How to Paint an Aluminum Soffit

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Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer

  • Ladder

  • Professional painter's tape

  • Drop cloths

  • Metal etching primer

  • 5-gallon bucket

  • Bucket hook

  • Roller frame

  • Roller extension pole

  • 2 nap roller covers

  • 3- to 4-inch polyester paintbrush

  • Acrylic latex paint

Examine the safety guide on the side of your ladder.

When inexperienced amateurs paint the exterior of their home, they tend to treat each surface the same, regardless of its composition. If you attempt to paint your aluminum soffit the same way you would a surface made of wood, heavy flaking will ultimately ensue. Aluminum soffits are nonporous. This makes them poorly suited for paint. Treat the soffit with a special acidic base coat, formulated for metallic surfaces. Once the soffits are primed, they will take a painted finish. Apply the paint, using a certain type of brush, or subtle flaws may appear in the finish.


Step 1

Rinse the aluminum soffits using a pressure washer. Allow the soffits to dry for 24 hours.

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Step 2

Protect surfaces adjacent to the aluminum soffits by covering them with painter's tape. Protect patios, sidewalks and other surfaces below the soffits with drop cloths. Be meticulous or stains may result.


Step 3

Affix a bucket hook to your 5-gallon bucket. Pour two gallons of metal etching primer into the bucket. Scale the ladder and use the hook to affix the bucket to the side. Coat the aluminum soffit with etching primer using the roller. Roll vertically. Use a polyester brush to smooth the fresh etching primer, as this will promote a smooth finish. Continue this application process until the entire soffit is primed. Wait two hours for the soffit to dry.


Step 4

Wash the roller frame and polyester brush with water.

Step 5

Paint the aluminum soffit with acrylic latex paint using the same methods as when applying primer. Wait two hours for the soffit to dry.


Nylon paintbrushes aren't appropriate for smooth aluminum surfaces.

Latex primer will not bond to aluminum soffits.


Never prime unwashed aluminum soffits, or adhesion problems will result.

Never paint unprimed aluminum soffits, or peeling will ensue.

Examine the safety guide on the side of your ladder before beginning work.


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