Enjoy Time Outdoors

Camping Trailer Project- Prepping the Siding

With the frame all painted up and drying, it’s time to move onto the siding.

To give the trailer a nice, custom built look and feel, I opted to use a tongue and groove car siding.Trailer-Staining Siding1

I chose this option mostly for it’s looks and weather tightness, but also for it’s ease in installation, low cost, and relatively llight weight.

I wanted the trailer to look earthy and natural, since it’s primary use will be in a natural environment like campgrounds and the woods  So for the stain I chose a high quality exterior grade cabin stain.

Instead of installing the siding on the trailer, then staining, I opted to pre-stain the individual boards in the controlled environment of the workshop.

Not only could I control the temperature and drying time (by being out of the baking sun), I could also lay them out very uniformly on the bench and ensure a good even coverage on the entire board, including the tongues and grooves.

The boards were stained in batches, only working with eight at a time.   This was limited to the number I could fit on my workbench island at one time.  This helped ensure a good, consistent applicTrailer-Staining Siding2ation for each set- and built in much needed breaks between batches.

The staining process went pretty quickly and smoothly.  To apply the oil-based stain I used a decent quality Minwax stain brush.  After staining a couple boards I would stop to remix the can, helping to ensure the stain color would be consistent from start to finish.

After the entire batch had it’s stain applied, I used a bunched up shop towel (the cloth like towels in a box) to wipe off any excess stain that did not penetrate into the wood grain.

Two coats were applied to each board without taking a break between applications then the boards were temporarily moved to the trailer for drying in the sunshine and summer breeze.

One key drawback to staining the boards indoors was the fumes.  Even with the doors and windows open, with box fans running, the fumes were pretty strong- requiring many ‘breather breaks’. If I was do it again I would still have done it inside- but would have used a high quality respirator.

Now that the siding is all stained and drying, the next step is giving them something to attach to and getting them installed!

Next up- the firing strips and siding installation…