylene is recommended as a thinner

All in all, this is one of the best paints for boat trailers that immediately came to my mind if we talk about long lasting protection and durability. I have had a trailer that is still corrosion free for a good 2 years since I applied this paint.

3. Interlux 4359G Polyurethane Paint

Brightside takes the best out of polyurethane coatings. This product shakes off dirt and mud while turning heads with its attractive gloss and durable coating.

This may not be as good as most coatings that can be applied to parts below the waterline, but its polyurethane benefits are more prominent when applied to trailers. No amount of dirt, moisture or mud can stick to it for long. Even if it does, it can usually be wiped off relatively easily.

I have used this on a handful of pontoon trailers. One of them has held most of its finish and coating thickness after 5 years of unscheduled boat towing and storage. It has held up well in most places, with a few scratches and blisters here and there, which is why I haven't repainted the boat trailer for a while.

I obviously like high-gloss paints for their almost natural durability, but this is one of the few paints that stood out to me for its attractive finish and overall texture. Think of the sheen you usually see on high-end, heavy-duty appliances. At least, that's what I usually get when I apply it with Intrusion 333 thinner.

I always like self-leveling paints because it saves me time and effort. This product is particularly good in that regard, as I can't think of a time when I've had to do an extra pour after doing each roll.

This product has one drawback that seems to be inherent in most polyurethane paints: it's expensive. Even so, it's one of the few products that I know I'm getting my money's worth.

What we like

Excellent protection against the elements

High quality, attractive gloss and texture

Excellent self-leveling properties

Proven to last a long time

What we don't like

A little expensive

This is one of the best paints for boat trailers. It is good for people looking for paint that will protect them to the best of their ability.

4. Rust-Oleum 207012 Boat Bottom Paint

Another solid choice from a tried and true brand, this one guarantees amazing rust protection with Rust-Oleum's trademark longevity.

My reasoning is that whatever paint keeps the underwater hull from rusting, every time I use this paint, it does the same thing to the boat's trailer. I often store the boat on the trailer and there are times when I can't dry the part of the hull below the waterline before storing it. This antifouling paint takes care of any rust concerns I have in this area.

Given its high quality protection, this put my concerns to rest when I had to submerge a large portion of the bed while launching. In addition, it does not come off easily even when the hull or anything that could cause physical damage comes in contact with it. In my case, this has happened several times, but it has held up, which makes it a recommended galvanized paint for boat trailers.

It also holds up well to sunlight, as I sometimes leave my floating trailer uncovered when I'm boating alone. I left it in direct sunlight for a maximum of 6 hours and so far the trailer with this paint is still as strong and nice as when I first applied it.

For me, its 4 hour drying time is ideal -- not too fast and not too slow. Still, you have to pay attention to the weather in your area to get the best results. Overall, it's not hard to manage and apply because I use mineral oil and it thins well. I tend to apply 3 coats using a standard 3" brush and have had generally satisfactory results.

My only complaint is against the poor quality containers they arrive in. I've had many orders where they have arrived with dents. Thankfully, I've never had an oil leak.

What We like

Top-notch rust protection

Excellent UV protection

Excellent adhesion

Dries in four hours

Easy to apply and manage

Where we don't like it

Can sometimes dent

If moisture is one of your perennial concerns about your boat trailer, this painted boat trailer product provides rust protection and should put them to rest as well.

5. POR-15 45008 Anti-Rust Paint

This product delivers exactly what it promises. I have been using this product off and on for several of my trailers over the years. It has shown good consistency in rust prevention compared to other products.

I first used it on a 5 year old pontoon trailer that had seen better days. It was rusting almost everywhere and I figured if this product couldn't fix it, I'd replace it completely. It still feels sturdy so I'm sure the rust is just starting to show up.

Long story short, I put this product together with a can of automotive paint and used it as a topcoat. It feels and looks as good as new. After over two years of application, the trailer is handling its usual weight limitations despite a minor squeaky bolt issue.

