How To Paint Aluminum: 5 Elite Steps To Be Followed

Hello Painters! In this article, we are going to discuss how to paint aluminum. Along with the main topic, we’ll also discuss essential topics like What is meant by aluminum? How to prepare aluminum for painting? How to paint aluminum? What are the steps you need to follow to paint aluminum? We will give information to you in the form of video and images in an interesting way. Keep on reading for more details in this article. Before completing this article, we will include the main information you require in an easy manner.

How To Paint Aluminum

Have an overall idea on the topic of how to paint aluminum in the form of a video

How To Paint Aluminum In Detail

Before going to the main topic let’s first know about aluminum.

What Is Aluminum?


Aluminum is a durable metal at the same time it is a silvery-white and lightweight metal. The softness and malleability of aluminum make the material flexible and serve a variety of uses. Generally, aluminum is used in a range of products such as home furnishings(cabinets), airplane parts, high-end cars, and window frames. As it is a popular material, many people find ways of personalizing it to add their own touch, and this is often done by painting it. Even though it is a time takes process when compared to other types of metals, it is still possible to do so when it is done correctly.

How To Prepare Aluminum For Painting

For best results, first, you will need to prepare the aluminum for painting. First, you need to sand the surface to ensure that it is rough so that the paint clings to it. You can do sanding with the help of medium grit or sandpaper. You need to apply paint primer as this will encourage the paint to adhere to the surface of the aluminum. The use of a primer will deliver high-quality results ensuring that the paint is long-lasting and durable once it has dried.

How To Prepare Aluminum For Painting

Applying a topcoat or sealer following the application of paint is also recommended as this will ensure that the paint remains stuck to the surface and doesn’t fade or wash away shortly after application. Preparing the aluminum before painting is an intricate part of the process. If the metal isn’t inadequately prepared, the paint is more likely to chip and peel.

How To Paint Aluminum In 5 Steps

1. Sand And Clean The Surface Thoroughly To Paint Aluminum

Before attempting paint to aluminum the surface of aluminum should be thoroughly cleaned. One point you must remember is to protect the surface where you are going to be placing the aluminum. You can protect the surface using drop cloths. Once it seems the surface is protected, you can start cleaning the aluminum.

Remember that it must be free from dirt, grease, or oil markings. You just require warm water and a degreasing cleaner to clean the metal. Using a cloth, wipe the surface of the aluminum using a combination of degreaser and warm water. If your aluminum has already been covered with a layer of paint, then you may have to remove it using a metal brush. After cleaning the aluminum, let it dry thoroughly. If you’re confident that your metal has been cleaned thoroughly then you can start sanding it.

Sand And Clean The Surface Thoroughly To Paint Aluminum

You should continue this process of sanding until the surface develops a rough texture. This shouldn’t occupy a significant amount of time but is simply required to add texture because the paint will struggle to stick to a smooth surface. After done, wash the metal to remove the particles of dust that have gathered during the process. Let the surface dry. When you are confident that the aluminum is clean and sufficiently sanded you can progress to the next step.

2. Apply A Self-Etching Primer To Paint Aluminum

Next, you need to apply a self-etching primer as it possesses qualities that will encourage the paint to bond to the metal’s surface. This primer is formulated from a combination of chemicals that will micro etch to the surface. We would advise you to select it in spray paint form and apply it at a distance from the surfaces of the product. You may require multiple layers of the primer.

Apply A Self-Etching Primer To Paint Aluminum

Make sure to allow it around 5 minutes to dry in between coats. Let it dry for 4 to 6 hours however, a specified time will typically be stated on the product’s packaging. When you seem primer dried, then take the sandpaper again and wipe away the remaining dust or dirt from the surface. Aluminum forms a thin layer of oxide on its surface because of this priming the surface is most important. When you do not prime the surface, it will make it difficult for the paint to stick to it.

3. Apply The Paint To Aluminum

Here is the exciting part and that is applying the paint. Make sure to select a paint color of your choice. While metallic colors tend to be a favorable choice when painting metal, as there are many selections available make sure to find one that is good to your preference. And make sure that the paint you selected is suitable for metal surfaces or not. If the aluminum is going to be kept outside, you must ensure that your chosen paint is labeled “exterior grade”.

Apply The Paint To Aluminum

Painting the surface white before adding the colored paint is advised but not essential. You should avoid glossy paints as they tend to accentuate any dents or scratches on the metal surface. Painting can be done in two ways: use spray paints or paints that need to be applied using a brush. You should try and apply around 4 to 5 coats of the paint although if you are uncertain or you can check the product packaging as this will specify the recommended amount of layers that should be applied. Make sure to wear protective clothing.

4. Allow The Paint To Dry

Allow The Paint To Dry

When you are happy with the painting, you will need to allow it to dry. Again the specifications of the paint will state how long this process should take, however, you should expect it to take at least 24 hours. Ideally, it should be placed at a distance from other objects and surfaces and completely dried before it is put to use.

5. Apply The Sealer To Paint the Aluminum

After aluminum is dried then add the sealer this step isn’t compulsory but it is advised. When your aluminum is kept outdoors applying sealer is important as it will protect it from fading when exposed to different weather conditions. Using a sealer can also protect the metal from chips and scratches and as a result, it will ultimately prolong the life of the aluminum by enhancing its ability to withstand a range of conditions.

Apply The Sealer To Paint the Aluminum

You will likely need to apply multiple coats of the sealer so that it is sufficiently sealed and protected. It is important to ensure that it is fully cured before exposing the aluminum to the elements because otherwise, it may not protect the surface as well as anticipated.

Also Read: How To Paint An Aluminum Boat

Final Thoughts

As you can see painting aluminum is a pretty straightforward process and less challenging to be. Although you will require the use of several supplies during the process, you may already possess some of these supplies, e.g clothes, and a degreaser, but you will also need to invest in the additional specialized products.

It is important to ensure that you select specific aluminum paint because they have properties that will adhere to the aluminum surface. Ensuring that the aluminum is properly protected is going to be hugely influential in deciding how long the paint lasts before the appearance begins to deteriorate and starts peeling or fading and after dedicating time to your project you of course want to avoid this eventuality.