Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2007

Aluminum Preparation

Q: I have several large aluminum panels (picket fence type) that need to be prepped. I read one article you had about DIY'er in Arizona,  good stuff, but I need to know what I can prep the aluminum with? I work in California, now that you have picked yourself up off the floor from laughter, can you suggest any products or hint a name? I think I'm going to use a primer from Dunn Edwards. I think it's called galvalum, but the prep chem is what is stumping me ...  please help!

A: There are several new pretreatments on the market for aluminum surfaces.  Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge they are not readily available for the consumer market and I don't believe that paint stores carry them.  One such product is PreKote-X-It from Pantheon Chemicals. This is a water-thin product that can be wiped with a clean rag onto an clean aluminum surface prior to priming and top coating. I have performed some limited testing of the product and also read research papers that indicate that the product works very well as a pretreatment for aluminum.  

Carpenter Chemicals makes a product called Plaforization, and this too might fit the bill. Unless you can purchase directly from Carpenter Chemicals, I don't know where you will be able to obtain the product.  

For both products, I suggest that you visit the web sites of Pantheon and Carpenter and go from there.


Ron Joseph

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