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Should You Paint Aluminium?

Should You Paint Aluminium? Construction Materials & Building Supplies
March 29, 2023 Aidan

Paint helps create a protective coat between the elements and building supplies. Now, when it comes to aluminium which is extremely corrosion-resistant, do you need to paint it? Well, there are a few reasons why you may want to, from aesthetics to heat absorption.

Does Aluminium Rust?

Aluminium does not rust however, it does corrode. Rust itself is a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen. Aluminium does not have any iron in it and therefore does not ‘rust’. It does, however, have a reaction to oxygen, but unlike rust which damages the structural integrity of the metal, aluminium gets an aluminium-oxide coating that actually protects it. Still, sometimes this coating can become unstable and expose the metal.

Spray painted aluminium beams

Advantages of Painting Construction Materials

Professional spray systems help protect building materials from deterioration, moisture damage and rust. It is most often used on metal elements like metal beams, tin panels and even on the steel inside reinforced concrete. Now, the main difference between steel and aluminium is their resistance to corrosion. Steel is highly resistant to rust, but it can happen eventually. Aluminium does not corrode in the same way steel does, which makes it a preferred material for certain situations.

Should You Paint Aluminium?

Aluminum is a lightweight metal with excellent resistance to corrosion, making it ideal for outdoor applications. You can find it in a variety of products, from window frames and flashings to trims and sidings. And while it’s naturally rust-resistant, there are still circumstances in which you should consider painting aluminium.
For starters, painting aluminium can help keep it looking like new for longer—especially if you choose a durable paint like epoxy or polyurethane. Not only will this protective coating add an extra layer of insulation to your aluminium surfaces, but it’ll also make them look better too! You can select any colour or finish you want, so you can customise the look of your aluminium structures according to your style.
Also, a protective paint system adds another layer of protection between external conditions and that protective coat of aluminium oxide! Consider a paint job like a shield and the aluminium oxide is a natural suit of armour!
Finally, painting aluminium helps absorb heat from sunlight. By using reflective paints with additives like titanium dioxide, your aluminium surfaces will remain cooler than if left unpainted. This may be especially helpful for items exposed to direct sunlight in hot climates.

Professional spray painter applying blue coat over metal beams

What Kind of Paint Should You Use for Aluminium?

When it comes to painting aluminium, it’s important to use the right type of paint. That’s because regular paint may peel, chip or otherwise not adhere properly to aluminium’s smooth surface. Instead, consider reaching for specialised paints specifically designed for metal surfaces and made with ingredients that promote adhesion and durability.
Whether you’re sprucing up a storage container, needing extra protection for structural beams, or want a custom look for an aluminium roof, find a professional spray painter that will create a custom spray paint system to best suit your needs.

Finally, pick your finish carefully depending on the desired result – from glossy lacquer to matte finishes and more. With the right conditions and the right type of paint, you can get effective results with much less work than you might expect!

The Steps to Successfully Painting Aluminum

Painting aluminium is a great way to protect it from damage and to reduce the amount of heat it absorbs. Here’s the process we take at APT Spray Painting to ensure your aluminium item gets the best finish:
– We begin by cleaning the aluminium surface with a degreaser and brush before rinsing with water.
– We allow the surface to dry completely before sanding it with sandpaper. Then we wipe off any dust that may have been created due to sanding.
– From here, we apply a primer which will help improve adhesion between paint and aluminium. For heavy-duty applications, we opt for a zinc primer to ensure maximum protection.
– After letting the primer dry for about 2-4 hours, we apply paint using a professional spray gun. Depending on the item’s purpose, we will use different paint systems to ensure it gets the best protection for the environment it’s in.
– We then let your painted item dry and then deliver it back to your worksite or the site where it will be installed!
By following these steps, you can successfully paint your aluminium in a way that looks great and stands up against weather conditions—all while protecting it from getting damaged due to external elements!

Top feeder spray gun applying dark red coat

Special Considerations When Prepping and Painting Aluminum

You may think that since aluminium is rust-resistant, it doesn’t need to be painted. But there are a few reasons why you want to consider painting aluminium, from esthetics to heat absorption.

Aesthetics of Painting Aluminium

There is no denying that a coat of paint can really bring out the beauty of aluminium and create a nicer-looking finish. You can choose from a variety of colours, including sheen and metallic options, to create a look that will last for years without needing maintenance or needing to be repainted.

Heat and Cold Absorption

Aluminium has great heat conductivity, which means it absorbs heat and cold quickly. Adding a layer of paint helps create an insulation barrier between the air temperature and the aluminium, allowing you to maintain better control of temperatures inside your building.

UV Protection

Aluminium is susceptible to UV damage—and when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods, it can become discoloured and chalky. To protect against this kind of damage, apply a coat of paint on your aluminium surfaces.

Spray painting protects metal from corrosion

When it comes to aluminium, painting isn’t just about aesthetics—it’s also about protecting the metal from corrosion. When exposed to air and water, aluminium is naturally resistant to corrosion, but painting it with a protective coating provides an extra layer of protection.

Spray-painting the aluminium is an excellent option for added protection because it creates an even coating over the surface of the metal. Depending on the environment you’re in, you may want to choose a type of paint that has UV blockers so that it can withstand exposure to sunlight. Additionally, if you choose paint with fungicides, you can help protect against fungus and moss growth on your metal surfaces.

Benefits of Painting Aluminum

By spray-painting your aluminium components you can achieve:

  • A uniform coating with minimal dripping
  • Increased resistance to weathering and corrosion
  • Protection from UV radiation which would otherwise cause paint to deteriorate or flake off faster
  • Protection from fungus or moss growth which can cause staining or discolouration
  • Reduced heat absorption – this helps keep temperatures inside your building at a comfortable level

Ultimately, whether or not you should paint your aluminium depends on your needs and what you’re trying to accomplish. If your goal is aesthetics and you’re looking to spruce up your home’s exterior, paint is a great option. If you’re concerned about heat absorption, choose a lighter shade of paint. And if you’re worried about rust, then you’ve got nothing to worry about with aluminium; its rust-resistant properties make it safe from rust damage. No matter what you decide, if you’re considering painting your aluminium, get in contact with APT Spray Painting! We specialise in commercial and industrial spray painting services and can create a protective paint system for your aluminium project.