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Painting on Raw Aluminum

4 thoughts on “Painting on Raw Aluminum”

  1. Hi, when you say a bonding primer what do you mean? Because I cannot find anything like that for sale in art stores. Is there a particular product I could use? Is a bonding primer like a synthetic size? For instance would artist grade pva do the job?
    Say if I wanted to coat it with and oil primer how would I go about it?
    Many thanks

    • If painting with acrylics on raw aluminum, we recommend scuffing with fine sandpaper and degreasing with Isopropyl alcohol, then applying a commercial Direct To Metal Primer, designed for latex paints, that you would purchase at a house paint store. If painting with oils on top of raw aluminum, we found in our testing that the oil paint adheres rather well directly on the aluminum if scuffed and degreased first. This also holds true if you would like to apply and oil ground directly on the aluminum. The key is the scuffing and degreasing first. We hope this is helpful and if you have any further questions, feel free to email us at help@goldenpaints.com.

  2. I have some aluminum panels to paint on. I cleaned it thoroughly with Krud butter and then sanded lightly. Then applied Rustoleum primer for aluminum prior to painting with oils. These paintings seem stable and provide a hard surface, etc. What is the proper primer for painting with acrylics on aluminum if I want to change from oils.

    • Hello Ann,
      Thank you for reaching out! When preparing aluminum for painting with acrylics we recommend lightly scuffing the surface and degreasing with Isopropyl alcohol to remove any dust and oils that might be present on the surface. This will help increase the amount of surface area for adhesion. Raw aluminum may also require a direct-to-metal primer (DTM) as well if adhesion is still poor after doing this. We have a great article on the subject. Painting on Metal: An Introduction, and Painting on Dibond.

      XIM UMA is one we have had success with, but we tested this a long time ago and recommend testing for your application. There are also commercial ones from companies like Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams. We hope this helps!



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