Can You Paint Aluminum Window Frames?

Painting your window frames is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to give your home a fresh look. But can you paint aluminum window frames? 

Aluminum window frames can be painted as long as it is done properly. The key is to ensure the frames are adequately prepared before painting. You’ll also need a primer and paint specifically designed for aluminum. This will help ensure the paint adheres properly and won’t easily chip or peel off.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The pros and cons of painting aluminum window frames
  • The best paint and primer for aluminum window frames
  • How to paint aluminum window frames

Is Painting Your Aluminum Window Frames a Good Idea?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of painting aluminum window frames to help you decide if it’s the right move for your home. 


Improved Appearance

A fresh coat of paint on aluminum window frames can give your home an updated look that will last years. It’s an easy way to add a touch of color and style to the exterior without replacing the entire window frame.

Protection from Weather Damage

Painting aluminum window frames helps protect them from elements like rain, snow, and sun exposure. This can help extend the life of your windows by preventing rusting or corrosion over time.


Compared to other types of window treatments, painting aluminum window frames is relatively inexpensive and easy to do yourself with minimal tools or supplies needed.

Easy Maintenance

Once painted, aluminum window frames require little maintenance to keep them looking their best. If needed, wipe them down occasionally with a damp cloth or mild detergent solution.


Peeling and Chipping Paint

One of the biggest disadvantages of painting aluminum window frames is that the paint can peel or chip off over time. This can be caused by exposure to extreme weather conditions, such as high temperatures or humidity.

Additionally, if the paint job isn’t done properly, it may not adhere correctly to the frame and could start peeling or chipping soon after it’s applied.

Time and Labor Intensive

Painting aluminum window frames can be time-consuming, especially if you’re doing it yourself. You’ll need to properly prep the window frame surface before painting, which requires cleaning and sanding. You’ll also need to apply primer and multiple coats of paint to get an even, professional-looking finish.

Imperfections may be Visible

If the window frames are dented, scratched, or have any other imperfections, these may still be visible after painting. If the frames are in bad shape and you’re hoping to hide these issues with a new paint job, it’s best to replace them rather than try to paint them.

The Best Paint and Primer for Aluminum Window Frames

Painting aluminum window frames can be a great way to update their look and extend their lifespan.

The best paint type for aluminum window frames is acrylic or latex-based paint. These paints will create a durable finish that resists fading, cracking, and peeling in the sun’s UV rays.

For optimal adhesion and long-lasting protection against corrosion, it’s important to prime the surfaces of the aluminum window frames before beginning any painting project.

When it comes to priming raw aluminum and ensuring that the paint adheres well, an alkyd-based primer is the perfect choice. This type of primer is designed specifically for metals and provides superior protection from corrosion and abrasion. 

Spraying paint onto aluminum window frames is possible with certain types of paint, but it’s important to follow manufacturer instructions closely when using a sprayer.

For example, some acrylic or latex paints have a special formula for sprayer use. Others include additives that allow painters to thin the paint for spraying applications.

Always consult the product label before attempting to spray any type of paint onto your window frames.

Best Paint

Johnstone’s Trade Smooth Metal Paint is the best paint for aluminum window frames. This paint offers superior protection and a long-lasting, flawless finish.

It can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heat, cold, humidity, and UVA damage while providing excellent adhesion to aluminum. The tinted colors provide an attractive finish that won’t fade or discolor over time. 

The advanced technology incorporated into the formula of this paint provides up to 5 years of protection against corrosion and wear, even when exposed to extreme temperatures or environmental hazards.

Its solvent-based formulation gives it superior flexibility, which allows it to expand and contract with the metal surface, preventing cracks and chipping. Plus, its non-toxic nature ensures safe application for you and the environment. 

So if you are looking for durable paint that will keep your aluminum window frames looking their best with minimal maintenance requirements, Johnstone’s Trade Smooth Metal Paint is your best choice.

It also comes in various colors that can easily be matched to any existing decor, so you can always choose a color that perfectly complements your space.

Best Primer

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer is the perfect choice for painting aluminum window frames due to its myriad features.

It is a quick-drying solution, meaning you won’t have to wait long for the primer to dry or complete your project.

Furthermore, it has a low odor and VOC level, which makes it highly suitable for interior and exterior surfaces without causing any foul smells in your home. Moreover, its water-based composition makes it safe and easy to use around people and pets. 

It is also rich in biocides that protect against fungal degradation, which helps keep the window frames strong and durable over time.

It also prevents them from corroding due to moisture or other external elements. Additionally, because it adheres to all surfaces without sanding, you don’t have to worry about extensive prep work before painting. 

Finally, this primer is especially beneficial for glossy surfaces, like those found on aluminum window frames, as it will provide a smooth finish that looks great.

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer is an excellent product that allows you to get great results with minimal effort when repainting aluminum window frames.

How to Paint Aluminum Window Frames

Tools and Materials

Step 1: Prep the Frames

Clean the frames with a soft cloth and warm soapy water, then use a chemical stripper to remove any old paint or varnish.

Mask off any areas you want to keep unpainted. Use sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections on the surface of the frame, and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove dust.

Step 2: Mask the Areas

Apply painter’s tape around the edges of the frame to protect surrounding surfaces from paint splatters.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Once the surface is prepped and masked, you can apply primer. Primer helps create a better bond between the paint and the aluminum frame and will help ensure that your paint job lasts for many years.

Use a brush or roller to evenly apply the primer in thin coats. Allow each coat of primer to dry completely before applying additional coats.

Step 4: Paint

Once your primer has dried, you can begin painting your aluminum window frames. Open your paint tin and stir for a minute to even out the color.

Next, apply a suitably small paintbrush, working in sections and ensuring that each section is completely covered with an even coat of paint. Allow each coat of paint to dry before applying additional coats if necessary.

Step 5: Clean Up

Once you have finished painting your aluminum window frames, make sure that you clean up any remaining paint or debris from around them. This will help ensure your newly painted window frames look their best for years.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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