I believe the brand's claim that I no longer need to remove rust. Well, it worked, so it's safe to say that this product just works that well. Mind you, I've tried products that I've played with in the gallery and have been disappointed.

That's why I don't have second thoughts when using this paint on a trailer that I soak a lot. I admit that I rarely use it compared to other paints because it's often not available locally, but I'm glad that I always have a solid alternative to fall back on if rust starts to show up on my trailer.

The only downside is that it is quite expensive. Also, I would like it better if I didn't have too much trouble opening it with a standard paint can opener.

What we like

Fixes rust problems and protects from them

Works well with most automotive topcoats

Long-lasting protection

Does not require rust removal to get the best results

What we don't like

Quite expensive

Could use a better container

For practical boating problems like rust, you need an equally no-nonsense and effective solution. This is one product that I'm sure will do the trick.

6. Majic Paints 8-0852-2 Camouflage Paint

Relatively speaking, this mid-range paint satisfies my preferences for protection, ease of use, and aesthetics.

When I use this paint, it almost glides on. It flows out nicely and settles in nicely, which is a combination I can't get in my paint jobs, especially when I'm using a brush. This would be even truer if I were to repaint the boat's trailer regularly.

I would have expected it to be somewhat durable since it is oil based. However, in less than 8 months, one of my bunk trailers started to show some flaking. The others I've painted were fine after a year, so this may not be set in stone. Also, it is relatively easy to apply, so I don't mind reapplying with it.

It sticks well, probably because of its flat sheen. It wicks away moisture fairly reliably, so I'm confident in the preservative properties of this product as well.

I like the high quality khaki color and the not-so-subtle glossy finish. This may be a thoroughly subjective opinion, but I felt I had to share it because I value paint aesthetics as well as actual function. It may have taken a toll on the overall durability, but I think it's oil-based and balances things out to a great extent.

There is, however, one other complaint. It sometimes takes an excruciatingly long time to dry. I remember once, when I used it in optimal weather conditions, it took nearly 5 days to be considered dry. However, this is not always the case.

What we like

Smooth flow and self-leveling

Easy to use and very manageable

Adheres well to most surfaces

Attractive colors and finishes

More economical than other brands

What we don't like

Not as long lasting effect

Slow drying time

I don't mind reapplying this paint with a brush rather than a sprayer. This should give you an idea of how easy and addicting it is to paint with this. Of course, the moisture resistance and style just seals the deal.

7. Durabak 18 Textured Deck Paint

Indeed, this textured paint has few rivals when it comes to durability. It is non-slip and also adheres well to aluminum and untreated wood.

Two coats are enough to achieve the durability I want. I've used it for a long time on my favorite pontoon boat and almost all of my trailers. Anything coated with it tends to last 3+ years when considering weather and other moisture exposure factors, and that's just the minimum. I think that alone makes it well worth the price.

One of the main reasons I chose this coating is because of its anti-slip capabilities. I bet even the Navy would be jealous of this paint's anti-skid ability and would use it as a boat trailer paint for both saltwater and freshwater. The former is a nice perk when you are launching the boat alone, such as when you have to release the winch while stepping on the trailer.

Applying it with a roller is relatively easy. That's what I do when I apply it to the boat, but, for me, it works better when spraying it on the trailer. You need a special roller to apply it properly because it is textured. It is best used on rough surfaces and if I have xylene prep on hand I use it with the xylene before I apply the first coat. It lays down nicely and is to my liking.

The only thing I wish this product would change is its high price tag. However, I don't complain that much because I can't name another paint product that gives me the same long-lasting guarantee as this one.

What we like

Unmatched durability

Good adhesion

Excellent anti-slip properties

Good leveling properties

Excellent for fresh and salt water

What we don't like

Quite expensive

For me, this is the best boat trailer paint if all you care about is top-notch durability and all-around protection.

