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 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.
Painting aluminum at home is a rather complicated and time-consuming job that needs you to meet certain conditions. Otherwise, the slightest damage or scratch is enough to affect the painted surface, and the dried paint layer will easily come off. Aluminum is painted according to special technologies that allow the paint layer to adhere well and serve for a long time.
Aluminum is known for its high chemical activity, and in the open air, products made of this material are covered with a protective oxide film. Therefore, the coating should perform both a protective and decorative role. At present, two methods are used to paint aluminum – with or without anodizing. Let us have a look at these methods in detail.
How to anodize aluminum?
Now there are many ways to paint aluminum at home, but a durable coating can be obtained using anodizing, and in other cases, painting aluminum surfaces will only give a temporary result. Anodizing is a process aimed at improving the appearance of metal and protecting it from oxidation. It allows the metal surface to get a beautiful gray tint, and the product can be painted with a suitable paint after it.
- Prepare two solutions of high concentration, using baking soda and table salt. Substances are dissolved in water for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally, then the solutions are filtered.
- To prepare the electrolyte, both solutions are mixed in a glass container. You will need 9 parts of a soda solution and 1 part of a saline solution. The liquids should be thoroughly mixed
- An aluminum surface is pre-cleaned with fine sandpaper, degreased with a special agent or a solution of washing powder in hot water, and then washed under running water. In order not to leave fingerprints on the prepared part, take it by the edges or with gloves.
- Meanwhile, the electrolyte is poured into an aluminum container and an aluminum product is placed there. A car battery or an adjustable rectifier with a voltage of 12 volts and a current of 2 amperes can be used as a current source. The minus is connected to the aluminum container and the plus to the part itself. The current density in this case should be about 15 milliamperes per square centimeter. The anodizing process itself lasts about an hour and a half. The surface should acquire a grayish-blue bloom.
- After that, the surface can be left in its current state or painted.
Painting with a primer.
Aluminum anodizing can be avoided. If necessary, you can do without this procedure and use a primer that allows you to increase the quality of adhesion of paint and metal. You will need the following materials and tools:
- kerosene, acetone and any other means for degreasing;
- special paint for metal;
- alkyd-based primer;
- roller or brush.
The whole procedure starts with surface treatment with sandpaper to increase adhesion to the primer. The best option is medium abrasive sandpaper. After a thorough sanding, the products are treated with acetone using a delicate cloth that leaves no fibers. Use rubber gloves to protect the skin of the hands.
Then the surface is covered with the primer. It is important to distribute it quickly and immediately after processing as the durability and reliability of a covering depends on it. It is recommended to prepare primers before you start sanding the surface. Stains and irregularities that occur after application of the primer can be removed with sandpaper.
You will need to apply at least two layers to the surface. Before applying the next coating, the previous layer must be completely dry.
Types of paints for aluminum
Most often aluminum surfaces are treated with the following paints:
- Acrylic paints. This coating is resistant to damage, moisture, and sudden changes in temperature. The paint is applied on top of the primer layer.
- Epoxy paint. It is made on the basis of special resins, thanks to which it has such characteristics as durability and strength.
- Aniline paint. This coating was originally created for the textile industry. It is optimal for aluminum products that have undergone the anodizing procedure. 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 room for painting by removing unnecessary debris, tools, and other things that will interfere with the process. 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, the 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 positive results. From this article, you can see that painting aluminum can be done even at home if you approach it responsibly.