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Painting Aluminum


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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2014 - 09:31 PM

I need some help guys. I am currently restoring an aluminum serial tag for a good friend of mine, but for some reason, the black spray paint isn't sticking. I have never had this problem before, so it's rather irritating! I was thinking about trying to bake the paint on, but I'm not sure what temperature to use, and I'm not sure if the aluminum will hold up to the heat. I've baked enamel paint to steel parts before, but never aluminum, especially aluminum this thin. The tag is off a hard to find tractor, so I have to be careful on what I do so that I don't ruin it. I'm sure my friend would be forgiving, but I don't want to travel that route if I don't have to.

 

Snow and Serial Tag 006.JPG Snow and Serial Tag 015.JPG

 

 

This tag had some deterioration to it, and the lettering and border doesn't sit real high, so I can't apply to many layers of paint. I must keep the paint finish below the high spots of the lettering, in order to scrape the lettering clean. After the first coat of black, it didn't turn out real bad (the second picture) but it didn't suit me. I applied another thin coat of black, but now when I try to scrape off the paint from the lettering and the borders, the paint just peels or flakes off paint from where I don't want it to be removed. I have been letting the paint dry for at least three days. After painting the tag, I lay it on our radiator heaters so that the heat helps the paint cure faster. After the third day, I rinse the tag with warm water, dry it, let it sit over night, then start scraping. I don't understand why I'm having so much trouble with this one, as I never had this type of problem before.

 

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Troy


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#2 hamman ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2014 - 10:36 PM

I think you have to etch the aluminum first. Now I'm not sure what to use on aluminum to etch it that will not distort or deform the aluminum and the stamped numbers. You might try googling, etching aluminum for painting, next, you might have to use a paint or ink for aluminum. I'm just reaching way back into my old mind and remembering from about a hundred years ago. My dad was doing nearly the same with some id tags fro furnaces back in the 70s and I don't remember exactly what he had to do.  Hope this helps a bit. Good luck. Let us know what happens.      Roger.


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#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2014 - 11:48 PM

It really sounds like aluminum oxide. It can start pretty fast on some aluminum.
Probably not a situation where you can etch or sand heavy to get rid of it, if it were mine I would probably take it all off, clean with SOS or something, clean again, acetone wipe, and immediately paint it.

I see there are sealant/primer products for aluminum airplanes, they all require sanding tho.
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#4 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2014 - 05:50 AM

Napa auto sells self etching primer in a rattle can. You have to have aluminum really clean for the primer to "stick"
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#5 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2014 - 06:21 AM

Would the black paint they sell for gas grills work ? Though it's flat you would be able to bake it on as high as your oven goes .

 

http://www.homedepot...78830/202315061


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#6 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2014 - 06:42 AM

Napa auto sells self etching primer in a rattle can. You have to have aluminum really clean for the primer to "stick"

 

I'll have to check this out on Saturday. Hopefully a thin layer of primer will work, as I can't apply a real heavy coat. Thanks for the tip!


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#7 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2014 - 06:45 AM

Would the black paint they sell for gas grills work ? Though it's flat you would be able to bake it on as high as your oven goes .

 

http://www.homedepot...78830/202315061

 

Al, I did give this a thought already, and that was the thinking behind my baked on question. I think the paint would be fine, but I'm concerned about the thin aluminum curling or warping due to the heat temperature. 


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#8 HANKG OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2014 - 03:37 PM

If all else fails you could have a repo sticker made and stick it to the tag just a thought.
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#9 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2014 - 05:36 PM

If all else fails you could have a repo sticker made and stick it to the tag just a thought.

 

Thanks Hank, but no Thanks. On a hard to find tractor such as this one, a decal replacement just won't do. I'll get something figured out, and make this tag look good somehow. 


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#10 Chris11 ONLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2014 - 10:13 AM

Decal works great on mine.

 

 

218_zpsceebb5f2.jpg


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#11 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2014 - 07:11 AM

Does your oven go over 800° ? If not don't worry about it warping or melting that's for sure. But the paint might not like it that's already on it.
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#12 Sparky OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2014 - 10:19 AM

Unfortunately the batch of aluminum may have had impurities or other defects originally . Small tests of etching are needed .

My fathers job was in remelt at a large ladder company and required testing and additives to skim impurities . Good luck to you Troy . If anybody can do it , you can .
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#13 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2014 - 08:48 PM

What about using a Black Permanent Magic Marker. ???


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#14 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2014 - 08:50 PM

Zinc chromate primer is used to prime aluminum in marine environments.


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#15 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2014 - 09:03 PM

Zinc chromate primer is used to prime aluminum in marine environments.

 

I might have to investigate this Will. I'll also have to see if my friend will want me to use this on his tag, and take the chance of possibility of ruining it.  :smilewink:






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