How to Paint Aluminum Fence

How to Paint Aluminum Fence

Pin It

If you’ve got an aluminum fence that is still in good condition but has paint or another coating that is past its prime, you might want to paint it. Or you might simply want another color on your aluminum fence.

The good news is that, like most metal fences, you can paint aluminum fences. Let’s take a closer look at how.

Prepare Your aluminum Fence for Painting

Painting an aluminum fence is not that different to painting anything else. A big part of the result you get will depend on how well you prepare your fence for painting.

If your aluminum fence already has paint or another coating that is peeling or flaking, you will need to remove it before you can start.

Pressure washing is often a good way to remove flaking paint from fences, but sandblasting or sanding can also work for some types of fences.

If your aluminum fence has not been painted or coated before and has been installed for a while, there’s a good chance the surface has been weathered enough to be perfect for painting, but you should still give it a good clean to remove any dust or debris that might affect how the paint will stick.

New aluminum fences that have not been installed yet or have not been installed for a long time might need to be lightly sanded to prepare it for painting.

Priming Aluminum Fence

After you’ve prepared your aluminum fence for painting, the next thing you need to do is apply an etch primer or self-etching primer to the metal.

This kind of primer actually “eats” or etches into the surface of the metal you’re painting, creating a rougher surface for your paint, and also creating a better bond between the metal and your paint products.

Etch primer is available as both brush-on products and spray-on products, so you can choose the type that works best for your fence painting project.

Recommended Product: Etch Primer for Metal

If you're painting any kind of metal fence - including aluminum fence - using a good self-etching primer is a must as part of any multi-step paint process.

This type of primer creates a much stronger bond between the metal and the color you're applying, and will give you a better, longer lasting paint finish.

Buy etch primer on Amazon


aluminum welding rods

Two Coats of Color

Once you’ve cleaned, prepped and primed your aluminum fence, the next important step in a good fence painting process is to use two coats of color as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Whether you’re choosing a glossy product or a matte or satin finish, applying two thinner coats of color to your aluminum fence will give you a better, more even result than one thick coat.

It’s also a good idea to speak to a paint supplier that specializes in paints for use on metal to ensure you’re choosing the right product for the job.

Professional paint products cost a little more than cheaper options from retail stores, but they often last many times longer and will resist fading, cracking and other signs of damage much better.

The Importance of Overcoating Time When Painting Aluminum Fence

No matter where you get the paint products you plan to use on your aluminum fence, we always strongly recommend that you get and read the product data sheets for each step of the process and that you pay particular attention to the overcoating time for each product.

This is the amount of time you need to leave between each product’s application, before you are able to apply the next product.

Don’t ever rush this part of the process. If you try to apply another layer of product before the current coat has dried properly, there’s a much greater chance that the finish will be ruined or even that the paint will start to delaminate and flake.

You can’t rush the proper painting of an aluminum fence, so give yourself enough time, and always ensure that if you’re painting outside, you’ve got enough good weather to get the job done.

When Shouldn’t You Paint an Aluminum Fence?

While aluminum fences don’t rust like iron fences do, they can corrode and develop pitting and other surface issues.

If your aluminum fence is showing severe signs of corrosion, then painting it instead of replacing it is probably not a viable option.

If you are considering painting your fence because an existing paint or color coating is showing signs of damage, you should also check your warranty before you start the project. If your fence is still under warranty, doing your own repainting could void it, and if it is still covered, you might be able to get the manufacturer to do repairs for you.

new cta image