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cghubbell 04-07-2010 08:54 AM

Painting small aluminum parts
I have a set of aluminum stanchion bases that have done a great job of slowly corroding since their inception in 1977. A few hours with the new Dremel tool, and I was able to clean them off nicely. However, I'd like to protect them so I don't need to do this again for a long time. My thought was that since the boat's aluminum toe rails are black, I'd paint the stanchion bases the same flat black. That brings me to my question...

I've seen all kinds of advice for priming and painting aluminum spars, or hulls. The products I see recommended tend to come in quantities that are WAY too much for this little job. I only need about a pint of paint. My stanchion bases also don't take a lot impact abuse, so I'm thinking (hoping?) there may be a more economical yet still effective way to prime and paint them without buying a gallon of something expensive.

My boat is fiberglass, used 100% in fresh water (Lake Ontario), and I'm a weekends-only cruiser (so far!). So, again, I think my demands are less than some of the hull / spar oriented products are designed for. No ocean crossings in my current plans, and I'm not planning to paint any other aluminum in black, so no other places to leverage the purchase.

Has anyone used a Krylon or Rustoleum (or other more widely available paint?) product for small parts like this with any success? Yikes, I hope I won't be flogged for suggesting a non-marine paint :) My refit budget is hurting, so I'd prefer throw money where it's not justified. Then again, if I gotta do it, I will. Any thoughts?


tommays 04-07-2010 09:01 AM

I spent a ton OF money paainting my mast white and it was well worth it :)

BUT i had to do the ends of the boom in black and i was NOT droping the bucks for a quart of it

SO i went with spray can rustolem primer and paint and it has held up FINE after ONE year in saltwater

You do need to give at least a WEEK to compleatly dry

cghubbell 04-07-2010 09:51 AM

I suspected it would, and I'm greatly relieved to hear that it works, especially that it worked in a salt environment which I suspect is more harsh.

The wait time for curing is no problem. My launch date isn't until May 17th, and I still need to glass in the deck I'm re-coring. Plenty to keep me busy before they get splashed!

jrd22 04-07-2010 10:52 AM

I had to paint some parts I made out of aluminum and got a zinc primer and top coat in spray cans from an auto paint place. I also used a clear coat for protection but you wouldn't need to. The key is to use the right primer on aluminum and the paint store had it on the shelf. The cans were much more expensive than Rust Oleum but have held up for almost three years now and still look new.

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