Can Aluminum Railings Be Painted?

Posted On 13th March 2017

Perhaps you purchased aluminum railings some time ago and now want to paint them a different color to better match the aesthetics of your home. Or perhaps you’ve just bought a new home and think the aluminum fencing would look better in another color. No matter the reason you would like to change the color, the good news is that aluminum railings can be painted. The bad news is that painting aluminum railings isn’t exactly a simple endeavor, and it is much more challenging than painting wooden railings.

The issue is that some aluminum railings aren’t really intended to be painted. During the manufacturing process, some aluminum railings are covered in an extremely resilient powder coating and some are anodized (Electrochemical Process). Powder coating and anodizing makes the railings super durable, ensuring that they are able to withstand sun, snow, sleet, rain, and extreme temperatures without fading or corroding. This ensures that aluminum railings won’t need much maintenance at all, as they won’t peel, crack, flake, or rust. While both processes means that aluminum railings will still look great without any maintenance, painting can be a challenge, to say the least. If you are going to paint your aluminum railings, it is important to keep the following in mind:

Make sure the weather conditions are appropriate. If you will be painting outdoor aluminum railings, make sure you wait for a clear, dry day. If possible, you will want to choose a day when humidity levels are low, as moisture can hamper the process. Additionally, sunny, dry weather will work to facilitate a quick drying process. If you have interior commercial railings as opposed to exterior railings, weather obviously won’t be a consideration. 

Clean the railings. Before you paint, you need to make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned the railings. Get rid of any dirt, grime, oil, or corrosion, which could affect the paint’s adhesion. To do this, it is best to use a wire wool or sanding sponge. If you’re concerned that there could be grease on the railings, you may even want to use a degreasing agent. Once your railings are cleaned off, you will want to power wash them as the last step in the cleaning process. It is crucial that your railings are as clean as possible, as this will ensure that the primer and paint will stick to their surface more effectively.

Apply a primer and paint. Now that your railings are clean, the next step is to apply a primer that is specifically suited for aluminum surfaces. This is very important; primer made for other materials won’t properly adhere to the surface. Once the primer has dried, the next step is to paint your aluminum railings the color of your choice. Be sure to follow the instructions that are on the paint cans and wait a full 24 hours for the paint to dry.

Although you can paint aluminum railings, you should only endeavor to do so if it is absolutely necessary. It is a challenging task that will require the proper preparation and knowledge.

 Back To List