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Old 09-12-2016, 06:14 PM   #1
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Aluminum window frames peeling

I think I asked about this before but I can't seem to find the thread.

I have aluminum window frames and some of them are starting to peel. I think maybe they are powder coated? One window has a 2x5" section where the paint completely fell off in a sheet. The aluminum feels powdery underneath.

I'm not a very good painter, so I'm wondering if I should tackle this. If so, how would I scrape the rest of the paint off, and isn't it hard to get the paint to stick to aluminum? Can I do this with the windows still in the boat?

Maybe I could leave the windows bare aluminum after removing the paint and prepping, but that would probably look crappy.

My window with the big bare spot looks like this just FYI. This is not my actual window-- I forgot to take a pic. Are these type window frames easily removable?

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Old 09-12-2016, 06:36 PM   #2
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Bare the aluminum will still corrode. Sand, use a marine primer for aluminum, lightly sand the primer and paint with final color.
Yes, you can do them in the boat. They will have some sealing/caulking compound that may make them difficult to remove. If they don't leak, I'd leave them in.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:44 PM   #3
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I have similar issues just starting on painted aluminum intake vents on the side of my boat. The builder pointed out to me the very beginnings of some blistering of the paint in spots during the survey. He said they changed how this was done because of the problem. Eventually, I will probably need to do the same thing.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:17 PM   #4
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I have the same problem. I think I will ignore it. From more than 10 ft away I don't see it. I have built and painted an aluminum airplane, and it wasn't too major of a chore, but I was dealing with new aluminum. Airplane was a four step process. Alumiprep, alodyne, epoxy primer and Durethane topcoat. On chinese made extruded aluminum, I think that you could make it look better but I don't want to guess how long it will last. Keep the rest of the boat nice and shiny and nobody will notice. I think it would cost near 20k to switch to the windows with the SS frames. Dan
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:26 PM   #5
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You`ll need to get primer on the bare aluminum asap after you prep sand it. Something happens fast, oxidization I think. If it gets there before the primer you`ll get paint bubbling.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:42 PM   #6
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You can sand the frames down but I would still etch them prior to applying the primer coat. Use an epoxy base primer designed for aluminum and then your final coating. You can brush it on but if you're looking for a nice finish nothing beats spraying. You can use an air brush gun on a job like this. If you don't have one, buy one....they're not expensive and way less expensive than a professional painter!
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:13 PM   #7
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Many posts have mentioned sanding your aluminum frames. A word of caution: the improper use of steel wool, steel brushes or carbon based abrasives can force small (read microscopic) pieces of steel into the surface of the aluminum this will result in dissimilar metal corrosion. This corrosion will develop under your new paint
Try and use non-woven, fiber pads (Scotch-Brite) pads. Chemical stripping would be better but may not be possible/compatible with surrounding surfaces. An aluminum wire brush or aluminum wool will work also.
Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:18 PM   #8
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Surface Preparation and Priming - Aluminum
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:34 PM   #9
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:42 PM   #10
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I would like to spray these frames if possible so I don't have brush marks. I'm a pretty good rattle can spray painter, but never used an air brush sprayer. Not sure how I would control overspray however. Always some breeze.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:52 PM   #11
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I would like to spray these frames if possible so I don't have brush marks. I'm a pretty good rattle can spray painter, but never used an air brush sprayer. Not sure how I would control overspray however. Always some breeze.
Lots of masking off, a HVLP gun and a still day should do it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:20 PM   #12
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I would like to spray these frames if possible so I don't have brush marks. I'm a pretty good rattle can spray painter, but never used an air brush sprayer. Not sure how I would control overspray however. Always some breeze.
The advantage of a small air brush is that you control the flow of paint with a fingertip. Start with just a bare amount of paint being sprayed, and you'll quickly gain confidence to increase the flow to get to the point of "glisten", when you move on. Because the area actually covered by the air brush with paint from three or four inches away is about an inch wide using any other type of sprayer just increases your chances of making a real mess.

If you aren't comfortable using two part paints, find a painter, because anything else won't be much of a solution.

Because the frames are discreet pieces, just mask them off. The airbrush over spray will be easily controllable.
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:21 PM   #13
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I would like to spray these frames if possible so I don't have brush marks. I'm a pretty good rattle can spray painter, but never used an air brush sprayer. Not sure how I would control overspray however. Always some breeze.
I've tried airbrush and found them tough to get enough paint thru it for even a small area.
I found the Preval sprayers worked well for small to moderate areas...just like a rattle can except you can use specialty primers & paints not available in cans...even 2 part mix paints.
Cheap to try...little lost if you don't like it.
Easy to find in any big box hpme stores and other places.
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:10 PM   #14
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I've tried airbrush and found them tough to get enough paint thru it for even a small area.
I found the Preval sprayers worked well for small to moderate areas...just like a rattle can except you can use specialty primers & paints not available in cans...even 2 part mix paints.
Cheap to try...little lost if you don't like it.
Easy to find in any big box hpme stores and other places.

Well that looks interesting. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:23 PM   #15
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Well that looks interesting. Thanks.
Before you invest in Prevals, consider a HVLP touch up gun.

MINI HVLP SPRAY GUN DETAIL TOUCH UP 1.0 TIP
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:35 PM   #16
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Before you invest in Prevals, consider a HVLP touch up gun.

]
Preval hardly an "investment" at $5-$6 and air refills $4
If you have a compressor and want a true gun by all means HVLP is the way to go
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:05 PM   #17
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So the consensus is what kind of paint?

Epoxy based primer and epoxy paint of some kind? Can I kind of color match this paint to what I have ?
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:27 AM   #18
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So the consensus is what kind of paint?
You guys are scaring me.

I was thinking good surface prep, self-etching primer made for aluminum, and Rustoleum.

I've had good luck with this combination before, but I'm open to hearing why not.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:16 AM   #19
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Preval hardly an "investment" at $5-$6 and air refills $4
If you have a compressor and want a true gun by all means HVLP is the way to go

Between priming and final finish you are going to use at least as many Prevals as the cost of a cheap touch up gun. And the gun can give you a better result.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:17 AM   #20
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So the consensus is what kind of paint?

Epoxy based primer and epoxy paint of some kind? Can I kind of color match this paint to what I have ?
For best longevity and gloss, 2 part poly.

But a good epoxy will work.
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