Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Best Paint for Aluminum: 10 Top Picks + Preparation Tips

Our website is supported by our users. This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. To learn more, read about our Affiliate Disclosure and Editorial Process.

Whether you want to give your aluminum items a quick makeover or you want to give them a fresh coat of the same color, you’ll need proper paint for it.

This is because aluminum is extremely smooth, so it’s not compatible with just any paint out there.

Not only that, but you’ll also need to prepare your aluminum for painting, even if you use latex or acrylic paint, to help it adhere.

If you’re looking for the best paint for aluminum, this guide will have you covered!

We’re going to have a quick look at the top 10 options to consider along with preparation tips. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

The best overall option to consider is the Krylon ColorMaxx Acrylic Latex, thanks to its excellent coverage and versatility with surfaces. However, if you’re looking for something a little more affordable, you can go for a budget-friendly option like the Montage Signature Interior/Exterior paint. 

If you’re looking for spray-on paint and you don’t mind paying extra, the Krylon ColorMaxx Spray Paint is the way to go!

Main Recommendations

The best overall paint for aluminum: Krylon ColorMaxx Acrylic Latex

The best paint for adhesion without heavy priming: Majic Diamond Hard RePurpose Paint

The best spray-on paint for aluminum decorations: Krylon ColorMaxx Spray Paint

The best budget-friendly paint for aluminum: Montage Signature Interior/Exterior

The best enamel painting for weather protection: Diamond Brite Latex Enamel

1. Krylon ColorMaxx Acrylic Latex

[amazon box=”B086QMYB3G” link_id=”38808″]

Starting off with one of the best options out there, the Krylon ColorMaxx combines the features of both acrylic and latex in one product.

The paint is originally brush-on, but you can use it with HVLP paint guns with proper dilution.

The formula is easy to spread, and the colors are remarkably vibrant because of its water-based acrylic structure.

In addition to metals like aluminum and wrought iron, ColorMaxx can be also used to paint a wide range of materials, including plastic, wood, ceramic, wicker, and drywall, which makes it extremely convenient if you like to do your paint jobs by yourself.

When it comes to price, ColorMaxx is slightly more expensive than some other options, but it’s an excellent pick if you’re looking for versatility!

2. Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover

[amazon box=”B000BZX6UK” link_id=”38809″]

Rust-Oleum is one of the biggest names in the paints and stains industry, and the Ultra Cover paint lives up to the name of the brand!

This latex paint is made from a water-based acrylic formula that is designed to have a relatively low odor and to last for quite some time, even under relatively harsh weather. 

This makes it a good choice if you’re looking for aluminum paint for outdoor surfaces where items are prone to chipping.

Similar to the Krylon ColorMaxx, this paint works with a huge range of materials, and you’ll need to buff up the surfaces before applying it.

However, it’s self-priming paint, so you won’t need a primer before using it with aluminum.

3. Majic Diamond Hard RePurpose Paint

[amazon box=”B075HTV9C3″ link_id=”38810″]

Another great option to consider if you don’t want to spend a lot of time priming your aluminum is the Majic Diamond Hard Repurpose Paint.

The enamel acrylic paint is specifically designed to paint metal surfaces like aluminum but can be used with wood, glass, and vinyl plastic as well.

The paint has a satin finish and comes in a decent array of colors, which makes it a handy pick if you don’t want to spend much on aluminum paint.

4. Montage Signature Interior/Exterior

[amazon box=”B076C16VGW” link_id=”38811″]

If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for decent paint that works with aluminum surfaces, you should consider the Montage Signature Paint.

This one comes in a wide array of pastel colors with a low sheen that works very well in indoor and outdoor decorations.

The paint is also available in a semi-gloss finish if you prefer shinier results.

The Signature paint has remarkably good coverage, which also makes it an excellent choice for beginners who are painting metals for the first time.

5. Krylon ColorMaxx Spray Paint

[amazon box=”B07LFWTSP8″ link_id=”38812″]

If you like the Krylon ColorMaxx brush-on paint but you’re looking for a spray-on alternative, this one is for you!

The ColorMaxx Spray Paint saves the hassle of diluting and adjusting the brush-on version, offering easy application straight out of the box!

The paint is made with the same quality as the previous one and comes in a huge range of finishes and colors to match your needs, although it’s quite pricey in comparison.

6. JetCoat Fence and Barn Paint

[amazon box=”B07VC94P3T” link_id=”38813″]

This JetCoat Fence and Barn Paint is originally designed to work on wood and rough plastics, hence the name. 