8. POR-15 46604 Topcoat

This paint embodies the best UV protection of these choices. Combined with POR-15 Rust Protection, I think these two sum up the debate on the best type of paint for boat trailers.

I almost always favor this paint for boat trailers that I typically leave in the sun for longer periods of time, or when I have to do long drives during the day. I have tried the UV protection of this product fairly extensively and it does protect against the sun for a long time.

A double trailer that I don't often notice when I'm out boating still doesn't exhibit any of the cracks that I usually get from other paints. How long has it been on now? Close to 5 years now.

That's why I almost always use this as a topcoat to make other paint layers more UV stable, usually with some light sanding before application. However, be careful when applying it: while it's not hard to apply and settles down nicely on its own like its rustproof cousin, it tends to take a long time to stop flowing. I once had an experience where it took nearly 6 hours to dry.

Once it settles, hopefully it will stick permanently. In fact, I suggest you take extra care not to let it splatter on surfaces you don't want to have paint on. Once it dries, chances are you will have to scrape or chisel it off.

It can take a pounding just as well as the other products I mentioned. I think they even complement each other because you can get reliable rust protection from one product and superior UV protection from the other. Sure, it's not that convenient, but what's a day of hard work compared to years of protection?

What We like

Excellent UV Protection

Excellent synergy with POR-15 rust inhibitor

Outstanding adhesion

Proper durability

What we don't like

Takes a long time to dry

Requires great care in application

Anyone who likes to do their own trailer protection will benefit greatly from this paint.

9. Diamond 31150 Oil-Based Enamel Paint

A must for anyone looking for a versatile paint, this Diamond Brite oil-based enamel paint offers noteworthy protection and a great finish that lasts.

Once you take the time to get ready, this paint is not a hassle at all to apply. More importantly, it rewards your trust in it with long-lasting protection from cracks, scratches and moisture. I simply followed the steps to prepare the surface and mix and I got the results I expected every time.

You have to make sure you use it on days when the temperature does not exceed 90 degrees. One thing I noticed immediately upon first use was its almost perfect consistency, at least for me. It has just the right consistency without the need for a thinner.

It provided great coverage in the first coat alone. I made sure I thinned it as much as possible because it's not very self-leveling. By the time I did the second coat, it was flowing and settling the way I wanted it to. However, you have to be a little patient while waiting for it to cure, especially if the weather is not ideal.

As far as durability goes, it's good, but I expected more from it considering it's oil based. It's not as durable as I would like it to be, and certainly after a year of use, I've started comparing it to other products that last longer. However, I wouldn't mind using it regularly or trying out more coats in the future.

What we like

Good protection against scratches and moisture related issues

Long-lasting protection

Easy to manage and apply

No dilution required

What we don't like

Takes a while to dry

Not as durable as other products

If protection is the theme, this product demonstrates what makes oil-based paints stand out.

10. SlipDoctors DuraGrip Anti-Slip Paint

SlipDoctors' DuraGrip is specifically designed for boat decks to make them slip resistant. For me, this makes it a readily available option for most trailers, aluminum or otherwise. It is epoxy and semi-gloss, which is a great combination for protection.

I always like coatings like this, which allow me to get a non-slip effect from the surface without having to buy additives. Naturally, it must be able to simultaneously mitigate potential damage from the elements as much as possible. This product meets both criteria very well and confers some benefits in the process.

Sometimes, I don't use a primer and I still get the best results from it. I do have to do some preparatory sanding, especially when doing recoats. It adheres well to aluminum and has improved its suitability for trailers in my book.

While it is not difficult to roll, I prefer spraying as the brand requires keeping the coating as thin as possible. Either way, it is very easy to apply. So far, after two months of application on one of my trailers, it has not shown any signs of flaking. Since I've only had it on for a short time, I can't comment too much on its durability.

I like it a lot and I can feel the slip resistance every time I step on the trailer. For that reason, I don't mind using it on my own boat. That said, I don't really like the fact that it takes all day to harden and its relatively high price tag.

