plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
How to Tint Lacquer for Aluminum Articles
I would like a new finish for my spun aluminum pieces- vases, candleholders, etc. In the past I have anodized and powder coated and now I'd like to try tinted lacquer. Please advise on materials and process. Thanks for your help!Babette Holland
design - Brooklyn, New York
You can mix aniline dyes into clear lacquers to produce an anodized look. The best process would be spraying the lacquer onto the parts. Usual recommendations for the mix is 2 to 4 ounces per gallon of clear lacquer, and then 2 or 3 coats, which will build the color up to your desired look. Adding too much dye into a lacquer, hoping to get results with only one coat, will give you a splotchy colored finish. Since aluminum isn't a very porous material, there might be an issue with adhesion. An epoxy based lacquer or at least a clear epoxy primer will help since these will "bite" or stick to the metal better. Most coatings suppliers have premixed dyed lacquers, I've heard them being called toners.
Hope everything works well for you.
G. J. Nikolas &Co.,Inc.
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