How to Paint Anodized Aluminum – Simple Steps!

Painting anodized aluminum can change the particular appearance in minutes.

You better make sure you’re following the correct procedure. Else, it can cause issues with adhesion and pigmentation. If you start painting over anodized aluminum parts without any preparation, it won’t hold the paint well.

Anodized aluminum is made of nonporous and slick material. It’s a little different from regular surfaces when it comes to painting. You must follow some techniques and tips to bring the best and long-lasting appearance here.

If you don’t know how to paint anodized aluminum, take a pause here. You don’t have to be any professional for this. Just stay calm, follow the proper procedure and get an exotic new appearance.

Can you paint anodized aluminum?

Yes, you can paint anodized aluminum.

Although anodized aluminum doesn’t absorb color well, anyone can do it with some tricks.

You can even paint the surface in different colors. Mostly such surfaces hold shades like blue, red, green or brown. Whatever the color is, you don’t have to stick with it. Changing the entire appearance as you need is quick and easy.

Painting an anodized aluminum is not as complex as it sounds. You just have to make sure you’re maintaining all the steps correctly. It has adhesive properties to bond with paint faster. With the right procedure, you can expect it to be one of the best materials with durable finishing.

What Kind Of Primer Do You Use On Aluminum?

The type of primer you use on aluminum depends on the surface and the desired finish. For bare aluminum, a self-etching primer is typically used. This type of primer will chemically etch into the surface of the aluminum for improved adhesion of the topcoat. For painted aluminum, a urethane-based primer is recommended. This type of primer will help protect the aluminum from corrosion and provide an excellent surface for the paint to adhere to.

What kind of paint do you use on anodized aluminum?

Anodized aluminum is not adaptive to all types of paints.

Use Latex paint over anodized aluminum for better pigmentation. If you’re painting over clear anodized aluminum, then go with oil-based paint. Oil-based paint works comparatively better with adhesion. This type of paint gets seeped into the pores easily.

You can’t expect the exact pigmentation from the same paint all time. The matte finishes will arrive under the sun’s heat. Similarly, the glossy appearance will arrive during a cooler atmosphere. Make sure you’re using the suitable primer with the latex paint for anodized aluminum.

There are several reputed companies manufacturing good-quality latex/oil-based paint. You can choose among them and apply them properly over anodized aluminum.

Don’t forget to get a latex paintbrush if you’re using latex paint. The right primer, paint and brush combination will get you the expected outcome.

Anodized Aluminum Paint color list or name:

Anodized aluminum surfaces generally arrive in a few colors only. The most common colors of such surfaces are:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Purple
  • Orange

These colors are broadly used over Anodized aluminum. The most standard colors among all are champagne, bronze, and clear ones. These colors can easily achieve good consistency over aluminum that is anodized. As they are deep, you can expect good pigmentation in fewer coats.

Can you spray paint anodized aluminum?

Yes, spray paint can give the expected outcome over anodized aluminum.

If spray gives you enough comfort and you’ve done that before, consider choosing latex paint on a spray gun/ bottle. Fortunately, you’ll find some reputed spray paint to paint over anodized aluminum.

AeroSpec Anodize has got quite good reviews with its easy spraying feature and quick-drying appearance. Its touch-up can cover uneven surfaces and repair damaged areas in no time.

Is painting anodized aluminum the Best Option?

No, painting anodized aluminum isn’t always the best option.

Anodized aluminum materials don’t include any pores. Such surfaces make it tough time to bond with the paint. It might not stick well without proper preparation.

The entire process took quite a lot of time and attention. Experts suggest painting anodized aluminum when you notice some damage, corrosion or uneven surfaces. If you paint over the corrosion, it will protect the surface and give it a new appearance.

Although it’s absolutely safe to paint over anodized aluminum, it’s never a good idea to go through the same hassle every month.

If you want to change your anodized aluminum surface color, painting can be an option. For that, you need to get rid of the old paint thoroughly. Make sure you’re doing it right and keeping it calm to get the expected shine and outcome.

How Is Color Added To Anodized Aluminum?

Anodized aluminum is a popular material for many products, from aircraft to consumer electronics. It is lightweight, corrosion-resistant and has a unique finish that makes it eye-catching and durable. But how is color added to anodized aluminum?

The process of adding color to anodized aluminum involves a few steps. First, the aluminum must be anodized to create an oxide layer that is porous and allows the paint to adhere. This layer also helps protect the aluminum from corrosion and wear. Next, an electrolyte solution is used to apply a thin layer of electrically charged particles. This process creates an even base for the paint, which is then applied to the anodized aluminum.

To ensure paint adhesion to anodized aluminum, the surface must be clean, dry and free from any contaminants. The paint should also be carefully selected to ensure compatibility with the anodized aluminum. When applied correctly, the paint will bond to the aluminum, creating a strong and long-lasting finish.

