Trust me, I get it. There’s nothing more disheartening than seeing a rusty old dump truck that’s seen better days, especially when it’s your loyal workhorse like my 1993 Ford F900 was.

The price tags on professional painting services can make your heart skip a beat – believe me, mine did too. So, I rolled up my sleeves and committed to finding an affordable solution that wouldn’t sacrifice quality.

After much research and getting some good ol’ dirt under my nails, I found a way to give my trusty truck the makeover she deserved while keeping costs down. If you’re ready for a transformation story of your own without breaking the bank – buckle up!

Key Takeaways

  • To paint your dump truck, clean it first. Get rid of rust and fix any damages.
  • Choose a primer to prevent more rust. Use single – stage paint for color and shine.
  • Cover parts you don’t want painted with tape or plastic before painting.
  • After painting, use a clear coat for extra shine and protection.

Preparing the Dump Truck for Painting

Before you can dive into the painting process, it’s essential to prepare the dump truck. This stage involves a detailed cleaning procedure where every bit of dirt and rust is removed from your 1993 Ford F900 or Fontaine dump bed using tools like a grinder and wire wheel or sand blasting with materials such as Quikcrete all purpose sand.

Wire Wheel
Wire Wheel

After cleaning, any damages on the heavy gauge steel are repaired, then areas not to be painted are masked off to ensure precision during the paint job. Rust neutralization using products like POR-15 or Rustoleum primer is equally necessary in this phase for an impressive result that guarantees longevity.

Cleaning and Sanding the Surface

I am getting ready to clean and sand my 1993 Ford F900 dump truck bed. It has a heavy layer of surface rust. Here’s the best way I found to do it:

  • First, I get my safety gear together. I wear gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask.
  • I buy enough sand for my Harbor Freight 110lb blaster. Quikcrete all – purpose sand or white silica sand is a good choice.
  • Next, make sure the dump truck bed is empty and dry.
  • Before using the blaster, I check the nozzle size. It needs to be the right fit for my compressor.
  • Now, it’s time to start blasting! I aim the nozzle at the rusty parts of the dump truck bed.
  • To avoid silicosis, I don’t use dry sand.
  • The work can be slow but keep at it until all visible rust is gone.
  • After that, grab a grinder and wire wheel to smooth down any rough spots left behind by blasting.
  • Finally, wipe down with a wet cloth to remove any last bits of dust or debris.

Repairing Damages

I have some damages to fix before we start the paint job. Here are the steps I will take:

  1. Inspect the dump truck bed and cab for damages.
  2. Look closely at the fiberglass hood for any cracks.
  3. If there is a crack, I send it to a pro to get it fixed.
  4. Use a grinder and wire wheel to clean up heavy rust areas.
  5. For small rust spots, use an abrasive tip.
  6. Sandblast all parts of the dump truck using white silica sand.
  7. Use a compressor and air dryers from Harbor Freight 110lb blaster for this job.
  8. Make sure to wear safety gear as silicosis can occur from sand blasting.

Masking Areas Not to Be Painted

Before I start the paint job, I cover up parts of my dump truck that won’t be painted.

  1. I take a roll of masking tape.
  2. Slowly, I stick the tape to outline the areas to be painted.
  3. The rims, lights and the windows are all taped off.
  4. I want no spray or primer on these spots.
  5. Using big sheets of plastic or paper works well too.
  6. This will keep my dump truck looking clean after painting.
  7. Even when using sand blast machine or an abrasive tip, mask off is needed.
  8. Always make sure the tape is well – stuck on the surface or it might peel off during sand blasting.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Dump Truck

When it comes to choosing the right paint for your dump truck, there are a few key factors to consider. First, think about the type of paint you’ll need; typically, we’re talking about single-stage exterior cab paint, which can withstand the harsh conditions a dump truck often faces.

Second, color selection is crucial – while many operators opt for traditional hues like black or white, don’t be afraid to get creative and use this opportunity to boost your brand’s visibility with a unique color choice.

Finally, if your truck has areas prone to corrosion (such as a steel bed), I’d recommend investing in products like Rustoleum primer or an oil-based topcoat for extra rust protection and longevity.

Paint Type

I am picking a rust neutralizer and paint for my dump truck bed. I know that there are several types of paints out there. Some people use Rustoleum primer and oil-based topcoat as the main paint type.

