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Kind of Painting Aluminum?

Posted by krycek1984 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 21, 10 at 20:18

So, I have a problem. On my front porch is a railing, and 5 posts holding the roof up. The posts are wood, with the exterior wrapped with some sort of thin aluminium veneer. It is not smooth, but ridged, much like vinyl siding is ridged.

I need to paint the posts. The problem is that I have to paint the railing bright white to match the second floor railing and the trim of the house. But the posts are off-white. It looks silly having these stupid posts be off-white and everything else is white. I could paint the railing off-white, but then it wouldn't match the balcony railing or the trim on the house.

What do I do? How do I paint an aluminum surface that 1. isn't flat 2. already has some sort of epoxy covering/paint on it? I see all kinds of guides on how to paint bare aluminium, but that's it.

Would a regular primer work? I'm confused.

I can't take the wrapping off the posts because then I'd have to take the railings off.

Any advice?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Kind of Painting Aluminum?

Could you give some details of the house? How old, what style? I can't picture metal railings going with any sort of old house except a 50s-60s modern...several century old houses in my neighborhood have had the railings and columns replaced with metal, and every single one sticks out like a sore thumb!
A neighbor even has her main stair banister replaced with a metal exterior one, since the original owner didn't like 'traditional' stuff, and eventually convinced her husband to replace the original wood! Poor house even has parquet squares replacing the entire downstairs flooring.

RE: Kind of Painting Aluminum?

The railings are trex, but the posts are the things covered in aluminum wrapping. Here is the picture:

From 2010-07-13

That pic is about a few weeks old. The railing is now completely white, the masonry is now all dark brown, and the stairs are all the cream colour of the porch floor.

This is just a short-medium term fix. In the medium-long term, I'd like to restore the outside of the house to what it originally was, although I have no idea what it originally was! It looks like a transitional style house (some Victorian and some Colonial Revival), built in 1910. It has some aspects of both styles. I'm sure much of the trim and different things were lost over the past 100 years.

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