So I’ve spent quite a long time repainting my brand new Harbor Freight trailer rails because I wanted the red to match the red that is on the sticker that I ordered from CLC that will be put on at the end. Besides there were so many places where the paint was scratched that I just wanted to make it look better.
So I started putting the frame together today and much to my horror if I take a fingernail and scratch down on some of the rails the new paint just peels right off like a sticker. Some of the rails are fine and some of them are scratching very easily. When I painted the rails I did not put any primer on it first because I thought that I could apply new paint to good new paint. If I don’t do something about the bad rails this thing is going to look like hell after a couple of seasons.
Please tell me what I did wrong and what can I do to correct it?
Well after doing my own searching I think I completely screwed up. Even if it’s brand-new nicely painted metal I think I’m still supposed to lightly sand it before applying new on top of it. I’m sure somebody will confirm. I felt like I just wasted a ton of hours…ugh.
Sadly yes you will have to start over, But on the bright side you can take the lessons you learned from painting it the first time and apply them to the second go around.
Start with sanding off all of the “NEW” paint. If you have a good pressure washer you could likely speed up the process of stripping the bad paint. Once the paint you applied is stripped completely, rough up the original painted surfaces with 220grit. After sanding, deep clean with some degreaser followed by a tack cloth. Once the surface has some tooth and is completely cleaned apply a new primer coat and base color… don’t forget a nice amount of clear coat for a durable and lasting finish. And always apply more lighter coats as apposed to fewer heavy coats.
I’m curious if Citristrip would help get the paint off quicker? I had to strip paint off my doors due to a poor job on my part of thinning the paint. The citristrip took it off quite easily and without issue. I also had to get some spilled paint off of a wooden deck that had baked on over a summer… citristrip + pressure washer made it an easy job. Might be worth considering if you have a large amount to remove… and then of course, sand the metal to prep. 😉