Before painting aluminum gutters, make sure they are clean and that you use the right primer. Use a sponge or a soft scrub brush. Liquid dish washing soap works just fine for this.
If your gutters are hanging over shrubs or a flower bed, avoid using harsh chemicals such as muriatic acid or bleach because these chemicals will damage or kill them. Pressure washing the gutters and down spouts is not the preferred method of cleaning.
After cleaning, be sure to rinse off the gutters with water. Try to get above the gutters and spray downwards. This will ensure that all the dirty water is washed off.
After the gutters are dry, they still may have some oxidation on them. This is why it is so important to prime before painting. There are two primers that work great for aluminum. Oil base metal primer or clear acrylic bonding primer.
Thin the oil base primer with 16 ounces of thinner per gallon of paint. Add some pigment to the primer to get close to the final color. Apply the final coat of paint within 48 hours of applying the primer.
Clear acrylic bonding primer also works well at penetrating the oxidized aluminum. This product forms an excellent foundation for a final coat of acrylic paint.
Avoid using a latex primer that contains ammonia. Check to see if ammonia is listed in the ingredients on the paint can label or ask to see the material safety data sheet for the product.
Ammonia can react with oxidized aluminum. When this happens, the chemical reaction creates a gas bubble just beneath the skinned over latex paint.
Oil base paint will stick better than acrylic and is self leveling, so if you brush it on you won’t see the brush marks as much. Paint Brushes work fine if you apply several light coats.
If there are any rough spots after the first coat, sand them with a 240 grit sandpaper before applying a second coat.
Spray painting aluminum gutters using several thin coats to prevent runs, will give you a better appearance, but taping and covering the areas around the gutter is time consuming.
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