How to Get Oxidation Off of Painted Aluminum

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Painted aluminum surfaces can oxidize, particularly if moisture manages to seep in between the paint and the aluminum. Removing the oxidation is nearly impossible without also removing the paint around it. The best way to remove oxidation from painted aluminum is to strip the paint, polish the metal, then repaint the aluminum. This method will restore the integrity of the aluminum and the paint. Work in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling chemical fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Oven cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Steel wool
  • Polishing wheel
  • Buffing cloths
  • Polishing compound
  • Paint

Pour chemical paint stripper recommended for use on aluminum onto a rag. Use the rag to spread the stripper onto the surface of the metal. Allow the stripper to sit for about 10 minutes, and then wipe away the paint. Rinse the aluminum with water and dry with a towel.

Spray the aluminum with oven cleaner. Allow the cleaner to sit for about 10 minutes. Put on rubber gloves. Rub the cleaner into the metal with steel wool. Rinse the metal with clean water and dry with a towel.

Rub some rough-grit polishing compound onto a buffing cloth. Attach the cloth to a polishing wheel. Polish the surface of the metal for about 30 seconds per section. Rinse the metal with water and dry with a towel.

Repaint the surface of the metal using spray paint or other paint designed for use on aluminum.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sand-blasting will also remove paint and oxidation from aluminum.
  • Do not inhale fumes from paint stripper and oven cleaner.
  • Use extra care when refinishing aluminum window frames. Chemicals and polishing compound could scratch glass or plexiglass.

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