Choose the Best Paint for Aluminum
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Aluminum objects are very common in everyday life. But over time, they lose their appearance, and you may need to renovate and paint them. Most people who want to paint this metal believe that it is quite simple and easy to do. But it is not enough to put the brush in a jar of paint, smear it on the metal and wait for it to dry. Actually, everything is much more complicated than it seems. The process of metal painting requires not only skills and abilities but also knowledge about the composition and types of paints and the properties of the aluminum surface.
Painting aluminum can become a real challenge, especially if you are going to do it at home. The difficulty of working with such a material is due to its oxidation upon contact with air. Aluminum has excellent corrosion resistance as it forms a special film when interacting with air. It prevents moisture and rust. At the same time, this layer prevents the penetration of paint into the metal. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow the instructions for painting aluminum surfaces, otherwise, your efforts will be practically useless, and the color will not last long.
In this article, we will review the 5 best aluminum paints and discuss the most common methods of this metal painting.
All-in-one spray paint – the best means for DIY repair
The current product comes in matte silver shade but the manufacturer also offers other colors of paints to choose from. It is advisable to wear a protective mask and gloves when working with this paint. The paint will work best in a warm environment and not too high humidity.
- Smooth coverage;
- Rust protection;
- Matte finishing;
- Quick dry.
- The nozzle easily gets clogged providing uneven coverage.
The paint is a great solution for DIY projects both indoors and outdoors. You can restore many things at home with this silver metal spray. Users say they applied it even for aquarium tanks and flower pots with a superb result. One spray bottle will allow you to cover 25-30 square feet. The full drying will need 48 hours, and the finish is very durable. Aluminum and other metal surfaces may need several coatings for the best outcome.
Black Finish for Metal – a must-have for gunsmiths.
Its main role is to turn raw aluminum black, so avoid using the paint on the anodized surfaces. The final color is from gray to black depending on the surface color. But you may reapply the paint until you get the desired shade.
- Works at room temperatures;
- Quickly removes scratches;
- Easy to use;
- Instant result;
- Good for small touch-ups.
- Cannot be used for other alloys
If you need to perfect your gun appearance, this finish will be the right choice. The product is especially good for scratches and other touch-ups. You will have to prepare properly the surface you intend to finish and deoxidize it to get it clean from oils and protective films. Only then you can use the product. This paint will also be good for other small aluminum objects like nameplates, trophies, etc.
Flameproof Aluminum Coating – a great assistant for every motorist
You can use it for brakes, engine parts, exhaust, and much more. The properly applied and cured paint will provide durable protection for your vehicle.
- Withstands very high temperatures;
- Ultimate protection;
- Durable coating;
- Matte finish.
- Complicated curing process.
You can use this paint for many purposes for your vehicle finishing – engine parts, exhaust, headers, brakes. Overall, it is specifically designed for all the parts that work in high temperatures. The only difficulty the user may experience is a bit of a complicated curing process that requires alternating periods of curing and heating. You will need to carefully follow the enclosed instructions to achieve the best results. Do not forget to clean and degrease the surface before treatment.
High Temperature Paint for Aluminum – the best treatment to heat exposed parts
The manufacturer provides all instructions on application and curing. The paint can withstand extreme temperatures which makes it ideal to be used for all types of cars. The finished parts will not lose color for a long time.
- Temperature resistant;
- Easy to apply;
- Durable color;
- Empty cans can be normally utilized.
- Paint leftovers must be disposed of responsibly.
When using this paint, the main idea is to prepare the surface properly before application and to follow the curing instructions precisely. Otherwise, you will not achieve the desired result. It is recommended to sandblast the surface and only then paint it. The paint will be dry to touch in 4 hours approximately, but the second coating can be applied in 24 hours only. The paint should be used only outdoors in a well-aired area. Do not work with it without protective clothing.
Metal ultra-cover – multi-purpose aluminum finish spray
The paint comes in a spray bottle, and it is easy to cover even hard-to-reach places using it. It can be applied at any angle with a superb result.
- Double cover technology;
- Can be used indoors and outdoors;
- Good for many surfaces;
- Durable effect;
- Easy to apply;
- Shiny metal finish.
- The nozzle can get clogged.
This paint is fine for a number of purposes indoors and outdoors. It will work ideally on various surfaces, including aluminum. Double cover technology will make the whole process fast and efficient. The paint needs only 20 minutes to dry. These features make the product a perfect choice for DIY projects. It comes as a 2 bottle package that allows you to cover almost 50 square feet of the surface.
