aluminum fence re-paint?

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Old 03-18-12, 02:26 PM
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aluminum fence re-paint?

scenario:
5 foot high aluminum fence around pool has original smooth white finish (i think it's called anodized?). 'The Boss' wants a section of it painted green to have better visibility of plant life in background.
question:
what is the correct method to use when painting it?
 
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Old 03-19-12, 04:33 AM
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Welcome to the forums Rita!

First let me say that it's best not to paint a prefinished aluminum product, any coating you apply will never be as maintenance free as the factory coating. That said, over time the factory finish will fail and there are those that desire a color change. While I don't think I've ever painted an aluminum fence, I've painted quite a bit of aluminum siding and done right, the paint job can last for 10 or more years. A fence paint job might not last as long because of the increased exposure to the elements.

A successful paint job starts with the prep. The substrate needs to be clean! I'd wash it with a TSP solution [add bleach if there is any mildew] and rinse well. Check for chalkiness - the white stuff that gets on your fingers when you drag it across the aluminum. Paint will not adhere well to chalk! If it can't be all washed off, add Flood's Emulsa Bond to your latex primer. Use a quality latex house paint for the top coat.
 
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Old 03-20-12, 04:48 PM
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Mark is dead on right with his reply. I have painted a lot of aluminum products that stayed outside and the paint started failing within a year, its the lack of adhesion of the first coat to the aluminum. It takes a special product (metal etching called AlumaPrep) on the aluminum or anodization to get that first solid coat of adhesion.. (remember all the old galvanized gutters with flaking paint ?)

I finally I got the products at Porter Paints that work well on aluminum with my outdoor aluminum projects and now 3 years later, there is no flaking or chalking, alligatoring etc. ...

But with these PP products high costs though, and the extra labor of using 3 products, I feel you would be better suited to just get a section of green pvc coated tennis court fencing and install it. good luck. jmo
 
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Old 03-21-12, 10:01 AM
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Thank you for replies;

I told him your suggestions and he said that I should use lacquer spray cans instead. Can it be done this way?
 
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Old 03-21-12, 02:28 PM
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As in an automotive type lacquer? it should do ok as long as the aluminum is clean.
 
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Old 03-21-12, 03:17 PM
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Spray cans? I hope you're not painting a big area, my trigger finger's starting to hurt already....
 
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Old 03-23-12, 10:20 AM
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thanks again.

so far it looks like the spray cans are the way he wants to go. ya think we should prime first or can that be skipped with lacquer?
 
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Old 03-23-12, 10:52 AM
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It might be worth investing in one of those snap on trigger things if a lot of spray cans will be used. When the finger pushing on the spray nozzle gets tired/sore...the pattern gets messed up.
 
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Old 03-23-12, 11:00 AM
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Hmmm...here's another thought. Are the panels removable by taking out some screws or bolts? Like most vinyl fencing is?
 
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Old 03-24-12, 12:23 PM
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One thing to check on with lacquer paint. Lacquer isn't always compatible with other finishes. If it's compatible with the current finish, no primer is needed - just a light scuff sand. If it's isn't you'll need to sand and then apply a primer that is compatible with lacquer.
 
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