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Prep and materials for painting aluminum guitar pedal board?


Joshua Celli's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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11-14-17, 08:31 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Prep and materials for painting aluminum guitar pedal board?

I have a large aluminum guitar pedal board for mounting my effects pedals which is swiss-cheese drilled in rows by the manufacturer for mounting. I would like to paint it a solid color so that it is not the stock aluminum color but have little experience painting metals. What would be the best process for achieving a smooth clean finish on this material?

As you can see in the photos linked below, the aluminum is not entirely buffed and smoothed out but it isn't all that rough either. I assume I should sand it first, but I don't have a sander so I'm not sure the best way of doing it with all these holes in the way without tearing up the sandpaper sheets.

Photos: https://imgur.com/a/Hqztg

My first thought for paint was spray paint, but not sure if there's a better method for something like this, especially for preparing the surface for the paint and how many coats, etc.

Thanks for any advice and help you might be able to offer!

 
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Gunguy45's Avatar
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11-14-17, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Any sort of paint is going to show chips, dings and wear if your foot rests on one area frequently (like your heel?). If you want to proceed, you need to just give it a light hand sanding with a wet/dry (normally black) paper in about 180-220 grit. No need for a sander except your hand. You want to give a little "tooth" to the surface for the paint to adhere to. I would prime with a grey automotive primer then paint with a hammered metal look topcoat. You didn't say anything about color, but it comes in mostly darker colors like copper, bronze, black, dark gold, etc. One advantage is that it won't show minor scratches and chips as badly and you can just clean it well and spray another coat to refresh it.

Spray paint would work fine. If you don't know someone who could spray it with a gun, rattle cans are your only real option. Follow the directions verbatim. If it says let the primer dry for 48 hrs, then wait 48 hrs. If you miss a re-coat window, then you'll have to wait per the instructions. You'll need at least 3 coats of color, but normally just one light even coat of primer should suffice.

Now, all that said, you currently have a zero maintenance surface. Anything you do short of plating it will just add work to your schedule.

How about just slapping stickers all over it?


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