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Frame Paint and Floor Undercoating

From the NSSO trailer-talk forum - discussion on what is best to use on your frame and underside of your new floor - make up your own mind!

POR15 (POR-15, Inc)

Alex highly recommended POR15 as a product he's used on his Triumph projects as well as on the frame of his Scotty Wannabe. With such high recommendation, that is also what Nancy went with on the Scotty Rear Door rebuild.

  • From Alex: The secret to success, is preparation. No grease, dirt or other paint. Bare metal, preferably rusty. ( no flakes) Use compressed air if possible to blowout all seams, joints, washers/bolts, spring seats, etc. Definitely use masking tape to tape off areas where you do not want the paint. Temperature is important. Room temperature, low humidity is best. It really is not as bad as they proclaim except when you get it on you. Also, don't wear anything close to nice clothes. This includes old work jeans, shirts, etc. that you would wear to the store. Once a speck gets on, its NEVER coming out. I use 2 coats where appropriate. Let dry before applying next coat. Thin is better. If you have nuts that you don't want to unscrew and fall off, paint them. You can get them off, but they won't come off on their own. Regarding their instructions that if there is any paint in the can lid and you put the lid back on, it will be permanently bonded shut, just put a piece of plastic from a grocery shopping bag between the lid and can.

  • From Nancy: I placed my order for 1 quart of POR15 and 1 pint of Blackcote (top coat for the tongue since it is exposed to UV rays). Comes to $80 with shipping. Not cheap but I've been very disapointed with my previous attempts at painting the tongues - after a year exposed to the weather, no matter what I used, they look awful and this stuff should look great, forever! After painting two coats on the entire frame, as well as two coats on my new axle, I still have maybe 1/3 of a quart left. I will probably use some of it on the rusty edges of the galvanized wheel wells. Alex is definitely correct about being careful not to get any on you. Wear good gloves - I buy Nitrile gloves very reasonably by the box of 100 at Harbor Freight. I also used their cheap white wood/light colored bristle paint brushes. Use once, throw away. The paint went on very smoothly and those cheap brushes worked great.

    Regarding using multiple products of POR15, I did not. I used a wire brush attachment in a 4" grinder to grind away all the major rust on the frame. I then used a small hand wire brush to get all the loose stuff off and wiped it all down with those blue shop paper towels. On the axle, where there'd been some glued on labels that I scraped off, I used goo gone and cleaned the gooey residue off and then I used a spray on degreasing cleaning product I bought at the store to wipe it down. I roughed up the axle with some course sand paper and painted away with the POR15.  Seems to have worked well. Paint seems to have stuck and be very nice. I'm impressed!

    Alex's frame after POR15

    Close-up of Alex POR15'd frame

Chassis Saver (Magnet Paints)

Ron says I'll be using the chassis saver both on the frame and the undersides of the
floor. It was developed for the heavy truck industry as a - you guessed it - chassis saver: It permanently stops rust and corrosion without the use of primers or topcoating. It is even used on those salt spreading trucks, so it is seriously effective! I apply it with a brush after using a wire brush a bit, but it can be rolled or sprayed on also. It becomes rock hard, yet remains flexible, and is tougher than anything else I have ever seen used. I'd say it is more durable than rhino lining, but it only takes one thin coat with a brush.As I remember how amazed I was when I first used the Chassis Saver that it was so quick and easy - and looked so good. (They can send you out a sample: about a 3" x 6" piece of sheet metal with a single brushed coat of their product. You can bend it, twist it, fold it over, try to scratch really is incredible stuff!

Herculiner (Herculiner)

  • Alex said: You roll this stuff on with a 3" roller and a very porous roller that is normally used for textured ceilings. The roller looks meshy for lack of a better word. You get one use from the roller because there is no way to clean them. Between coats I placed the roller tray and roller in a plastic trash bag so when it came time to second coat it was still good to use. That was the next day. I did the same thing after the second coat thinking I could use it again in a couple of days. The roller dried to the roller tray (metal) and I had to rip it off to use the tray again. The tray will have a nice coat of this on it but you can still use it. Try to get as much of the stuff out of the tray so when it dries it will not be to bad. Have a 2" or 3" cheap paint brush handy. The kind with the clear wood handle and light bristles that you can throw away when done. They cost under a $ each. This stuff has rubber chunks in it that required a thorough stirring. When you put it on, a thin 1st coat is better than a heavy one. You may question the coverage at first, don't. Just make sure you cover the wood and the rubber granules are spread through out. You will still see the grain after the first coat. It will look like a white washed effect but only black. The second thin coat will cover it nicely. This includes the sides of the ply also. I don't know how you will apply it, but if on horses make sure you have newspapers down on the floor. It is not real messy if you take your time. Make super sure you have rubber gloves on. Latex are fine. If you get it on your skin it will take weeks to get it off. If you try rubbing it off you will take skin off, so don't. Once it dries forget about doing anything to it. I have never seen anything like this stuff. For me, 1 gallon covered 2 4x8 sheets of plywood with 2 thin coats with about a pint left over. Try to gauge the usage as you are moving forward. I figured 1 quart per coat/sheet. Obviously 4 coats equals 2 sheets-2 coats. If you need more then Auto Zone carries it for about $28/quart.

  • Nancy said: I went ahead and ordered a gallon/kit and a quart. I found it on sale at JC Whitney and that seemed to be the best price. Figured I'd have extra for touch-ups if needed. I think I might roll this stuff along the edges of my sides to seal them too. Good to know Auto Zone carries it if I run out. And, thinking I may spray the outside of my sides with the rubberized truck bed liner in a spray can stuff - after painting them with 2 coats of weather beater exterior enamel.  Planning on this little guy lasting the rest of my life so going the extra mile on his rebuild.

Alex's plywood after one coat of Herculiner

Alex's plywood after two coats of Herculiner


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