A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for walls, doors, and even railings. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to apply (take Tom Sawyer‘s word for it!). Unfortunately, not all materials are suited to paint; some will flake or become damaged. “Can aluminum railing be painted?” you wonder. Maybe you purchased an aluminum railing years ago but have changed your mind on the color, or maybe you bought a new house that already had aluminum railing, but you think it would look better in another hue. Either way, you’re hoping to change up the color and you thought that paint might do the trick. So can aluminum railing be painted? Let’s find out.
Can Aluminum Railing Be Painted?
Can aluminum railing be painted? Yes.
Will it be as simple as painting a wooden railing or fence? Unfortunately, no.
Aluminum railings aren’t meant to be painted. These days, they are covered in a highly durable, powder coating during the manufacturing process. A powder-coated railing will resist corrosion and remain beautiful no matter what Mother Nature throws at it. Even as years pass by and the railing confronts extreme temperatures, ice, snow, moisture, wind, and more, it won’t budge. You won’t have to worry about it peeling, flaking, cracking, or rusting.
Plus, these benefits don’t require any effort on your part; no maintenance is needed to ensure that the railing’s coating remains in good condition. To learn more about the powder coating used to protect and beautify aluminum railings, please check out this previous blog post.
Due to the strength and durability of aluminum railings’ powder coating, we only recommend painting your railing if absolutely necessary. For example, if your railing is very old and the original coating (made with bygone technology) is breaking down, peeling off, or cracking, you might consider painting it. You might also paint an aluminum railing if it has already been painted or if you strongly dislike the railing’s color.
How to Paint Aluminum Railing
Thorough and proper preparation is essential if you want to paint aluminum railing. This means removing all dirt and rust, applying primer, and scuff-sanding the surface for good adhesion.
First, if your railing is outdoors, wait for a day without any rain or humidity. Moisture can sometimes interfere with the painting process. Plus, sunny and dry weather will help the paint dry more quickly. If you’re painting indoors, the weather shouldn’t be an issue.
Next, you must thoroughly clean the railing. Any dirt, oil, corrosion, or even finger grease could interfere with the paint’s adhesion. First, rub the railing with wire wool or a sanding sponge to ensure that the primer and paint can adhere to the railing. When you’re done sanding, dust off the rail and wipe away any grit. If you’re concerned about grease, you might want to use a degreasing agent as well. And if possible, power wash your railing too. The important thing is that you get the railing as clean as possible so that the primer will stick to every nook and cranny of the surface.
After that, apply a primer. The primer must be specifically suited to aluminum surfaces (if you’re having trouble locating a useable primer, ask an associate for help at your local home improvement store). In 2-4 hours, after the primer is dry, you can apply your chosen paint color. Again, be sure that the paint is specifically made for metal, and if you’re working on an outdoor railing, find one that can withstand the weather as well. Follow the directions on the paint can, but generally you can expect to wait about 24 hours for the paint to fully dry. Depending on the color of the paint and the railing, you may need to apply an additional coat for full coverage.
Purchasing a New Railing
Remember that aluminum railing is available in many different colors these days, so instead of painting a dilapidated railing, you may wish to invest in a new railing. At MMC Fencing & Railing, for example, our railings are covered in a high-quality powder coating (i.e., a dry powder paint applied to metal surfaces for protection). The 11-step application process for powder coatings is thorough and powerful:
- Aluminum is inspected for defects, damage, and rust. After this first step, in which the aluminum is placed on a conveyer belt, it is not touched by human hands throughout the entire procedure.
- Aluminum is cleaned using an alkaline cleaner in a spray-wash system.
- Fabricated parts are cleaned with a city water rinse.
- Fabricated parts are cleaned with a recalculating reverse osmosis water rinse.
- Fabricated parts are cleaned with a fresh reverse osmosis rinse.
- Aluminum is pretreated with a titanium and zirconium conversion coating containing a fluoride additive.
- Parts are rinsed again with a fresh reverse osmosis water rinse.
- All water is removed from parts using an air-knife.
- Dry-off oven removes any remaining moisture through evaporation.
- Powder paint is applied using 10 automated guns, and an electrostatic charge is added to ensure the powder particles adhere to the product.
- Parts are moved into the cure oven, where the heat gels, cross-links, and cures the powder for a long-lasting finish.
This environmentally-friendly process creates a beautiful railing that will not crack, flake, peel, or rust. Plus, we offer our railings in twelve standard colors:
- Satin Black
- Black Fine Texture
- Ninety Bronze
- Bronze Fine Texture
- Speckled Walnut
- Sandy Shore
- Gloss Beige
- Gloss White
- White Fine Texture
In addition, our manufacturer is able to create virtually any color you want, so you can customize your railing to suit your needs. So can aluminum railing be painted? Yes, but it can also be purchased in a variety of colors at the start.
To learn more about MMC Fencing & Railing’s Westbury railing systems, please visit our online store. All of our aluminum railing designs are beautiful, low-maintenance, and will last a lifetime. You might be interested in our continuous, ADA-compliant handrails, which complement the standard Westbury railing systems and can help you meet code requirements. And if pesky insects often bug you while you sit on your deck or balcony, you may want to explore our ScreenRail system, which keeps out insects through the use of screen-filled panels. For help selecting an aluminum railing, please call 1-866-931-5002.