What we like

Very good overall protection

Reduces the risk of slipping and falling

May not require a primer on some surfaces

Adheres well to aluminum surfaces

Easy to use

Where we don't like it

Dries slower than most products

A little pricey

I do like and feel the non-slip effect whenever I step on my trailer. For this reason, I don't mind using it on my own boat. That said, I don't really like the fact that it takes all day to harden, and its relatively high price tag.

11. RTG 512598 Anti-Slip Paint

This one keeps me from slipping, is not a pain to apply, is environmentally friendly, and provides good protection.

Overall, I like the value I get from this. It's cheaper than most products I use regularly, but I still get some benefits I can't, such as decent UV protection, slip resistance, and ease of application.

I'm not so sure about the durability, especially to moisture. Frankly, I wouldn't want to use it as an outdoor coating and expose it to rain and snow for long periods of time. A friend of mine had warned me about it when he used it to paint his patio, but based on my experience with trailers, that's a different story.

I can't say for sure that it lasts very long. Honestly, I wouldn't mind using it for a year at a time because it's so easy to apply. One coat is enough to get full coverage on most of my trailers, and then I always add another coat or two to make up for the dubious durability.

Did I mention that it dries very quickly in cooler weather? If the temperature hovers in the 70 degree range, things will be better. It's fastest drying time is less than 30 minutes. I wouldn't mind getting these time-saving benefits as long as I apply it carefully.

Considering the alternatives, the eco-friendliness of this product deserves all the attention it gets. I would much rather use a satisfactory paint that does not harm the environment or my health than a heavy duty paint that will cause the exact opposite.

What we like

Budget friendly

Proper protection against

Anti-slip features

Eco-friendly

Very fast drying

We don't like

Questionable durability

This paint offers a lot to boat trailers and their owners. It's hard to name another brand that offers the same thing.

12. FIXALL Anti-Slip Grip Anti-Slip Paint

This paint shines the brightest in terms of durability. It is naturally UV resistant, has great moisture absorption properties, has great non-slip traction, and doesn't cost much for a gallon.

I think this is beneficial to those who want to get the most slip resistance advantage from the paint they use on their boat trailers. Understandably, it's not really a priority for some boaters, but given the product's top-notch durability and decent moisture protection, it's well worth being considered as a go-to boat trailer paint. I would limit its use to fresh water, assuming you are going to submerge the trailer when launching, as it is not marine grade.

This paint can take a beating from the sun and even cold winter temperatures. The longest I've gone is 3 years without repainting. Even then it only thinned to a very minor degree and blistering was limited to tiny areas that were regularly exposed to the sun. I must stress that the damage was very marginal and there was no sign of rusting.

As for application, I always make sure to sand it evenly and then apply the first coat. It's not hard to spread at all, but I don't like that I have to wait all day for it to dry so I can apply a second coat. But for all the benefits I get, I believe the brand proves that it lives up to its name with this product.

What we like

Outstanding slip resistance

Proven durability

Excellent UV protection

Proper resistance to moisture and rust

Easy to spread

What we don't like

Takes a long time to dry

In the past, very few boat trailer paints have wowed me. This one proved to me that you just need to take the time to try other products because there is likely a gem waiting to be discovered.

Factors to consider when choosing paint for your boat trailer

"What kind of paint to use on a boat trailer?" This is a common question among novice boaters. Understandably, since there are no products specifically designed for trailers, this only makes the question more difficult. For boats, yes, but trailers? That's a long shot.

But that doesn't mean that products that work for boats can't work for trailers. Most paints designed for boats will actually adhere well to trailers. All I can say is that you just need to be aware of the factors and elements that your trailer is subjected to while out boating or towing.

With that in mind, keep these general questions in mind when making your decision.

Will it last a long time and provide enough protection for different weather conditions and changes in the elements?

