Painting Aluminum

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Apr 8, 2009
Hey guys! This is so off-topic that it's not even about a boat, it's about a bike, but I think you guys might have the answers I need since there seems to be a lot of knowledge in this forum regarding painting outdoors sports stuff...

So I'm buying a $400 bike frame that is aluminum (pictures and info here) and I want to paint it, but I understand aluminum is super difficult to paint correctly. I thought about bead-blasting it myself (I have access) and then having it powdercoated, but that will cost me $100-150 more and I just can't afford that.

What would you guys advise for prep, prime & paint? I want it to be flat black or at most semi-gloss, and while I want it to look great, I'm not above doing a nice, careful but cheap rattlecan job. My main concern is the prep and priming so i don't have it flaking off the next day

Also, let me add that I have little to no knowledge of painting and priming other than interior walls, so if you can please be specific and provide links. thanks SO MUCH in advance! how did people find this stuff out before forums?!?!
If you have bead blaster access and you want it flat black, just go after it with some rustoleum. It's easy to touch up and pretty tough. They have a higher-end automotive paint available as well. Worst thing that could happen is that you'd give up on it after a while, blast it again and go the expensive route.
Alumacruiser did a writeup concerning painting aluminum. Search away !!
why not strip and polish it? actually, aluminum is easier, you don't have to worry about removing rust!

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