When the paint is applied and dried, the anodized aluminum is ready to be used. The finish is both beautiful and durable, and provides protection against corrosion and wear. Anodized aluminum is a popular choice for many products, and the process of adding color to it is relatively simple. With the right steps and materials, paint adhesion to anodized aluminum can be achieved with ease.

How To Paint Anodized Aluminum With Safety?

How your anodized aluminum surface paint will pop up depends only on the procedure you’re following.

You need to collect all the right tools and materials and follow the proper procedure to achieve the best outcome over anodized aluminum.

Make sure you know the right procedure before painting anodized aluminum.

Tools and materials

Before you start, makes sure you’re gathering all these tools and materials:

  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Dish soap
  • Brush
  • Water
  • Gloves
  • Paint thinner
  • Scrubbing pad


Try to do the enter painting step by step. Don’t rush and go according to the direction, and you can get exotic painted, anodized aluminum in no time.

Follow the procedure step by step:

Step 1: Clean:

The very first thing you’ve to do is clean the anodized aluminum thoroughly. Any kind of dirt, debris, particles or pollutants can make it difficult to paint. Especially when you’re going to paint an old anodized aluminum surface, this step gets more important.

To clean the surface, you can use regular dish soap, water and a coarse brush. The regular paintbrush will work well to clean out contaminations. You can scrub gently to clean the surface.

Such cleaning will remove oil, grease or other particles after a few moments. Check properly and make sure there is no extra dish soap/ particles left over the surface. Use water to give it a final wash. Once you’ve cleaned the surface well, dry it well. Give it a final check if any visible dirt is left over the anodized aluminum or not.

Step 3: Remove old paint:

If you’re painting over old anodized aluminum, you’ve to remove the old loose paints thoroughly.

Here you have to maintain safety first. Wear gloves and mask tightly. Then, use some paint thinner over the old paint. Grab a metal scrubbing pad to remove the old paint thoroughly.

Once all the paint is gone, rinse the surface with water. Remember, you need to do the entire surface gently and nicely. Being harsh can damage/ break the metal surface.

Step 3: Prime:

Priming is an essential and unskippable step while painting anodized aluminum. Without paint, the surface won’t absorb the paint.

Make sure you’re priming the entire surface properly. Any uneven corner shouldn’t be left. You can use an adequate amount of etching primer according to the surface requirement. Ideally, a one-gallon etching primer is enough for priming. Fill the container two-thirds of its size.

Once you’ve applied the primer over this surface, it will take around two hours to completely dry. 

Step 4: Sand:

If theanodized aluminum surface has got uneven and damaged areas, only priming won’t be enough. Here you’ve to do some sanding nicely.

Use good quality sandpaper and grind away all the uneven bumps from the surface. Make sure you’re not super harsh here. It might remove the primer coat accidentally.

Keep scrubbing the surface gently and turn the uneven areas as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Clean:

The primer should take around 2 hours to dry out. In the meantime, you can clean the brush nicely. Try using mineral spirits to wash those filthy brushes. Consider giving it at least three washes for removing all extra particles. Else, it might create obstacles while painting.

Step 6: Paint:

It’s the ultimate time to paint your anodized aluminum surface. You have to apply a thick coat all over the surface. The paint can be latex/oil-based.

You better give it at least three coats for a better outcome. You might have to increase the coats if the paint is light-colored.

Now, you should give at least 2 hours to dry the paint thoroughly.

Step 7: Check:

Once the paint is entirely dried, you need to give it a final check. Give it a quick eye scan and try to find if any uneven areas are left or not. If you find any left area, repeat painting the area following the exact mentioned steps.


  • Oil-based paint works better, smoother and faster. Consider using it for better results.
  • Consider choosing deep colors as they require fewer coatings.
  • You can’t paint over loose and old paint. This will cause wastage and ruin the anodized aluminum surface.
  • Don’t move on to the next step with wet primer/ paint over the surface. Give it enough time to dry thoroughly.

How to paint anodized aluminum window frames?

Painting anodized aluminum and other materials are quite similar.

You just have to clean the window frame and all the old paints. Once you’ve cleaned thoroughly, prime the area. Now, grab and remove the paints and paintbrush. Dip the bristles part of the paintbrush into the paint. Now, consider giving almost three coats over the window frames. Give the frames enough time to dry completely. After drying out, you’ll notice a completely new appearance here.

Can you paint anodized aluminum with primer?

Yes, you have to apply paint over anodized aluminum before painting.

Such surfaces are nonporous. It’s almost impossible to paint such surfaces without good priming. Once you prime anodized aluminum materials/surfaces, it gets easier to paint. You’ll find it as wood/ regular plastic to paint after priming.


Anodized aluminum material’s surface is known for its durable or shiny and attractive appearance. From home appliances to window and door frames, this material is widely used.

No matter how high-quality tools, materials, or paint you’re using. If the procedure is wrong, you won’t get the expected outcome. Hopefully, now you know how to paint anodized aluminum safely. Follow the tips, tricks and suggestions as mentioned.

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