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Thread: painting aluminum?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default painting aluminum?

    Can anyone provide advice any tips or advice on painting aluminum? What prep work is needed? Special paint? What can be done to make it last longer? I have the 19' and looking to maybe use it for duck. Thanks for the help/
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    I like to use an alodine treatment under paint. Acid cleaner (rinse well out of all the nooks an crannies) then the chemical etch. Dupont, PPG and others make it. Can be a 1201 A & B type setup.... Where A is the cleaner and B is the etch. Also provides good corrosion protection....Makes the paint stick to Aluminum... Make sure you use the type made for aluminum.

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    The spammers are back...

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    they left?

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    Aluminum painting...

    1st step - Wash with soap and water to remove all dirt and oily residues
    2nd step - Warm surface to at least 60F (warmer is better) and acid etch with Zepalume or similar to remove the oxidation layer
    3rd step - Sand the surface with overlapping circular pattern to create millions of fine surface scratches for mechanical adhesion
    4th step - Warm surface to at least 60F and apply Alodine per the directions; alumimum surface should be gold tinted upon completion
    5th step - Spray on multiple light coats of paint using automotive painting techniques; primer and then color and then topcoat (clear)

    Let 'er fully cure before subjecting to the elements or any mechanical abrasion. Best results are to keep it in a heated and ventilated area for about a week.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Yes, warm is good. Sanding is bad for alclad aluminum. The best way to apply acid etch/ alodine is with the 3M scotchbrite type pads. Green/red for heavily oxidized. Grey/white for alclad or new aluminum. Alclad is a layer of pure aluminum over a heat treated, compounded core.

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    These above ideas are real good.
    What I've done with my aluminum boat windshield, and 2 meat trailers is go to napa and get some self etching primer for aluminum(you have to ask for it). sand aluminum a bit to rough up, mineral spirits to remove dust,then apply etching primer(it's grey).You can let dry and lightly sand it for a second coat. then use what ever paint you want. OD Krylon fusion has worked well . So if it's not a super spendy "duck canoe" you'll be fine. About $35.00 2 hours

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the replies and help, the temp thing might be a problem.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Sanding is bad for alclad aluminum.
    Not if you want the paint to stick. We're not talking about getting out the power sander and going after it like glass or wood. You don't actually remove a bunch of material. You just need a light circular or criss-cross surface scuff. Use 400-600 grit sandpaper. Do it by hand (like Karate Kid... the original). Move light and fast over the surface. You should not make any notable sanding dust in the process. A brillo pad is more for polishing and is not making the small, sharp edged cuts that will give the paint something to grab onto. Too much polish and you're paint wont have anything to stick to. Etch and alodine alone are not enough to keep paint stuck to aluminum. You must have a mechanical adhesion to surface scratches.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Thanks for all of the replies and help, the temp thing might be a problem.
    If you can't get the surface up to at least 50F, the zepalume or similar acid etch will not work. The acid needs a certain amount of heat before it will do its job. Over 60F is where it starts working well. Warmer is better. Both alodine and the paint need some heat as well. You can't successfully paint anything outdoors in Alaska from October through May.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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