However, the water-based acrylic formula can work surprisingly well with aluminum and other metals, provided that you rough them up with fine-grit sandpaper and apply a coat of primer first.

The paint has a nontoxic satin finish when it dries with excellent coverage and resistance to UV light, which also makes it a fine pick for outdoor use if you’re looking for simple black paint.

7. Rust-Oleum Hammered

[amazon box=”B000BZWZHU” link_id=”38814″]

While acrylic and latex paints are usually considered the best options for painting metals, this oil-based paint from Rust-Oleum can be an excellent option if you’re going to leave the aluminum structure in the rain.

The formula gives a decent hammered finish and protects from rust, but you’ll need to apply a few coats of the formula for better protection. 

You can also use this paint if you want to hide scratches, dents, and imperfections caused by rust. The paint also dries pretty quickly and needs no priming, which saves you quite a lot of time!

8. Behr Exterior

[amazon box=”B00NOMEUMU” link_id=”38815″]

Behr paint is one of the most popular options when it comes to barns and fences, but it can also work very well with metals, including aluminum.

Unlike the JetCoat one, this one is oil-based paint, so it’ll withstand the elements of weather much better and resist chipping with time, although it’ll take a while to dry up in comparison.

The product is super affordable for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on paint, although it’ll require some thinning for better coverage and spreadability.

9. Diamond Brite Latex Enamel

[amazon box=”B00AENH556″ link_id=”38816″]

If you’re planning to paint your aluminum structures or decorations brilliant white, you should consider this latex enamel paint.

Not only does this paint provide an excellent shade of glossy white, but it’s also surprisingly durable and lasts for a very long time without chipping away.

The Diamond Brite Latex Enamel paint is originally brush-on, but you can also modify the consistency of the paint to spray it easily with little effort.

The paint has decent adhesion, but you might want to prime the aluminum prior to using it.

10. Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint

[amazon box=”B002L3RH6Y” link_id=”38817″]

Last but not least, if you want a good alternative to the Krylon ColorMaxx spray that provides similar features while giving you a wider range of color options, you might want to check this one out!

The Rust-Oleum spray paint is an enamel spray, so it provides excellent resistance against corrosion and rust. It also has a similar glossy finish and dries up in a few hours.

You can also use the paint on many surfaces, including metal, wood, concrete, and several types of plastic.

How To Prepare Aluminum for Paint

While it may take some time, preparing aluminum for painting is quite simple.

Here’s a quick look at the necessary steps that you need to take before painting aluminum for the best results:

  1. If the aluminum has no paint on, clean it up with some warm water and degreasing soap (this one is excellent). You can also use a wire brush to scrape rust away if there’s any.
  2. If the aluminum is painted, apply some paint remover (find it here) on the aluminum and scrub it to remove the paint; this should also degrease the aluminum.
  3. Rinse the aluminum well to get rid of all compounds used.
  4. Rough up the surface of the aluminum using coarse-grit sandpaper (80 to 100 grit) followed by fine-grit sandpaper (220 to 400 grit) to help the paint adhere. This pack is perfect.
  5. Wipe and rinse the aluminum again.
  6. Apply 2 or 3 primer coats on the aluminum using spray-on or brush-on method, depending on the size of the item. Allow it to dry between every coat.
  7. Use fine-grit sandpaper to level any imperfections in the primer coat (optional).
  8. Apply 2 or 3 coats of latex or acrylic paint with an HVLP spray gun or by hand. Allow it to dry between every coat.
  9. Apply a final coat of clear sealant of your choice to preserve the paint, whether it’s glossy, satin, or matte, and then let it dry completely for a few days.

[amazon box=”B000EALHHG,B07LF8T6PM,B07CNKSLY3″ link_id=”38818″]

Final Verdict

There you have it! A brief guide that walks you through all the top recommendations to help you buy the best paint for aluminum.

As you can see, there are plenty of great options on the market to choose from.

Regardless of the choice you make, always start your painting process with light sanding because aluminum is very smooth.

image showing a man crafting a piece of pottery on a pottery wheel - header graphic for the hobby ideas post on gigworker.com
  • Hobbies

30+ Hobby Ideas For 2023: Overview & How To Get Started

August 28, 2023
3 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Hobbies
  • DIY

Painting Brick Pros & Cons: What To Consider Before Deciding

June 22, 2022
6 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Hobbies
  • DIY

Can You Sand Wet Wood? Negative Effects (+ Sanding Guide)

June 22, 2022
6 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.