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Will It Stick? Simple Adhesion Testing In Your Studio

10 thoughts on “Will It Stick? Simple Adhesion Testing In Your Studio”

  1. I’ve been intrigued by the idea of using a aluminum support, but put off by the uncertain contents, longevity and chemical effects of metal primers. They seem to function well in the short term, but the first two goals of industrial metal primers seems to be to protect the metal, and not delaminate. Not undesirable ends, but one often gains an inference that the coating is like galvanizing, ultimately sacrificial, and not intended to last the centuries. Indeed when some of the contents are declared, zinc is often a component. Not something I trust to have in contact with oil paint.

    • Hi Marc,

      Aluminum is gaining in popularity due to the dimensional stability and lightweight nature. The most popular aluminum composite panels used for signage and artwork are made by Dibond, which tend to have either a clear coating or polyester coated surface. These products have performed rather well in our testing when prepared properly and if using raw aluminum, we always recommend an appropriate Direct To Metal primer, which as you say are designed to block oxidation to deter delamination. We do not make these primers, so cannot speak to the longevity of these products, but again they have performed well in our testing thus far aside from some yellowing. The issue is that are are thousands of types of aluminum, so we would be hard pressed to give advice about how to treat all of these or make blanket statements about aluminum in general. We have not tested aluminum panels in conjunction with oil paints. The environmental conditions in which a painting is stored also greatly contributes to the longevity of the artwork as well.

      You may find our article written by Mark Golden for our Just Paint newsletter about aluminum as a painting substrate interesting and there is a section which discusses options of primers that contain no zinc chromate:

      “One product that will not only etch the aluminum surface but also prime the surface is AWLGRIP® Wash Primer CF Converter. It is a two component etching primer that can create an interlayer for subsequent paint applications. Other available etching primers typically have opaque finishes. POR® Metal Prep, TRANSTAR® 1K Self-Etching Primer, U-Pol® 1K Acid #8 Etch Primer or SEM® Self Etching Primers come in black, gray and green. Rust-Oleum® Self Etching Primer is a gray coat and is typically available at your local hardware paint supplier. All of these coatings require personal protective gear including gloves, eye protection, ventilation and manufacturer recommended respirators.”

      Here is a link to the entire article: https://justpaint.org/painting-on-metal-an-introduction/

      If painting indoors, our Acrylic Gesso also contains no zinc and could be used on the coated panels, or if uncoated on top of the commercial primers. Here is a link to our article about painting on Dibond: https://justpaint.org/painting-on-dibond/

      We hope this is helpful and if you have any other questions., please feel free to email us at help@goldenpaints.com.


      • Thanks for your reply, it’s given me much to think about.

        In the meantime I’ve been using a polyester canvas glued to MDO plywood panel.

        Kind Regards,



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