Who would have thought that the South was going to be blanketed with upwards of 12″ of snow just hours after Santa made his rounds this past Christmas? Certainly Crystal and I didn’t when we originally made our plane reservations to fly out of Raleigh, NC to Atlanta, GA on Dec. 26. But even with 3″ of snow laying on the ground an snow plows moving about feverishly about on the runways we made our trip home for Christmas and New Years.

That’s right, we are back in Georgia for a month in order to wrap up some business things (including tax prep thank you very much, Uncle Sam!), work on Tiny House, and just plain visit with family. Having that in mind and a month of uncertain weather looming we took every advantage of the 50 degree New Years Eve day to unpack our overalls, fire up the sandblaster, and finish off the trailer.

You may remember that in our Tiny House Update from 10.25.10 we talked about possibly sandblasting and priming the 30′ trailer we had recently purchased. You may even remember seeing pics of the event on our Flickr page. But when we moved to North Carolina just before Thanksgiving leaving our future Tiny House back in middle Georgia, we had sandblasted only the top and sides of the trailer and primed even less. There was much left to be done before it was truly weather-proof and ready to be built upon.


Sandblasting should be called “Abrasive Blast Cleaning,” to be technically correct. This term takes into consideration all of the many and varied abrasives commonly used. By definition, sandblasting is the cleaning of surfaces by the action of abrasives propelled by compressed air through a nozzle. Several degrees of surface preparation can be obtained by sandblasting, and the wise purchaser or contractor should decide in advance the exact degree required and expected.

Sandblasting finds its most common application in the cleaning of metal objects, however it is also used to frost glass for decorative purposes, in removing finishes from wood and plastics, removal of latence from concrete, cleaning brick and stone buildings, and many other unusual jobs.


In blasting metal the answer is contained in two words: Anchor Pattern. These words describe the etched surface (or tooth) obtained by the abrasive striking the metal. The Anchor Pattern provides a clean etched surface to which the modern coatings will adhere.

Cost conscious buyers know that corrosion prevention is cheaper than replacement of the structure or item and as a result very costly coatings are now being used in place of very cheap paints, as in the past. While these coatings may seem costly to purchase and apply, if their greater life is considered the yearly cost to the buyer is substantially reduced. None of these coatings will give their maximum life unless the surface is properly prepared by sandblasting.

So with the sun high above us and the wind blowing very gently we (along with my pop and my brother-in-law) went at finishing the sandblasting including the bottom of the trailer which had to be reached by lifting the trailer on its side. (Thank goodness for our friend, Mr. John Deere!). We also had to use a wire brush at several points to really polish away at some tricky, corner spots that had all but been forgotten by time.

Once the entire trailer had been sandblasted, scratched up, and otherwise prepared for primer I went about re-priming (I had originally spray paint primed about 65% of it back in early November) using a can of oil-based rust proof grey primer and a few rollers. The primer went on much smoothers, laid a thicker coat, bonded more earnestly, and wasted less. I was quite pleased in the amount of time it took and the quality of the job.


A primer is a preparatory coating put on materials before painting. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the material being painted. Metal hydroxides/oxides do not provide a solid surface for the paint to adhere to, and paint will come off in large flakes. Using a primer will provide extra insurance against such a scenario. An additional reason for using a primer on metal could be the poor condition of the surface.

Once the primer dried we went about painting the entire trailer with a can of Rust Proof satin black oil-based enamel made by ACE (comparable to Rust Oleum). The paint went on rather smooth. It did get a bit tacky rather quickly and you had to keep really rolling at a good pace or else you would take as much off as you put on once it began to dry. Otherwise though, it left the trailer looking almost brand new and certainly ready to be built upon.

All in all the step was a good one for Tiny House and has now moved us up on our timeline so that next weekend we can replace one of the four tires, replace all four valve stems, buy new shackles and bolts for the leaf springs, and reassemble the wheels and tires.

You can view the entire Flickr set of this update project by visiting this link.