How to Paint Aluminum Crutches

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Paint aluminum crutches with a durable enamel.
Paint aluminum crutches with a durable enamel. (Image: Crutches image by Megan van Dyck from Fotolia.com)

Enhance the look of your bare aluminum crutches by refinishing them with paint. Before you begin, consider an important point about surface adhesion: although wood crutches are porous, making them relatively well-suited for paint adhesion, aluminum crutches are nonporous and require special preparation to ensure the paint adheres properly. If you want paint to stick to your crutches, treat the aluminum with a special etching primer, formulated with an acid base. Once the crutches are primed, they'll accept their new finish. Paint the crutches with a durable enamel, or the finish may fail.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based degreasing cleanser
  • Coarse sponge
  • Rags
  • Towels
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Metal etching spray primer
  • Acrylic spray enamel

Use a sponge to wash the aluminum crutches with a water-based soap. Rinse the crutches with wet rags and dry them with towels.

Wash the aluminum crutches with a sponge.
Wash the aluminum crutches with a sponge. (Image: sponge for cleaning image by Serghei Velusceac from Fotolia.com)

Cover portions of the crutches you don't want painted with painter's tape.

Cover portions of the crutches you don't want painted.
Cover portions of the crutches you don't want painted. (Image: blue painters tape image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

Place the crutches on a fabric drop cloth.

Coat the aluminum crutches with etching spray primer. Maintain eight inches between the crutches and the spray nozzle as you apply. Allow the aluminum to dry for two hours.

Coat the aluminum crutches with acrylic spray enamel. Maintain eight inches between the crutch and spray nozzle as you apply. Allow the aluminum to dry for two hours.

Coat the crutches with acrylic spray enamel.
Coat the crutches with acrylic spray enamel. (Image: spray image by Petr Gnuskin from Fotolia.com)

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use acrylic or latex primer on an aluminum crutch, or the finish will flake.
  • Be sure to maintain eight inches between the crutch and the spray nozzle to prevent the paint from sagging.
  • Do not paint an unprimed aluminum crutch, or the paint will peel.

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