For my 1993 Ford F900, I want to keep it tough but look good! So, I choose single-stage paint to make things easy. This kind of paint has color and shine in one step, no need for clear coat later.

Plus, they say it is great for heavy gauge steel like on Fontaine dump beds.

Color Selection

Picking the right color for your dump truck is fun. You can use any shade you like most. Think about the look you want. A bright color can make your truck stand out on the road. Dark colors such as black or gray are good choices for hiding dirt and grime.

The cab of my own 1993 Ford F900 will be dark blue, even though it was red before. The bed of the truck will be either black or gray. I might add some words to advertise my work too! Don’t forget, a new coat of paint makes an old truck look fresh again without spending a lot of money.

Painting Process

Before starting the painting process, gather all your essentials including primer, paint and clear coat. Ensure you have a well-ventilated area to work in and properly set up your tools.

Begin with applying a strong rust neutralizing primer that will create a robust base for the paint job – consider using something like Rustoleum rusty metal primer. Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint both the cab as well as dump truck bed; I recommend getting a single stage paint suitable for exterior cab from an auto paint store of your choice.

An essential reminder here is not to rush – let each coat dry thoroughly before proceeding with another one! After several coats of color, finish off by spraying on a clear protective topcoat for durability and shine which will make your dump truck look spectacularly new!

Applying Primer

Getting ready to put primer on your dump truck bed? Great! Here’s how it goes:

  1. Start by picking the right primer. Rustoleum rusty metal primer or a new primer from an auto paint store are good options.
  2. Make sure the bed is clean and dry before you get going. Dry sand works well for this.
  3. Use a compressor and air dryers if needed for the drying process.
  4. Pour your chosen primer in a spray can or a tool with an abrasive tip for ease of application.
  5. Carefully apply the primer onto each part of the dump bed, ensuring not to miss any spots.
  6. Let it dry as per the instructions on the primer box before moving on to paint.

Painting the Cab and Bed

Now, let’s dive into painting your 1993 Ford F900’s cab and bed. First off, you need a great primer. Try something like Rustoleum rusty metal primer. Use a good brush to apply it. Make sure all parts get coated well. This helps the paint stick to your truck.

Applying Clear Coat

I love applying the clear coat. It’s the last step to make the paint shiny and long-lasting. Here’s how I do it:

  1. I shake the can of clear coat well.
  2. Then, I hold it about 12 inches away from the truck bed.
  3. Next, I press down on the spray nozzle.
  4. While pressing, I move the can back and forth across the bed.
  5. The goal is to get an even coat over all painted areas.
  6. After spraying, I let the clear coat dry for a couple of hours.
  7. Sometimes, if needed, I add another layer of clear coat for extra shine and protection.


You now have the steps to give your dump truck a fresh, new look. Pick out your paint and get started. Don’t worry if you make mistakes. Just keep going and soon, your dump truck will look as good as new!


1. What do I need to start with when painting a dump truck bed?

Before you paint your rusty dump truck box, it’s important to use something like play sand or sand blasting sand to remove old paint and rust.

2. Can I find the tools for painting my truck at Yesterday’s Tractors?

Yes, Yesterday’s Tractors is a place where you can find tractor parts and other tools needed for a pickup or big vehicle like Ford & New Holland or Massey Ferguson.

3. How much will the whole paint job cost me for my Chevrolet Pickup?

The total cost of a paint job varies on many factors such as the selected tractor manuals’ instructions, Rustoleum route chosen and if extras like Rhino liner are used.

4. Are there color options when painting my 1956 1/2-ton dump truck?

Yes! There are various color choices available: from different shades of black Rustoleum oil-base topcoat to Rustoleum red primer which could be used before applying your desired color.

5. Do we have alternatives in place of new primers before applying an oil-based topcoat?

Fish oil is a good alternative before using ZeroRust product or oil-based topcoat; also make sure to protect yourself by wearing proper gear while working around chemicals too!

6. Do I need any special equipment beyond what’s needed typically in case of loader and scaffolding trucks?

It depends on the condition of your dump truck bed, Kubota / Yanmar based models might require Military trailer specific cleaning tools but usually no extra special equipment aside from standard safety gear necessary.

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