Can aluminum be painted?

oceannaDecember 29, 2007

I have a great old aluminum tray that I use every day. What I don't like about it is it leaves grey marks on my sink and counter. It sees a lot of water daily. Can it be painted, or sealed in some way so as not to do that?

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Didn't want you to feel ignored, but I have no idea on this. Hopefully someone else will. I know Sweets has painted on aluminum cans, but they weren't getting the use that your tray gets. I have one that makes marks too. ~Anj

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:00PM
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I was waiting for someone else to answer too! LOL

I've painted allot of different trays just not sure they are aluminum. And mine don't get daily use or water--they are just decorative. I wipe mine down with alcohol then spray a couple light coats of primer on. Then you can spray a basecoat on or go ahead and paint a design on, then seal with clear sealer.

If you want to leave yours as it is, I wonder if a couple coats of the indoor/outdoor clear sealer on the bottom would keep it from making the grey marks? I would not use the sealer where it would come into contact with any food however.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 8:17PM
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I'm going to ask the guys at the hardware store, I guess. I hope they have some good tips for me.

What kind of primer do you spray on, Luvs? I never even thought of a spray primer. I've always brushed it on. I'm thinking maybe spar varnish would be pretty tough. Though I hear that in time it yellows. I guess I should just make it colors that would look better if/when it yellows?

Hmm... I wonder what would happen if I just put spar varnish on the bottom. The tray doesn't come in contact with food. I use it to carry my birds' bowls of food and water back and forth every day. It's often standing wet. When I'm a good girl I prop it up behind the faucet to dry. It's made the back of my faucet all grey too, darn it. Aluminum seems to never run out of grey marks to make.

Do you have pictures of your trays?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 1:47AM
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Oceanna, I prefer the Krylon spray primer, but I've used other brands and had no problems. I usually buy it at Walmart or Lowes. I think a couple good coats (let dry throughly between coats) of a clear sealer on your tray would solve your problem, for only a couple bucks might be worth a try.

My trays are all ones that I've done One Stroke roses on, you have probably seen them on here if you've looked at old posts. I look for them at the TS, then primer and paint them.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 2:34AM
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I would love to see your trays but haven't seen them yet.

I bought a wooden tray hoping it would replace my metal one if I spar varnished it. But it doesn't fit where I need it to fit to drain and dry. So now I think I'll just paint it and find another use for it or sell it. It looks like it's painted, but it's not. It has a big print of paper glued inside the bottom and on the outside ends it has decals. Do you have any idea how I should remove them? I thought about wallpaper paste remover, but I'm not sure if I'll just make a big mess and bad job. I thought about sanding them off. I thought about painting over them but I'm afraid their outlines might show.

Thank you about the Krylon spray primer. I didn't even know there was such a thing and when you mentioned it I immediately thought of Michales; I was relieved to learn I could get it at the hardware store. I was thinking of latex primer and a brush like you use when painting an entire wall a color. Shows you how much I don't know! Spraying is SO much easier and more fun, and less cleanup.

I thought about painting something pretty on my aluminum tray, but you know it's carved/embossed with a design already. Maybe you're right that I just need to shine it up well and try seeing if sealer would work. What kind of sealer would you suggest?

Once you finish your wood trays, what do you seal them with?

Sorry for so many questions!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:33AM
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Hi Oceanna, I just got back home from our trip to Vegas. I like to use the Indoor/Outdoor sealer on all my projects. I like Krylon, but have had good luck with the American Traditions brand at Lowe's too. And I find that I like the filagree engraved look that is on the bottom of some of the silver trays. It just adds more dimension to my flowers IMHO. If they are engraved with names or dates, I would probably not buy them unless I wanted to do something like mosaic in them that would cover it up.

For your wood tray, I'd just scrape as much of the paper off as I could, then sand the rest. You need a nice smooth surface to paint on.