It is a given that you should prioritize paint that can handle salt and fresh water, as you will be flooding parts of your trailer when launching and retrieving. In the best case scenario, any paint with strong moisture and water resistance will work well for this purpose, and most boat deck paints easily meet this requirement.

It won't hurt that it's resistant to UV rays and physical damage such as scratches and dull force as well. Adhesion also plays a vital role in this factor. Any paint that bubbles and cracks over a very long period of time is undesirable, no matter how many coats you use.

Also, pay attention to the consistency of different types of gloss levels and coatings. High gloss is usually the gold standard for durability, but I can say the same for oil-based, semi-gloss and epoxy coatings. Each has its shiniest points.

How long does it take for a paint to apply and dry?

Fast drying paint always has its benefits in that it easily brings time savings. However, this quality can be a double-edged sword. When it dries too quickly for your liking, you may end up with a thicker or thinner coating that you will find difficult to correct, especially in low humidity areas. Ultimately, it's best to finish drying the paint in a time frame you can live with.

Be aware of paints that are more difficult to mix or manage than others. Some boat trailer paints require special thinners or primers that are not always available. The same can be said for special rollers that are required for some paint products, such as some textured paints. Choosing the right paint for beginners will not only save time and effort, but also money.

Don't forget aesthetics and eco-friendliness

I didn't mention so much about colors and styles because it is very subjective. Nonetheless, if you end up choosing a style you don't like, it won't do you any good. Some people prefer a semi-gloss finish, while others won't settle for anything less than an eye-catching high-gloss sheen. Finally, do I need to explain why I prefer the eco-friendly option?

What is the best paint for a boat trailer?

For me, Rust-Oleum is the best fit and therefore the most versatile. Painting a trailer with Rust-Oleum is like salt and pepper, it's a safe combination. I recommend it to anyone who is not quite sure what paint to use to paint any kind of trailer, or to anyone who is looking for a paint to use on a galvanized boat trailer.

Almost every other product that works well on boats also falls into this category. As for the others, I can vouch for them based on the experience I relayed above.

How you can prepare your boat trailer for painting

Check the trailer! If there are any damaged parts, I suggest you take the time to repair them. After that, check for signs of rust. If they are present, sanding is a must to ensure proper adhesion. This should also effectively remove any remaining old paint from the surface.

Sometimes sanding may not be enough and you will need to rely on a power tool such as an angle grinder to remove all the rust. Be sure to remove any traces of dust and other debris from the surface. You can use a blower and a clean, damp cloth to ensure this.

How to Paint an Aluminum Boat Trailer

Learning how to paint an aluminum boat trailer only requires attention to what will best adhere to said metal. In my experience, sanding and a good primer are necessary for the best results. Use a primer that is specifically designed for metal or to provide rust protection.

Once you have done all this preparation and have the material you need, apply it as correctly as possible when doing the first coat. It is easy to overspray or over-roll in this case, so I highly recommend that you concentrate on applying an even coat from the start.

How to care for and maintain your newly painted boat trailer

Your boat trailer should be considered like new after it's been painted, so it doesn't hurt to take the time to check all of its components. Check the lights, bearings, wiring, connectors and other important parts to make sure each one is still working properly.

As far as making the paint last as long as possible, I suggest you limit its exposure to harsh environments. Don't leave your trailer in the sun for too long, regardless of its UV protection, it will do wonders for its longevity. The same can be said when immersing it in water or exposing it to moisture.

For me, the right technique and application has worked wonders for durability from the start. It's the only way you can maximize the durability of your paint. Cleaning the surface regularly should delay the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to dust, debris and moisture.

Conclusion

As you can see from the facts I listed above, the best painted boat trailer depends on the ability of the product to effectively fulfill your specific requirements when painting a boat trailer. After all, very few paints offer the full range of benefits. Taking the time to do this will only allow you to reap the benefits of protection, appeal and other conveniences that will last a long time.

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