How to Paint an Aluminum Window Frame

A paint brush is used to paint a streak of red.
  • 2-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-600
What You'll Need
Soapy water
Clean cloths
Window cleaner
Water-based detergent
Oil-free steel wool
Baking soda
Painter's tape
Metal primer
Paint stirrer
Small paintbrush
Razor knife

An aluminum window frame is an insulating material for windows; it can save energy and lock in temperatures; however, an aluminum frame can be a bland part of your exterior home decor. Paint, as always, can add that zesty splash of color your house needs to stand out in the neighborhood, but a metal surface means that you still need to follow the rules of careful preparation.

Step 1 - Clean the Aluminum Window Frame

First, you need to thoroughly clean the window frame, so mix a bucket of soapy water and grab a clean cloth to scrub it down. You should take glass cleaner to the windows themselves before starting this project as well.

Step 2 - Remove Stains

Any stains on the metal, especially rust stains, might interfere with the color of the finished paint, so before proceeding any further, they must be removed. A water-based detergent and oil-free steel wool should be just the thing you need for any stains. Rust stains can be removed with a variety of household items, such as vinegar or baking soda if used in the right capacity. An old toothbrush can aid in removing rust from any hard-to-reach spots. Once the aluminum is clear, rinse with clean water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.

Step 3 - Tape the Around Frame

Tape protects surroundings from excess paint streaks and drips that result in an unprofessional look. Lay strips of tape both on the window, where the glass meets the frame, and around the outside of the frame to avoid getting your paint anywhere but on the aluminum.

Step 4 - Prime the Window Frame

Metal must be primed for the paint to adhere correctly. Use metal primer according to the manufacturer's instructions, which should be somewhere on the can, and allow the primer ample time to dry before you continue to the next step.

Step 5 - Paint Top Coat

Open the paint and stir it for about a minute to even the color. Dip a small paintbrush into it, and scrape all excess off on the side of the bucket. Smoothly drag the paintbrush up and down the window frame for an even coat of paint. Reapply numerous coats of paint until the aluminum is completely colored, with no metal shining through. Make sure you allow each coat of paint to dry before you apply the next.

Step 6 - Remove the Tape

To remove the tape, pull it off at an angle, away from the painted area. If your tape wasn’t perfect, never fear. You can use a razor knife to remove any paint that may have gotten on the window, but be careful not to scratch the glass.