Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2005

Preparation of Aluminum Rails for Painting

Q. I'm currently undertaking the task of coming up with a way to paint a new product at work. The trim of the item is coming into us in the form of bare aluminum. Painting aluminum is new to me, and I don't know where to begin. I'm sure I can handle the top coat of the trim, but as far as prepping and priming I am lost. The trim will not be exposed to any extreme heat, cold, or humidity. They will be sitting on the sides of home theater speaker cabinets.

A. Surface preparation is most important and you do have some options. However, the extent to which you invest in surface prepping depends on the number of parts you intend to coat on a daily basis, size and configuration of the parts, whether you will do the surface prep or if you will contract it out, and several other issues.

I'll be more than happy to spend time with you on the phone giving you various options and pointing out the pro's and con's of each. If you want to pursue this then I will also go into equipment needs, oven etc.

Once you have properly prepped the aluminum an epoxy primer will do just fine, and there is a wide range of products that you can use.

Unfortunately I can only spend a few minutes on each Q&A as I perform this service for on a gratis basis. Since it will take more time to give you the information you require, I invite you to retain my services for approximately 1 hour by phone so that we can cover all of the important issues. My fee is $200 per hour and payment can be made by credit card.

If you would like to pursue this please get back to me.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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