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What kind of paint works on aluminum

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  • What kind of paint works on aluminum

    I recently acquired a 22’ enclosed trailer. After buying it on an online auction I found some of the screws had been loose and some of the aluminum sheet metal is cracking.
    I bought some 1/8” x 2” aluminum strips, I want to paint them white and pop rivet them vertically over the cracked screw holes.
    what would be the best paint to use for this?

  • #2
    Prep properly, acid etch, good primer and then any quality paint. I have had excellent luck with Rust-Oleum Industrial available at Home Depot.

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    • #3
      I have a gallon of old primer which is supposed to work on aluminum amongst other materials. The list of chemicals in it is long and a scary read. But I'm guessing some of that is required to properly etch aluminum prior to painting. I don't think you could buy that stuff today, but something like it is probably available for industrial use. Had I not found this can of primer, I would have asked at my favorite metal working shop what they use for prepping. They are not likely to use something that doesn't work well enough.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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      • #4
        Buy a can of etching primer and pretty much any paint will work on aluminium

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        • #5
          For outboard motor aluminium lower units you would use zinc chromate primer. First prep the bare aluminium with a 50/50 pure water and vinegar solution and let dry. That does some kind of conversion to the surface that makes the primer adhere better, at least the way I understand it.
          Been using this method for years and it works great.
          Cheers,
          Jon

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jon Heron View Post
            For outboard motor aluminium lower units you would use zinc chromate primer. First prep the bare aluminium with a 50/50 pure water and vinegar solution and let dry. That does some kind of conversion to the surface that makes the primer adhere better, at least the way I understand it.
            Been using this method for years and it works great.
            Cheers,
            Jon
            Yeah, Ill second that. I have used it in the Navy (are ship was half aluminum) and on aluminum RV sides. JR

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            • #7
              Any paint will work on aluminum, it's the the type of primer you use that determines how well the paint will adhere.

              The days of etching aluminum and galvanized metal go back to the days of lacquer primer (red lead) and are pretty much gone.

              Any good brand of automotive epoxy primer will work well.

              JL...............

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jon Heron View Post
                For outboard motor aluminium lower units you would use zinc chromate primer. First prep the bare aluminium with a 50/50 pure water and vinegar solution and let dry. That does some kind of conversion to the surface that makes the primer adhere better, at least the way I understand it.
                Been using this method for years and it works great.
                Cheers,
                Jon
                Yeah, what he said.

                Sarge41

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                • #9
                  I went to the city “Wichita “ and tried 3 paint stores, first on tried to sell me house paint, never heard of self etching primer.
                  The second one there was 2 old guys at the counter, I thought well this is good, well it wasn’t they never heard of self etching primer.
                  Third store they were to busy to help me I waited 10 minutes and left.
                  Ended up at Lowes and a cute little gal new exactly what I needed, and had it.
                  Thanks to all that helped, I think I have a good chance of getting it right.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by true temper View Post
                    I went to the city “Wichita “ and tried 3 paint stores, first on tried to sell me house paint, never heard of self etching primer.
                    The second one there was 2 old guys at the counter, I thought well this is good, well it wasn’t they never heard of self etching primer.
                    Third store they were to busy to help me I waited 10 minutes and left.
                    Ended up at Lowes and a cute little gal new exactly what I needed, and had it.
                    Thanks to all that helped, I think I have a good chance of getting it right.
                    I have never heard of self etching either, zinc chromate primer is what we call it up here.
                    Cheers,
                    Jon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by true temper View Post
                      I went to the city “Wichita “ and tried 3 paint stores, first on tried to sell me house paint, never heard of self etching primer.
                      The second one there was 2 old guys at the counter, I thought well this is good, well it wasn’t they never heard of self etching primer.
                      Third store they were to busy to help me I waited 10 minutes and left.
                      Ended up at Lowes and a cute little gal new exactly what I needed, and had it.
                      Thanks to all that helped, I think I have a good chance of getting it right.
                      Your going to have to go to an automotive paint supply store.

                      JL......

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jon Heron View Post

                        I have never heard of self etching either, zinc chromate primer is what we call it up here.
                        Cheers,
                        Jon
                        Zinc chromate is considered self etching. Depends on who you talk to.
                        I have a can of it here somewhere if I can find it I'll take a picture of the label.

                        I knew a guy that called reamers side scraping drill bits.
                        So you just have to understand some of the people that you're dealing with are not the brightest bulb on the string


                        JL......
                        Last edited by JoeLee; 04-06-2022, 06:03 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Etch primer is fairly common in the places that do car paint, I got a choice of colours too, grey, mustard or white, think it’s alkaline myself.
                          mark

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by darryl View Post
                            ...old primer...I'm guessing some of that is required to properly etch aluminum prior to painting....
                            "03-30-2022, 01:58 AM
                            Buy a can of etching primer ..."

                            No, that's not enough.

                            Use Alumiprep first on the bare aluminum
                            12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
                            Index "Super 55" mill
                            18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
                            7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
                            24" State disc sander

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ezduzit View Post

                              "03-30-2022, 01:58 AM
                              Buy a can of etching primer ..."

                              No, that's not enough.

                              Use Alumiprep first on the bare aluminum
                              If $22 a quart (+ shipping) seems high, it's phosphoric acid & 2-Butoxyethanol as a solvent (?).
                              https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...umiprepsds.pdf

                              Phosphoric acid at Lowes ($18 a gallon): https://tinyurl.com/3atx6hwf

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