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Semi OT: Trailer Deck Paint

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  • Semi OT: Trailer Deck Paint

    Well, if you've been keeping track on the number of semi-OT posts I've made lately, you might start to see a pattern! I'll be putting my house on the market in the next year and moving my shop, so I've been thinking about what I need to get done around the property to sell it and what I need to move my shop efficiently. Hence the posts on backhoes, trailer tires, and the like.

    Anyway, my trailer is about 12 years old or so and it has a pressure treated wood deck. No signs of rot, despite the fact that I keep it outside. However, the sunlight is starting to take a toll on the wood. The exposed surface is starting to dry, check, and splinter. I was thinking about some kind of opaque deck paint - not so much for waterproofing but more for UV resistance. Obviously it needs to be reasonable tough to stand up to use and abuse. But I don't want anything too thick that will fill in the screw heads for the decking. When it comes time to replace boards, the last thing I want to fight is chipping globs of paint out of the Torx heads so I can get a bit in there. The other complicating factor is that the wood deck does have some oil stains on it from one of my milling machines. I forgot to empty the sump before moving it

    Any recommendations?

    I know used motor oil / diesel is a common protective coating but not what I'm looking for here.

  • #2
    Probably doesn't apply, but for box truck wood floors we used marine varnish.

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    • #3
      One of the best UV resistant paints is to use oil based untinted exterior paint if you can find it these days. It was recommended by an old paint dealer on the old Wood Mag forum.
      Glenn Bird

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      • #4
        Linseed Oil wood finish works great on decks of all kinds. Easy to apply and also to reapply in the future.
        Location: The Black Forest in Germany

        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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        • #5
          I used Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck. I had them mix it is some darkish grey/black color (recommended as most UV proof). Unfortunately my tilt trainer has to sit outside but its held up pretty well. Its took its biggest beating this year when I moved the entire shop between buildings. Rolling 50,000 lbs of stuff on and off it really beat the deck hard. I used the 2nd half of a gallon to coat is again before winter. Many of the tractor collectors actually just wipe the decks down with motor oil so that's an option.
          Mike
          Central Ohio, USA

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          • #6
            We have used Behr's Deck Over on a couple of our equipment trailers with good results. After about five years of sun/snow/rain/moving equipment it gives up the ghost and comes off with a pressure washer. The only downside is the stuff has a lonnng drying time and you'll be praying for sunny weather for at least 10 days.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CarlByrns View Post
              We have used Behr's Deck Over on a couple of our equipment trailers with good results. After about five years of sun/snow/rain/moving equipment it gives up the ghost and comes off with a pressure washer. The only downside is the stuff has a lonnng drying time and you'll be praying for sunny weather for at least 10 days.
              If that is the super thick "protective" paint "deck renewer".... It will likely work on a trailer, but I'd not advise using it on any deck where the ventilation underneath is restricted (very low decks). A neighbor used it, and a year or so later, we were out there replacing the entire deck floor, because too many or the boards were rotting from the underside up. The wood just did not dry out, but it seemed like it always got wet quickly.

              No problems (really, that is known) until after the paint was put on. Even some that were accessible and were checked before painting had rotted after it was put on (neighbor checked before painting so as not to waste paint on rotten boards).
              Last edited by J Tiers; 11-15-2020, 12:29 AM.
              CNC machines only go through the motions.

              Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post
                . When it comes time to replace boards, the last thing I want to fight is chipping globs of paint out of the Torx heads so I can get a bit in there. The other complicating factor is that the wood deck does have some oil stains on it from one of my milling machines. I forgot to empty the sump before moving it

                Any recommendations?
                On the several trailer decks I have replaced, getting the Torx screws out was an exercise in futility.Either the heads were rust pitted so bad the Torx drive stripped out, or the lack of any clearance in the self tapped threads meant they didn't back out anyway, but just snapped off. The last deck I did, I bought 2x10 treated, took a router and 1/4 slot cutter and milled grooves full length down the edge of each board. I used a 1-1/4 x 1/4" flat bar as a spline between boards. Over each cross member, I counterbored the wood over the spline, then drilled through for a 3/8" grade 5 carriage bolt and nut. That yielded a very solid deck, with a lot less fasteners. It's been doing well for the last 10 years or so, but the sun has taken its toll and it's time for a new deck.

                The neighbor did asphalt fence paint on his trailer deck. It protects the wood fairly good, but everytime he slides something around or walks his dozer on the deck, the paint gets scraped off and has to be touched up. That's why I do either diesel/oil mix or Olympic porch and deck stain, with my preference being diesel/oil cause it's cheap and doesn't come off 😆

                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  I've always used drain oil. With two "Driptroits" I get nice black oil, that I use a roller to apply. I usually apply it in July on the hottest day I can find. It soaks in and isn't slippery (if needed right away, some sand spread on it works). I can usually get 10 years out of a deck.

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