How to Paint Aluminum

How to Paint Aluminum

There are many ways to paint aluminum. Luckily, aluminum isn’t that complex to paint. This article outlines the materials you will need, and a step-by-step guide to painting aluminum.

Materials You Will Need

  • Aluminum you plan to paint
  • Degreasing agent
  • Soap and water
  • Cloth
  • Paint stripper
  • Wire brush
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Masking tape
  • Paint

How to Paint Aluminum in 11 Steps

Step 1. Clean Your Aluminum

You need to clean your aluminum to prepare it for painting. Clean it using soap, water, and a degreasing agent.

Step 2. Remove Any Old Paint Your Aluminum Has

Before using your paint stripper, review the manufacturer’s instructions, as they vary by brand. Use your paint stripper to remove the excess paint from your aluminum. Then rinse the aluminum with water and dry it with a cloth.

Step 3. Scrape Away Your Rust

You must remove any rust on your aluminum before you can paint. To remove the rust, mix warm water and degreaser, then use a wire brush and scrub the water and degreaser on it. Ensure you remove all the rust; if you don’t, your paint won’t apply properly.

Step 4. Apply Your Safety Equipment

Safety first! Time to suit up and put on your goggles, gloves, and a dust mask. Safety equipment is important for the next few steps.

Step 5. Sand Your Aluminum

Sand your aluminum with sandpaper using smooth and circular motions. Then wipe the dust off with a cloth, and sand it again.

Step 6. Rinse Your Aluminum Again

Rinse your aluminum again with warm water and a degreaser. Then rinse it again with just plain water and allow it to air dry, or dry it with a cloth.

Step 7. Cover Any Areas you Don’t Want To Be Painted

Cover any area you don’t want to be painted using masking tape to protect the areas you want free from paint and primer.

Step 8. Prime Your Aluminum

You can apply your primer by spraying it or painting it on. Make sure you overlap the paint and cover the entire surface. Let the primer dry for 15 minutes before adding another coat. You will want to apply two to three coats and wait one hour for the primer to dry completely.

Step 9. Buff Away Your Imperfections

After your primer has dried, you can buff away any imperfections using sandpaper. You should do this if the primer seems uneven, rough, or droopy.

Step 10. Apply Your Paint

It’s finally time to apply your paint! Wait about 15 minutes between each layer so it can dry. You will want to add about three coats of paint, and let your paint dry for 1-3 days.

Step 11. Apply Your Enamel

When your paint is dry, you can apply your enamel. Following the same timing of the paint, apply 2-3 coats, let each dry for about 15 minutes, and let your enamel dry for 1-3 days. After that, you are all set and ready to use your aluminum!

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