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Coloring aluminum..any ideas please

(7 Posts)
NorksAreMessy Fri 21-Oct-11 22:01:15

i have been asked to make a sort of crown-tiara-diadem thingy. lord of the rings inspired.

I am planning to make it in aluminium, but need to make some bits colourful.
Can I paint / pen/ink onto alu. And can I varnish over the top?

Does this all sound bonkers? It is. It is a commission so I have to find a way smile

Snorbs Fri 21-Oct-11 22:27:53

Aluminium is difficult to paint on as it is covered in a microscopically thin layer of oxide that is difficult for paint to hang on to. The typical surface finish for aluminium is to either leave it as it is, hard anodise it, or carefully prepare it then paint it. Hard anodising can be done in different metallic colours but you'll need to send it to a specialist workshop.

If you're going to paint it then first clean it very thoroughly with a degreaser - isopropyl alcohol works well and is available from a chemist. Then get an acid etch primer (a good car spares shop will have them as some cars have aluminium body panels and/or aluminium alloy wheels) and spray it on according to the directions. This will provide a good painting surface. You will then be able to paint it reasonably successfully. Cleanliness and keeping it free of finger marks is absolutely critical.

NorksAreMessy Fri 21-Oct-11 22:49:30

OK snorts I have seriously gone off that idea. Thanks for the detailed info.
Any other suggestions that are NOT silver (my normal metal of choice)

Thank you for good advice

NorksAreMessy Fri 21-Oct-11 22:50:00

snorbs blush

WholeLottaRosie Fri 21-Oct-11 22:58:43

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NorksAreMessy Fri 21-Oct-11 23:05:46

Oooh, whole new medium I knew nothing about!

I want some of those

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 00:21:52

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