Painting Aluminum flat bar

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Old 04-29-16, 08:21 AM
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Question Painting Aluminum flat bar

I'm making some support brackets out of 1-1/2-in wide aluminum flat bar (from Lowes). I'm guessing it's 6061 alloy. Looking for a simple way to paint it black with minimum effort (i.e. no anodizing, powder coating, etc.). I'm guessing I need to light sand it, but beyond that do I need a special primer and what kind of paint will stick? It doesn't have to be super tough...
Appreciate any help!
 
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Old 04-29-16, 09:06 AM
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On aluminum siding latex paints/primers work well although for those brackets I'd probably use an etching primer followed by whatever color rattle can paint was appropriate.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 09:46 AM
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After sanding I wipe the metal down with a rag soaked in MEK or lacquer thinner to remove the metal dust and any oil residue. Then paint. How I paint depends on how long I want it to last. For most applications I just shoot it with regular spray paint. If I want it to last longer I'll use a primer. For a really good primer I use Dupont Variprime. If you want to do a really good job after sanding and before priming you can use an aluminum etch like Alumiprep and then treat the metal with Alodine... but by that point you've spent $100 on chemcials to treat a $5 bracket.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 11:40 AM
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Thanks all! Yeah I don't really care about longevity of these brackets So I'll just sand, wipe and paint as suggested.
 
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Old 05-04-16, 06:49 PM
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Quick question. Is it ok to use Acetone instead of MEK? I have a gallon of it, but no MEK...
 
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Old 05-05-16, 01:56 AM
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Acetone is fine. Don't forget it's important to turn or change your rag to prevent smearing the grime to other areas. Also how you dispose of the rag is important, burning, enclosed metal container or bucket of water are all acceptable.
 
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