Paint Aluminum




Introduction: Paint Aluminum

Materials and tools needed

  • Aluminum object
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paper towels
  • Product to remove oil and dirt. You can buy a specialty product in a DIY-store or just use detergent for washing dishes...
  • Sanding paper in different grit numbers. (We used 100, 400 and 1000)
  • Sanding block

We recommend using latex gloves in order to prevent oil and dirt getting from your hands on the surface of the aluminum object.

Step 1: Remove Oil and Dirt

Remove oil and dirt from the surface of the object you're painting by applying some detergent and wiping it clean with paper towels. We do this to prevent uneven sanding in the next step.

Step 2: Sand

Always use a sanding block!
You can buy them or just make one yourself. The only requirement is that you have a flat, sturdy surface.

Sand the aluminum with sanding paper with a low grit number. When the original paint is completely removed, sand out the scratches with a higher grit number.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Before applying primer. Clean the surface of your aluminum object again with the product you used before.

Once dried, apply a thin layer of primer in even strokes.

Step 4: Sand

Use a high grit number to sand your object again. You don't want to remove the primer, just prepare the surface for painting.

Step 5: Paint

The last step is to apply paint in a color of your choice. Apply 2-3 thin layers.

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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I work in aviation and when painting aluminum, follow these steps:
    1: remove any old paint
    2: polish with low grit to high grit until your standard is met
    3(optional): polish in the same direction and finish with scotch bright for a smooth finish.
    4: apply aluminum metal treat to any bare areas. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
    5: apply a light coating of primer and allow to dry for at least 10 minutes. Y ou waht the paint to be slightly tacky still.
    6: apply paint in 3 light coatings making sure everything is even and fully painted by the 3rd coat.
    Don't put too much paint at once or you risk runs and allow about 2-3 minutes between each coat.
    7(optional) if you want to add additional colors, wait about 2 hours for the paint to mostly dry, then mask and paint. Waiting longer than that: just pask and rub in with some scotch bright. Make sure to rub in the same direction (from left to right, etc..) for a good finish.
    8: finish and allow a full day to dry.


    4 years ago

    I would recommend doing an acid wash with 1 to 1 vinegar and water before priming to etch the surface after sanding. And then I would also use and self etching primer instead of regular primer. The more you can give the paint something to grab the longer your paint will last.


    5 years ago

    We usually recommend X-IM or Z Prime II for aluminum surfaces. These are products available in the US.


    5 years ago

    awesome job. it's all about surface prep. sanding the metal down to a rough surface and making sure the substrate for the material is correct. an easy way to check is take a white lint free cloth and wipe the metal. if it's clean on the wipe. it's good to go.

    UK Ninja96
    UK Ninja96

    5 years ago

    It's probably not sandpaper (glass paper) it's ether aluminium oxide (white grit) or silicone carbide (wet or dry) for metal


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is some great information. I've never tried painting aluminum before but I'm sure that it would flake off if you didn't prepare the surface right.