Painting aluminum

Helen L

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Ok so I'm almost at the stage of painting my aluminum tower and stand. I'm using coal tar epoxy, 2 coats. I have a bunch of zinc chromate cans. Question is should I spray a base of zinc chromate then 2 coats of the coal tar, or just prep the surface and coal tar it? Pale says it's self etching so theoretically I shouldn't need to primer. But would it be worth it to?

Anyone with aluminum painting experience please chime in.
 

MDI45

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Tim,use the zinc chromate....i have used the yellowish green stuff in the can....but then i used awl-grip...and it came out great
 

Helen L

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Yeah I have the green stuff. I figured repainting/touching up the tower would be a bitch once it's on so coal tar epoxy would be the way to go for me. Plus it's a lot cheaper and I'm broke!
 

Helen L

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Not feasible. I literally couldn't afford to bring it over on the ferry again with my trailer. Ticket alone would be $350 now. My only option is to paint it where it is. I've used coal tar epoxy before and it's pretty tough stuff.
 

jawz

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me,i would use this method:

chemically etch prime that aluminum first - fail to do this,and your coating will fail...
after the chemical etch prime is completed,i would coat with interprotect 2000e,alternating coats,grey and white - get it 10m thick - matchbook cover...alternate coats,this way,you're assured of full and complete coverage...that interprotect will also act as a primer,top coat over that...
 

plowin

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Used zinc chromate and rustoleum on a tower and pulpit that fished most every day out of maine and it worked fine.The plus was that if you dinged it up taking it off or whatever it was easily repainted. Looks like you have built a boat to use so you might as well finish it with simplicity and ease in mind.Just my thought though. Do you have to paint it? Was it already painted before? The mast and stand on my boat now are 16 years old and unpainted(aluminum) and I have had no troubles, its also easier to see and deal with any possible cracks and rewelds in the future.
 

steveinak

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Just my 2 cents but isn't the zinc chromate used for steel to protect it from rusting sort of like a galvanize?? if so why use it on aluminum? They don't use regular zincs on aluminum boat hulls so why use it on a mast. If it were me i'd leave it natural like plowin said, i had a lot of aluminum parts on my bowpicker, gillnet reel stands, bow roller, pen board channels and the gear box for the gillnet reel drive and the only stuff that looked shitty after 20 years was the aluminum that was painted. If anything i'd do the acid etch and paint with the coal tar. Why make more maintenance work for yourself just leave it natural !! The best coating i've found for steel is called Kel Kote just slop it on and it seals it up real good, i had it on the steel trailer for my bowpicker 15 years on that trailer and no rust.
 
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Helen L

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its been painted for 2 months now. painted for aesthetics only. ended up just using coal tar epoxy. toughest shit ive ever seen. I tied up to a friends boat with a crane and lifted the tower off a bulkhead, over his steel boat and onto mine, banged the hell out of it in the process but the epoxy never even scraped off in any spot. always wanted a black hull and black tower.
 

plowin

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Awesome, works good,looks good and its what you wanted!!
 
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