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Can You Paint Aluminum Windows? (Step By Step Guide)

Can You Paint Aluminum Windows? (Step By Step Guide)

Aluminum windows are a popular building material of most homes in the United States. They’re known for being long-lasting, affordable, and also fairly easy to install. Understandably, people want to know how to keep them clean.

If your home came with aluminium windows, then you are probably wondering how you can keep them in ship shape. Painting them seems like a smart way to make sure that your windows look good as new…

Can you paint aluminum windows?

Yes, aluminum windows can be painted using spray paint or metal-friendly paint with a paint brush. However, if you want to reduce the number of imperfections in your paint job, you will need to make sure to do proper prep work and add a nice finish.

How do you paint aluminum windows?

Believe it or not, it’s as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Start by cleaning the aluminum window frames and glass. Surround the area near the windows with painter’s tape. Use a microfiber cloth and 90 percent isopropyl alcohol or vinegar to clean the area. Use paper masking or newspaper to cover the window glass.
  2. Once you’re done cleaning and masking the windows, double check for any dirt, grime, or rust. If you notice it, get a toothbrush and get scrubbing. With rust, you may need to do some sanding in order to remove it, or use a rust remover.
  3. After they have been double-checked, use a primer on your window frames. The primer you want to use is called a “metal etching primer.” This ensures that the paint adheres to the frames and that you’ll be able to use the right type of paint.
  4. After priming with two to three layers (in most cases), paint your window exterior. A lot of people remove the frames and simply use spraypaint to get this done. Many also just prefer metal paints with a careful brush.Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Top off with a finish. There are several finishes you can choose from. Some paints may not need a finish. In this case, just use a wipe to get rid of any residue after the paint dries.
  6. Finally, remove the tape and newspaper. Painter’s tape is easy to remove, so this won’t need any tools. If you see any additional stains, remove them with paint thinner and a small brush.

PRO TIP – Though you can do your cleaning with soapy water, it’s best to use alcohol or vinegar since it will evaporate. This creates a clean, finished surface that doesn’t require rinsing or cause soap scum residue.

How long does it take to paint aluminum windows?

This can vary from person to person, not to mention the number of windows you’re doing. Most of the time, you should invest anywhere from eight hours to two full days for this project.

To get a better idea of the time you’ll need, check the drying times on your primer and paint cans. Then, add up dry times and you will get a better idea of how long it’ll take. If you want to reduce dry times, buy quick-drying paint and primer.

Some companies also make a single-take primer and paint mix that works on metal. This type of paint will allow you to skip the priming step.

What kind of finishes can you use on aluminum windows?

There are plenty of finishes that you can chose from. You can choose a matte look, a metal glossy finish, or even a shimmer—if you can find it. Many people just prefer to use a paint sealer for metal paints.

It’s important to note that you don’t always need a finish if you don’t want to. However, if you don’t seal or finish your window paint, you might need to repaint it sooner rather than later.

Should you use a spray paint or a brush?

Should you use a spray paint or a brush

Credit: Bob Vila

Painting your windows might seem like a simple thing, and that’s because it is. It’s a very easy DIY project that can help you breathe more life into a tired home exterior. The tools you use will make a difference in how it turns out.

If you use a can of spraypaint, then you might have a hard time getting into all the nooks and crannies of your windows. However, it will offer a seamless result that involves no extra streaks or bubbles.

A paint brush is the more preferred tool because it allows you more control over the paint and makes it easier to reach corners. The downside here is that you may be more prone to drips or textures if you are not careful.

When in doubt, use a paint brush that is as close to the width of the window frame as possible. This helps give you a quick, even coat that will have minimal chance of striping.

Does paint help prevent rusting on aluminum windows?

If you have been dealing with a ramshackle look to the exterior of your home, painting your windows is a clearly awesome way to make your home look better. What you may not have realized is that homeowners also can prevent repairs with paint.

The right paint and sealer can help reduce the incidence of oxidation (also known as rust) on aluminum. If you live in an area that is close to saltwater, then it makes sense to try to make aluminum windows as durable as possible.

The reason why it works is because paint helps lock out moisture that causes rust. A long-lasting finish is a good idea for people who want to keep their windows looking as pristine as possible.

In conclusion

Yes, it is possible (and even beneficial) to paint aluminum windows. However, you still need to remember to prep, prime, and finish your project properly. Otherwise, it won’t look as good as you hope it will.