How Do You Paint Aluminum?

To paint aluminum, clean off the natural chalkiness that builds up on this metal, particularly when it is outdoors, and take off any existing paint. Next, use an oil-based primer, and then apply the final coats. Keep in mind that using a latex primer on aluminum leads to bubbles beneath the paint.

  1. Prepare the aluminum surface

    Scrub the aluminum thoroughly. Focus on the white residue that often forms on aluminum in the elements. Scrape off any paint that is still on the metal; leaving it in place makes it vulnerable to bubbling after you apply the new coats of paint.

  2. Use an oil-based primer

    Check the packaging on the primer to make sure that it is designed for use with metal surfaces. Avoid the risks that come with using a latex primer, which forms bubbles that come to the surface, eventually causing the top layer to flake. Read the directions to ensure that you let the primer dry long enough before moving to the surface layers.

  3. Apply an acrylic paint for the top layers

    Put 100 percent acrylic paint on top of the primer layer. Follow the directions on the packaging to ensure optimal drying time and number of coats on the surface.