Thursday, September 26, 2013

Painting the exterior of a travel trailer

I've wanted to paint the outside of our travel trailer, aka: my sewing cottage, for a couple of years now, but just couldn't find the time.. I finally just made myself find the time this summer, and she's now done.. I'm really happy with the results and was very surprised at how easy it actually was. 

I had read on a trailer blog, Mobile Home Living, that you can paint the exterior using Rustoleum spray paint.. Who knew? 

I walked into a store called Merchandise Outlet one day and noticed they had a whole bunch of spray paint for $1.69 a can... The same paint cost $3.89 at WalMart, so I was excited.. They had quite a lot of the color "celery" and "ivory", so I decided that would be the color I'd use.. I bought 6 cans of the green and 8 cans of the ivory... In the end, I had to order another can of the green (celery) from Amazon because no one else carried it and Merchandise Outlet had sold out of it... I also purchased a couple of cans of the pink from WalMart, so all in all, I spent under $50 to paint it.. 

I scrubbed the trailer really well with an Rv brush and dawn dish soap! I sprayed it off really good and let it dry.. Once it was dry, I started painting from the top down.. First, though, I taped off all the windows. It only took me one day to finish it.. It really was easy to do.. 

Once the ivory and celery colors had been sprayed on, and it was dry (dried really fast.. it was a really warm day out), I taped off the center for the pink paint.. I used Scotch brand painters tape and nothing lifted off.. I was impressed! I just followed the same lines that already had a striped design, so it was very simple to do.. 

Once the pink paint was dry, I decided it needed something more, so I looked through my stencils and found one I liked..I love roses and gingham, so the two stencils I used seemed perfect. 

I used acrylic craft paints to do the stenciling, and once it was dried, I sprayed it with Rustoleum Clear Gloss Enable Spray to protect the stenciling from the weather.. I bought that product from Walmart for $3.77 a can...

So far, so good! I haven't noticed any fading.. It's been about 6 weeks and it looks just like it did the day I finished it.. 

I decided to add a rose wreath stencil to the front door.. This stencil has a special meaning to me.. Before I met my husband, I owned an old Victorian home, that I loved.. I had decorated the front screen door with this heart stencil, so this brings back a good memory every time I look at it. 

The people that bought my Victorian home have painted it some very odd colors, but they left the screen door the way it was, so my stenciled heart is still there ;o) 

Last thing I did was paint the window cover the same way, with a stencil and acrylic paints, then sealed it with the Rustoleum Clear Finishing spray.. 

I use the Sew Sweet Cottage to sew pet tents and kozy kitties, which I sell on my website Karens Kottage... I have a sewing room inside the house, but it is so nice having an extra sewing space! I love it out there. It's so peaceful and quiet.. 

For the last several years, we've used hay bales to block air from getting under the trailer, which helps with heating it in the winter.. This year, we decided to buy pink insulation board and used that to block the air, then my husband made a little picket fence to put up against it.. We had a whole bunch of wooden rails left over from another project years ago, so that's what he used to make the little fence. I bought a can of the same ivory paint I'd used on the trailer and painted the fence with a small roller... I also painted the little porch my husband made with the ivory paint. 

Next year we'll build a longer porch, about the width of the original awning and plant flowers in front of the picket fences.. I'd love to add flower boxes under the window's, too!

I had enough paint left over to spray paint the two wire chairs that sit in front of the trailer..

I didn't mention this at the beginning of this post, but it's worth mentioning. Before I did any painting on the trailer, I scrubbed the top of it really good with the RV brush, sprayed it off really well with the hose, then after it dried, I painted the top with Cool Top roof paint by DeWitt. It's an elastomeric roof coating, which helps seal any leaks and also keeps the trailer cooler in the summer by reflecting sun rays..I used a paint roller on a long handle. I painted while standing on a ladder, so I had to keep getting down, and moving the ladder to the next section, moving the paint tray, etc...It was very hot that day, so this was not a fun project, but something I knew I should do... I'm glad it's done! 

We bought the Cool Top from Home Depot for about $18 a can.. One can did the entire roof.. I also bought some Lap Sealant by Dicor to seal all roof seams.. The trailer doesn't have any leaks, and I want to keep it that way..  I couldn't find this locally, so I ordered it from Amazon.  This is something I still need to get to before too long! Maybe this weekend??? 

I didn't keep track of exactly what we spent to paint the exterior of our travel trailer, but with the roof and everything including the insulation board and picket fence around the bottom, it was well under $100... 


Now that My Sew Sweet Cottage is done, I've moved on to the little 1982 Sunline Travel Trailer we bought this summer.. I'm going to start painting the outside of that one today!