Here are a few of my trays, I have several more that I need to get painted. My problem is that I really have no place to use or display them all, but I love them so much that I don't want to part with them either! LOL

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 6:46PM
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Aren't her trays beautiful? Just wanted to pop on real quick and say that maybe something like Goof-off would take the paper and glue off your tray Oceana. ~Anj

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Wow, Luv, those are gorgeous! You did such a beautiful job on them. Thanks so much for posting the pics here.

It looks to me like some of these are silverplated trays -- is that right?

You said the engraving on them adds dimension to your flowers. I'm not sure I understand. Do you ignore the design stamped in the metal and just do your own design over it? Or do you try to follow the stamped design at least loosely?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 8:42PM
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HI Oceana, glad you liked the trays. I just ignore the design stamped on them. You really don't notice if after they are painted except when the light catches it a certain way, and I think it just makes it look "textured" and more pretty.

I started out not paying more than $2.00 for a tray at the TS, but guess I bought too many because now almost all of the bigger ones are priced at $3.99 or higher! I really like the heavier ones, but even the really light weight cheaper ones look great hanging on a wall after they are painted.

I can't bring myself to paint the really nice silver plated ones. I polish those up and stick them in my china hutch. I mainly paint the ones that can't be cleaned up or have discolorations and such.

You could paint any design you want on them--I just chose to do One Stroke roses. You could even use the designs you used for your borders and make the tray match.

If you don't like the metal ones, Michael's carries nice wooden trays too.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Thanks for the info, Luvs. You have sa lot of great ideas.

Well, already I found a use for my one wooden tray in the kitchen -- it's a great mail and junk collector. Bad habit, eh? I haven't painted it yet.

I found a metal tray on eBay that I paid too much for but it was the shape I have wanted for a long time. It's already painted but I'm thinking strongly I'll eventually get around to repainting it. I have some ideas.

BTW, I dunno if any of you are interested or not, but I've been creating (and in a couple of cases adding to) some huge photo files in the Home Decorating Gallery. There is tons of eye candy and inspiration there. I have a huge number of picture files, so I thought I'd share them.

Here's a link...

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Decorating Gallery

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 6:26AM
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I was browsing on Home Dec yesterday and saw the inspiration pics you had posted. Some good stuff there. My favorite was the home with all the painted walls and furniture, of course! ;o) Since I am now retired and DH will be soon, it's not very likely we will be changing furniture pieces, but I do enjoy seeing arrangements on bookcases, end tables, buffets, coffee tables,mantles etc. to get ideas of ways I can change things around a bit. And most everyone knows I love seeing pretty dishes, linens and centerpieces on tables. Oceana, if you are interested in any of that, stop by the Holiday forum--that's what we do there to keep occupied between the holidays!

Glad you found a use for your wooden tray. Will look forward to your pics when you get it painted. Do you like to paint things for holiday decor? I really like doing things to put on stakes in my flower beds or to hang on my side gates. I have several patterns earmarked to do this year. Just need to get myself in gear and do them. I think I will have to do like Anj used to do and set aside at least one day a week as my painting day. Otherwise, it seems like I just piddle around doing other things and never get around to the painting I want to do! Luvs

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 11:05AM
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I will stop by the Holiday board, thanks. I had no idea anything went on there except at holiday time.

No, I haven't done any holiday painting. I've pretty much just painted on my walls. I should set some time aside for it too. I'd like to do more.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 3:59PM
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I might be wrong here but as a decorative painter, I think you can paint on anything. If we can paint on plastic we can certainly paint on aluminum. I would say to do what Luvs does with her trays, prime them and then paint them. However, as with anything handpainted, you probably should handwash. I doubt the paint will come off - have you ever tried getting dried paint off anything? It is almost impossible!! So I say go for it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:18AM
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Good point! Even without primer I got a couple of tiny specks on this tray when painting the walls and they didn't want to come off. Duh me!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 10:55AM
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