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Does anyone know the best way to paint aluminum? I have the factory rear bash guard that I would like to paint black. I know it's tough to have paint stick, but I just don't feel like powder coating it. I'm assuming I should sand it and use some chemical cleaner on it. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.
 

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not sure about painting it,, probably gonna be real tough to get it to stick,, I have a couple of buddies that have painted the inside parts of some mag wheels then clearcoated them with real good luck,,, I have also painted motocycle jugs and then when they get hot it bakes it on,,,,, you might check with a local paint shop that does spray in bed liners and the next time they are spraying a bed they might do you bumper at the same time for a little pocket change,,,,,, ,,,, ,,,,, cg
 

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I was thinking about that option too, thanks cg.
 

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prep the entire surface with a scotchbrite pad. Make sure if it's diamond plate to get between every tread. The better you scuff it, the better the paint will stick. Then wipe clean with mineral spirits or thinner. It's important to prime the surface right after you prep it cause aluminum oxidizes quickly and make sure to use Enamel etching primer and Enamel paint. Apply 2 light coats of primer, waiting about 5 minutes between each coat. Then apply 2-3 light coats of paint 5 minutes after priming, and 10-15 minutes between each paint coat. Let dry for at least 24 hours before installing. Make sure to lightly sand out any imperfections between each coat with 600-800grit sandpaper. The more critical you are during the whole process will turn out a better product. This sounds like alot, but this is what they do at bodyshops and that is why the quality is so much higher.
 

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thanks black954! I'll give it a shot, I'll send some pics when I'm done.
 

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I am no painter at all but i will share this info , i hade 14 ft aluminum boat i sanded the bottom painted it waited a week then put it in the river ,put back on trailer no paint on boat!! A old man at the boat landing was laughing at me told me to re-sand the boat wipe clean with mineral spirits then just before painting wipe down with (LEMON JUICE) so i did it and that was 1993 i still have the boat and the paint is still on it ...
 

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my dad works at Harbercraft. they make aluminum boats. and i worked in the "prep department" for 3 weeks. and after the boat was welded(as soon as you sand some certain spots on the outside a white line shows up where the weld is on the inside) they would sand and put bondo over the areas that had a weld on the inside then they wash(i did this a few times too) the boat and parts with biodegratable acid. then after its dry 1 or 2 people mask of the outside and spray zolotone(thick stuff) on the inside to protect boat, then peel off masking and mask the inside to paint(PPG paint) the outside. now obviously you dont have to go through this process. i got a little caught up in it sorry. but sand real good then wipe with solvent, if you dont sand and wipe the paint will not stick. sand it with some 180 grit sandpaper and wipe and it will be fine. good luck hope it turns out fine.
 

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If you like the truck bed liner idea it's not hard to do yourself. I just primed mine and sprayed it with pro-coat urathane box liner. You use a undercoating applicator gun ($20) and spray it on. It is very good stuff. It's about $25 for a quart.
 
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