If you are going to paint aluminum at home, be prepared to devote enough effort and time to this job. If you do not do it correctly, the wrongly applied paint will be easily scratched or damaged. Moreover, it can simply come off after drying. First of all, learn everything about the technology you will need to follow for a good result. This way you will achieve strong adhesion and the painted surface will serve for a long time.
Aluminum is a metal with high chemical activity. The aluminum surfaces get quickly covered with a special oxide film when they are in the open air. That is why, the paint plays not only a decorative role, but also protects this metal. In general, you can use two methods for this job – you can plain aluminum with anodizing or apply a special primer to avoid this procedure. Let us have a look at these methods in detail.
How to anodize aluminum?
Now there are many ways to paint aluminum on your own, but a durable effect can be obtained with the help of special pretreatment of the surface. It is anodizing that allows you to avoid a temporary result. What is the purpose of this procedure? This process improves the appearance of a metal and does not allow it to react to the air influence. Anodizing makes the metal surface look greyish. But you can use any suitable paint to give the surface a different color.
- You will need baking soda and usual table salt. Then you have to make two highly-concentrated solutions. For this, dissolve substances separately in water and leave for thirty minutes. You may occasionally stir them, and these should be filtered finally.
- When you mix these two solutions, you will get the electrolyte. For the best results, take 9 parts of the soda concentrate and 1 part of the salt solution. Be sure to mix everything properly.
- An aluminum surface must be prepared for the procedure. Use sandpaper to process it, degrease it using a special substance or prepare a solution of washing liquid with hot water. Be careful not to leave fingerprints on the finished surface. The best method is to use gloves.
- Then you need to pour the electrolyte into a container and place an aluminum product there. The next step is to find a current source. You can use a device with a voltage of 12 volts and a current of 2 amperes. Connect the minus to the container, and the plus to the aluminum surface. You will need an hour and a half for this process. In the result the surface will get a greyish shade.
- After successful completion of the process, you can paint aluminum parts.
Using primer for aluminum painting
The above-described procedure can be avoided. If necessary, you can achieve good results without anodizing and use a primer that allows you to increase the quality of adhesion of paint and metal. You will need the following things for this task:
- kerosene, acetone and cleansers for degreasing;
- paints that can be used for metal;
- special primer;
- a tool for applying paint.
The whole procedure starts with surface cleaning with sandpaper to achieve better adhesion of the primer. The best option is a medium abrasive sandpaper. After this stage, use acetone – apply it with a cloth. It is important to do all this in protective gloves to protect your hands.
The next step is to apply the primer. The key point is to spread the primer evenly as quickly as possible. The result of the treatment largely depends on the speed of your performance. It is suggested to prepare the primer at the very beginning. But small drawbacks that may be found after application of the primer can be improved with sandpaper.
You will need to apply at least two layers to the surface. Before applying the next coating, the previous layer should be ideally dry.
Types of paints for aluminum
Most often aluminum surfaces are treated with the following paints:
- Acrylic paints. This option is very durable and does not react to moisture and sudden changes in temperature. But you will need a primer layer before using acrylic paint.
- Epoxy paint. It is made on the basis of special resins, thanks to which it is very strong.
- Aniline paint. This coating was originally created for textile production. It is optimal for aluminum products that have been preliminary anodized. But it can be low-resistant to moisture and sunlight.
After you have chosen the painting method, you should also learn safety measures to follow during this work. It only seems that this process is not complicated. Follow these instructions if you want to paint aluminum at home:
- It is necessary to prepare the area where you will be conducting the painting. It is advisable to clean it of dust, since its particles can spoil the result, settling on the painted surface.
- It is important to paint the part in good lighting. So all the flaws, irregularities and smudges will be visible.
- All the painting procedures should be carried out in well-ventilated areas, regardless of the composition of the paints.
- It is necessary to avoid drafts.
When working with paints containing toxic components, all work must be carried out in special protective clothing. Protective glasses will also help protect your eyes from splashing components and ready-made formulations. Hands must be protected with gloves.
Useful Video: Painting Aluminum, Spray Can Primers Compared
The choice of any method, adherence to recommendations, technology, sequence of actions, will allow you to get a high-quality painted part, protected from oxidative processes. It is important to choose high-quality materials, paints, degreasing solutions to achieve the positive results. From this article, you can see that painting aluminum can be done even at home if you approach it responsibly.