Painting Garden Cart bed

exmarFebruary 17, 2011

Hi Folks,

Need to paint the inside bed of my garden cart. It's, I think, an Agri Fab, the 18 cu.ft. model. Historically, all I did in the fall was wash it out well, wire brush, let dry for a day or two then apply a couple of coats of cheap black paint. Yeah, I know, you get what you pay for. However, I do know that expensive paint without proper surface preparation is a waste of expensive paint.

I also know that sandblasting would be a good way to go, not in my budget, also I use this for hauling dirt, composted horse manure, etc. and unload with a flat shovel which scrapes the bed.

What I was thinking of doing was using one or two applications of Naval Jelly, then following with an oil based paint. Tractor Supply as some geneneric oil based paint in "rattle cans" that seems to work OK and isn't too expensive.

I also seem to recall a post "somewhere" that truck bed liner, the brush on kind, was useful in this application. Don't know anything about this product, but the concept seems intriguing.

Another possibility, in view of the constant scraping from the shovel would be to cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom of the bed and let that take the punishment. What I'm wondering about is whether the wood would "draw damp" and be in constant contact with the metal underneath resulting in a worse situation.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your time,


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I've seen garden carts made with the heavy plastic stuff, st one of our local garden supply stores.
Or, go buy a sheet of galvanised tin, measure it to fit, then leave an inch of material to turn up all around, and rivet it in the cart. It'll last a long time. I built one back around 1955, and it hasn't rusted out yet. Used galvanized tin for the whole thing. Just looked at it this past week. It sits outside all year 'round. If you use rivets, put the heads on the inside.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:35PM
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The bedliner stuff would be durable, but I think material would stick/ not slide out easily. If that isn't an issue- it is a killer idea.
Rustoleum Hammered finish is real tough, doesn't need priming and looks kind of neat too.
They have various finishes tagged "grease paint" or "graphite paint" like they use in gravity bins would help material slide out. I have a can of "EZ Slide" that I did a new mower deck underside with. It basically got sand blasted off in that application however. People on the mower or tractor forum have talked about coatings that seem durable for decks which may work well for your purpose too.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:50PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

A sheet of aluminum or stainless that covers the entire bed seems to last forever.

I bought a cart at a garage sale years ago and the one in my cart shows no wear at all.

I have tried various paints and stains and none hold up very long if hauling dirt, firewood, branches etc. The metal will cost more than paint but over the long term, will probably be cheaper.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:27PM
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The aluminum sheet is a capitol idea for a flat bed. Did that on my utility trailer that has a load handler on it. Slick and it takes the abuse of rock reasonably well too.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:56PM
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I went to a DOT repair shop and they gave me an old al. sign heavy guage and free.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 6:11PM
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