5 Advantages of using aluminum railings

If you're wondering if aluminum railings can be painted, the simple answer is yes. They can be painted in essentially any colour. However, they're not as easy to paint as you would on wood. There are some considerations to make as well as things to do to thoroughly prepare the aluminum for a proper paint job that can last for an incredibly long time. So, with that being said, here are some tips to follow to ensure your aluminum railings are well painted:

1. Clean It

Start off by thoroughly cleaning the aluminum railings. The best way to accomplish this is by using a pressure washer. Make sure to use a pre-cleaner before you spray down the aluminum. This is to ensure that the paint adheres properly to the aluminum.

Some aluminum possesses a galvanized coating. If you see any rust on the surface, you can use a wire brush. Be sure to scrape off any rust or paint before you begin working on the railings.

2. Sand It

If the aluminum railings you want to paint have any sharp or rough edges, be sure to sand the edges down. This is to avoid having any sharp or rough edges when you apply the paint.

This step is also helpful in removing any rust, paint, or corrosion that might be on the aluminum.

3. Scuff It

Now you’ll want to scuff up the aluminum surface. This is to create some texture which will allow the paint to stick better.

To scuff the surface, you can use sandpaper or an orbital sander. Sand in the direction of the grain with medium-grit sandpaper. Use decreasing grits until you’re using fine-grit sandpaper.

4. Apply A Primer

A clean, sanded, and scuffed surface should be the perfect candidate for a primer. Again, there are two ways to go about priming the aluminum railings. You can use a product that’s specifically made for aluminum, or you can use a general-purpose primer.

Using a product made for aluminum will ensure that the primer will adhere to the aluminum railings better. However, the general-purpose primer will get the job done. It’s a matter of preference, really.

5. Apply The Paint

Now you can apply the paint. Be sure to use industrial-grade paint that’s made for exterior use.

The best way to apply the paint is to use an airless sprayer. However, you can also use a brush or roller. Whichever method you choose, remember to apply a thin coat, and don’t forget to leave the railings to dry.

6. Enhance It

Now you can enhance the railing’s appearance by applying a UV stain or a similar product. This is to protect the paint from UV damage. You can use this product in one of two ways. You can apply it on top of the paint and allow it to dry. Or, you can apply it before you paint the aluminum. If you do apply it before you paint the aluminum, you’ll want to remove the rails from the project and apply the product separately.

7. Prevent Rust

If you’re painting aluminum railings that are going to be exposed to a lot of moisture, you can apply a product that’s specifically designed to prevent rust. If you don’t apply this product, then you might end up having to repaint the railings sooner than you would if you applied a rust preventative product.


Painting aluminum railings are a great idea. It will greatly improve the look of your railings. And, if you choose the right paint, it will last for a really long time. But, of course, it isn’t as straightforward as you might realize. So, follow the tips above to ensure your railings are painted stunningly and lastingly!

Advantage Aluminum is a leading Canadian manufacturer of custom awnings made of aluminum, glass, and more. If you are looking for aluminum awning kits and more, check out what we offer!