The finishing.com Hotline -- Serious Education ... plus the most fun you can have in metal finishing
Best way to paint an aluminum ultralite wheelchair
I am disabled and have 2 aluminum ultralite wheelchairs. The one I am working on now is a Quickie XTR. I want to go on the beach this year but there are no wheelchairs designed to go through sand, so I made one. This one has big mountain bike tires on the back and ski's on the front. My question is, what is the easiest way to strip off the existing paint, what do I use to repaint it, and what can I use to protect it from the sun, sand, and salt water? will a simple coat of clearcoat do? what if I don't want to paint it, how do I keep it shiny and protected? I will post pics when its done if you guys are interestedJerry Errico
I make "special" wheelchairs - Castle Hayne, North Carolina
Aircraft stripper is noxious stuff, Jerry, but it's made for removing paint from aluminum. But if the existing paint is adhering well, it's better to paint over it than to strip it.
Clearcoating will not be nearly as successful as painting because you can't do proper preparation under a clearcoat because the prep steps will color the aluminum, they don't leave it shiny. Considering the corrosive environment, clearcoating will not hold up long, although a two-pack clear coat sprayed by a body shop is better than single component clear coats. If it must be shiny you probably should send it to an anodizing shop for anodizing. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey