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Need to paint anodized aluminum


I'm in the business of installing window coverings (draperies, blinds, etc.). I have some natural-color anodized extruded aluminum track that I need to paint. This track was originally intended for use without additional painting. The track is in new condition even though it was produced over 15 years ago. So far I have tried an aerosol Self Etching Primer (commercial grade, reputable brand) recommended for this purpose by a local commercial supplier of automotive paints, etc. I tried this primer on un-altered surface, lightly sanded surface, and lightly sanded surface wiped with denatured alcohol. The primer scratches off the surface easily with a fingernail equally with all three above techniques. I also tried some aerosol paint I "happened" on (long story) that is apparently formulated as touch-up on some prepainted aluminum product. This paint alone sticks FAR better than the primer, but I'm not sure its adhesion will meet my needs.

I would appreciate any suggestions as to methods, materials, techniques, etc. Please be as specific as possible within the rules of the forum. Private contacts are welcome if what you have to say violates the rules.

Many thanks in advance. It is Tuesday night 10/3/06 and this must be installed Thursday morning.

Eddie Dobelstein
- Birmingham, Alabama

Hello, Eddie. This is a public forum whose inquiries and responses can serve as a technical resource. Unfortunately the medium is poorly suited to situations where an individual wants an immediate response from readers who may not visit until next week or next month. We've put your inquiry on line in hopes that any replies may prove helpful to the next person who confronts a similar problem.

I was wondering how to clean anodized aluminum window frames. They are on the outside of the house and the outdoor elements are causing the windows to appear chalky and dirty. Is their a cleaning product that will work to clean these frames? I live in chicago, so the weather changes quite a lot.

Greg Beck
aluminum cleaning and sales - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA

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