Preparing to Paint Aluminum

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Before you paint aluminum it is important to prepare the aluminum so that the paint will adhere to the material. Old paint that is not removed will result in the new paint quickly peeling off, wasting your time and effort. Any dirt or grime that is on the aluminum will cause the paint to easily slide off the material.

Remove Old Paint

If the aluminum has old paint already on it, then it is important to remove that paint before you can repaint it in a new color. You can remove existing paint with a power washer that peels the old paint through pressure.


Sand any remaining paint that did not come off with the pressure wash. Use 50 grit coarse sandpaper. If the area is small, then use a small sanding block to remove the paint.

Not only will sanding remove the paint, but it will also rough up the surface of the aluminum and help the paint adhere to the surface. You can use a sander to cover the entire surface where you plan on painting.

Clean the Aluminum

Once you have finished sanding, clean the aluminum with dishwashing soap and water. You can use the power washer or simply use a sponge and a hose. You should make sure that you remove all of the soap before it dries to the surface of the metal.

Aluminum is a popular and common material that is used for many different kinds of items. Let the metal completely air dry before beginning the painting process.