Should I Paint or Powder Coat Cast Aluminum Mailbox?

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Old 10-04-17, 01:39 PM
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Should I Paint or Powder Coat Cast Aluminum Mailbox?

Not sure that this is the right forum for this question, but hopefully someone here knows their materials. I have a cast aluminum mailbox with a finish that is peeling off and the metal is oxidizing. First thing is I need to have it blasted. Neighbors are all giving me conflicting advice. What media should I blast it with? After blasting, what do I do for painting? Most neighbors keep spray painting theirs, and I don't like the look or durability of the spray paint finish. I want the most durable, best looking solution. If that solution is painting, what kind of primer and paint should I be using?

 
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Old 10-04-17, 02:43 PM
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Blasting will be the best option to fully remove the oxidation.

For Al you want something mild, like extra fine sand or even glass beads, nothing like black beauty, it;s too course.

The paint is not as critical as the primer. The absolute best primer would be a 2-part epoxy primer, like what is used for cars.

Paint could then be a simple coat of rattle can enamile or lacquer.

Powder coat is an option but still have to get it clean. It's also pricey especially for something that large!
 
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Old 10-04-17, 02:46 PM
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Powder coating requires baking in an oven after application which puts it outside the reach of most people.
 
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Old 10-04-17, 03:09 PM
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I'd clean it up, apply an etching primer and then your choice of top coat.
IMO powder coat isn't an option as you'd have to take the mailbox down and if you sent it out for powder coating you could expect to not have it for several days if not longer.
 
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Old 10-04-17, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I'd clean it up, apply an etching primer and then your choice of top coat.
IMO powder coat isn't an option as you'd have to take the mailbox down and if you sent it out for powder coating you could expect to not have it for several days if not longer.
I have a cheap mailbox on a post sitting in a bucket of sand right now. I can have it sit there a week or so if necessary.
 
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Old 10-04-17, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Marq1 View Post
Blasting will be the best option to fully remove the oxidation.

For Al you want something mild, like extra fine sand or even glass beads, nothing like black beauty, it;s too course.

The paint is not as critical as the primer. The absolute best primer would be a 2-part epoxy primer, like what is used for cars.

Paint could then be a simple coat of rattle can enamile or lacquer.

Powder coat is an option but still have to get it clean. It's also pricey especially for something that large!
I just had a guy quote me $140 to blast and powder coat. I'm willing to pay that much but I want to make damn sure it's the right thing to do first. The mailbox was over $400 when I bought it in 2003, so I'd be willing to invest that much if it means getting a good 10 years of service out of it before it starts failing. I live in Michigan. Harsh winters and salt gets thrown up on it from the plow.
 
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Old 10-04-17, 03:30 PM
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Powder coats are generally more durable than any other type of coating. I have no idea how well they hold up to salt. Most powder coat shops sand blast the items first [even brand new stuff]
 
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Old 10-04-17, 03:35 PM
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I'd go powder coat as well. As long as it's being done professionally. They do have DIY powder coating kits, but I'd want a Pro doing it. We have a coating specialist company here in my little town, and they aren't super expensive at all as long as you don't have huge items or are in a hurry. They can prep it and when another job needs doing they just coat yours and throw them all in the oven at once. Take more work to do the blasting than everything else. Being yours is cast Al, imagine they would soda blast.
 
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Old 10-05-17, 05:46 AM
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I just realized I said sand blast I often use generic terms to cover a long list. I probably should have said media blast as it covers all the different materials that can be used for blasting. Just like I'm prone to call stain or poly work painting
 
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Old 10-05-17, 09:37 AM
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I just had a guy quote me $140 to blast and powder coat.
That is not bad, I would have thought over $200 from my experience.

Not sure where you are at but there are several places in the Grossebeck & 12 Mile area, check Craig's List there are many listed there!
 
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