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nonsub 3rd February 2010 12:31 AM

How to paint over brushed aluminum?
I want to change my DCX2496 to all flat or minimal gloss black. I don't care about the button labels. What is the best cost effective way to do this anyone? I read to clean, use etching primer and then it said latex but WTF @ latex... isn't that easy to scratch off??? I expect that such a mod will bring subtle but significant improvements to dynamic range. Thanks for any suggestions!

Glowbug 3rd February 2010 01:09 AM

Know any friends that powdercoat? :)

bear 3rd February 2010 01:15 AM

self etching primer is correct. after that use a compatible paint, a spray paint is fine, but test it first on something else - you might end up with a crinkle finish otherwise. this assumes raw aluminum not anodized aluminum. latex paint is nuts. the coating on the Behringer is likely not anodized at all, but an epoxy paint that is like what is on soda cans... etching primer won't get you anywhere unless you abrade this off... this assumes the panel is actually aluminum and not a fancy plastic!

best to find out what ur working with first.

nonsub 3rd February 2010 01:16 AM

Funny you should ask... the place welding my speaker stands can! Cool! Do I need to do anything to prep? Probably at least sand off all the letterings? Thanks!

nonsub 3rd February 2010 01:21 AM


Originally Posted by bear (
... best to find out what ur working with first.

I took a mounting bracket off, touched to mains and no spark. Scratched it up a bit and did same. Big spark. So it is metal, probably aluminum but coated.

I like the powder coat idea I think. I guess for that I have to make sure it is scuffed down perfectly?

Thanks guys!

tomchr 3rd February 2010 01:36 AM

The Rustoleum flat black is just that. Flat. Very flat. Like chalkboard flat. Personally, I prefer their satin black (I believe it's in their American Accents series) as it has a very, very slight sheen to it. I've used those products with the Rustoleum Professional primer and it seems to stick on aluminum just fine. I'm not associated with Rustoleum, I've just had good luck with their products.

Another option would be to have the parts thrown in a tumbler with some of those little ceramic rocks and then have them anodized and died black.


tomchr 3rd February 2010 01:38 AM

For powder coat - I'd ask the powder coating place what they expect for surface prep.


jimmytwos 3rd February 2010 01:38 AM

i have done this on anodized alu panels,

first i sanded with a medium grit sand paper, then cleaned with white sprit/paint stripper, then with washing up liquid. i then used auto paint primer from a rattle can. several coats of primer and sanding with a fine grit paper.
then again auto paint, in my case ruby red:) spray several layers allowing to dry, then sand with fine grit paper, spray again then sand again until you feel you have enough coats on, or follow the directions on the can.
after the final coat is dry, sand again with a very fine grit paper, then wash in a detergent or washing up liquid and leave to dry.
after this i used a clear laquer, several coats with fine grit sanding in between. when its dry it looks excellent!
one warning though, make sure you use paint/primer/laquer of the same brand or that they wont react with each other, we found this out while re-spraying a friends m3 wing mirrors, our mistake was using different brands of primer/paint etc. we painted the wing mirrors only to find a "laquer reaction" the primer and the paint pretty much slid off the surface as one peice! we had a laugh about it in the end.

beware of the laquer reaction:)

CivicProtection 3rd February 2010 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by nonsub (
I took a mounting bracket off, touched to mains and no spark. Scratched it up a bit and did same. Big spark. So it is metal, probably aluminum but coated.

Thanks guys!

Be careful! That was a very reckless move!

bear 3rd February 2010 12:46 PM

I guess you didn't read what I said, the Behringer stuff is likely coated with an epoxy material, like that used on soda cans...

Paint usually will not really stick to aluminum for long... Rustoleum or not. Which is why commercially coated aluminum always has some intermediate coat - either a chromate or a self-etching primer.

Of course anything will look good for a while, the question is how long.

Have fun with ur project... btw, what is the point of making it "black"?


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