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Cargo Trailer Roof Refinish With Rust-Oleum, Gator

Cargo Trailer Roof Refinish with Rust-Oleum and Gator Finishing products.

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Rust-Oleum and Gator Finishing Products. The product links below may contain affiliate links. I receive a small percentage if you purchase via those links. However, this in no way changes the price for you. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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If you own a cargo trailer, you know the importance of keeping the roof in great shape to avoid leaks. The last thing you want is a roof leak that will cause water damage to the interior structure and everything in it.

I recently refinished the roof of my cargo trailer. When I bought it, the metal roof was unprotected and completely covered in rust. Here’s the tools and products I used to take on this cargo trailer roof refinish.

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Tools, Supplies, PPE, and Steps

I’ve linked to several different retailers below for your convenience. I encourage you to shop around as I’ve found that each item may sell for less at a different retailer.


DEWALT Random Orbital Sander

HANDy Paint Tray

HANDy Paint Tray Liner

Paint Roller Frame

9 in. Paint Roller Covers


Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer

Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel

Rust-Oleum Black Spray Paint

Gator 60 Grit Sanding Discs

Rhodes American Steel Wool

Extension Cord

Plastic Sheeting


Personal Protective Equipment

Firm Grip Dura-Knit Gloves

RZ Mask Dust Mask

3M Safety Glasses

3M Earmuff

Related Article: PPE: DIYers Should Use Personal Protective Equipment

*Cannot be combined with other promo codes. Can only be used one time, per person.


Time needed: 1 day.

Cargo Trailer Roof Refinish

  1. Remove all rust with steel wool and Gator Finishing sandpaper.

  2. Clean off any dust.

  3. Tape off the area to be painted with FrogTape.

  4. Roll on two coats of Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer.

  5. Roll on two coats of Rust-Oleum protective enamel.

  6. Remove all FrogTape.

Cargo Trailer Roof Refinish

That metal roof looked pretty bad, right? Even though it was in such bad shape, there were no leaks that I could find. It took me several hours to scrape and sand off the rust. That’s a process that just takes time, so patience is key.

Once the rust was off, I cleaned and taped off the roof with FrogTape and rolled on two coats of primer and two coats of protective enamel. I chose semi-gloss enamel so it would be easier to clean.

The final step was to remove the painter’s tape. The finish turned out awesome! It looks like a brand new roof. I also went ahead a sprayed on a coat of Rust-Oleum gloss black spray paint on the trailer tongue.

There are other cosmetic issues like scratches and dents that I might fix in the future. There’s also some old caulk on the sloping fiberglass next to the roof. The roof, though, was the main issue for now, and it should now be good for many years to come.

Have you refinished your own cargo trailer roof? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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