Beautify your bare aluminum columns by finishing them with paint. Aluminum columns are unlike porous wood surfaces, which take paint quite readily. If you coat under-prepared aluminum with a new finish, flaking will follow. Treat the columns with an acidic etching primer, specifically formulated for durable metallic surfaces. Finish the columns with a paint suitable for their location, or the finish may fade and crack over time.

Use a roller to apply primer and paint to aluminum columns.

Step 1

Use a sponge to wash the aluminum column with a water-based soap. Rinse the column with wet rags and dry it, using clean towels.

Step 2

Protect areas adjacent to the column by covering them with painter's tape.

Step 3

Apply metal etching primer to the aluminum column using a roller. Ensure a flawless finish by smoothing the wet etching primer using a polyester paintbrush. Move the brush vertically, applying delicate pressure. Allow the column to dry for three hours.

Step 4

Wash the brush with water.

Step 5

Paint the aluminum column just as you primed it. Allow the paint to dry for at least three hours.