Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2009

Clear Coat on Aluminum

Q. I am stripping down aluminum frames on a couple motorcycles in different stages of sandpaper all the way down to 3500 grit. Then polishing with three different types of rouge to give it a polished almost chrome look. Of course, two rides in the rain and it will be dull again. What can I clear coat it with to keep the shine? I would appreciate some help on this matter.

A. The most durable clear coats are liquid or powder polyurethanes or acrylics, but I'm not sure you will get good adhesion to the polished aluminum unless you pretreat the aluminum first. For that you will need to take the aluminum to a custom coating shop in your area and ask him to apply a non-chromate conversion coating. This is a microscopically thin inorganic film over which you can apply the liquid or powder clear coat. It will be necessary for him to remove any remaining rouge.


Ron Joseph

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