The best primer for aluminum is one that will stick for a long time and stop rust in its tracks. But finding that perfect primer can be a challenge in today’s crowded market. So we’ve done the research for you – here is a detailed report.
The Rust-Oleum 327907-6 PK is the best aluminum primer right now. It can withstand almost extreme conditions and cures into a beautiful metallic finish. It also comes in a convenient 6-pack, so you can always have some on hand when you need it.
The only time I would not recommend this primer is if:
- You want more color options. In that case, you should use the Krylon K05588007 Colormax Primer, which comes in various colors.
- If you want a VOC-compliant option—I recommend the Seymour 20-1675 PBE Professional Primer.
- You are looking for a heat-resistant primer for automotive applications. The Rust-Oleum 248903 Automotive High Heat Primer
- is a better option.
- You are looking for a primer that will look great on your craft project. I recommend the Krylon K01406 Brilliant Aerosol.
In this article, I’ll explore the different aluminum primers and help you choose the best one for your needs. The idea is to help you select a durable, reasonably priced option that can stop rust effectively.
1. Rust-Oleum 327907–6 PK (BEST OVERALL)
Talk about an all-in-one product! This primer from Rust-Oleum 327907-6 PK can be used on wood, metal, and fiberglass surfaces, making it a versatile option for prepping your aluminum for paint.
The oil-based formula prevents rust and provides long-lasting durability, so you can rest assured that your project will withstand the elements. It’s also fast-drying—which means you can start your paint job in as little as 20 minutes after application.
I like the any-angle spray comfort tip that reduces finger fatigue, so you can keep going even when your arm starts to feel tired. The multi-angle nozzle also helps you to achieve an even and professional coverage of your aluminum surface.
The metallic finish of this primer will also give your paint job a professional-looking finish. This feature means that it’s not only great for outdoor projects but can also be used to provide indoor items with a little bit of extra polish.
Bottom line: I highly recommend this primer to anyone looking for an all-in-one solution to prevent aluminum rust. It’s easy to use, dries quickly, and provides long-lasting durability.
- Versatile: Can be used on wood, metal, and fiberglass surfaces.
- Prevents rust: The oil-based formula prevents rust effectively.
- Fast-drying: Dries in about 20 minutes.
- Any-angle spraying comfort tip: Reduces figure fatigue.
- Metallic finish: Gives your paint job a professional-looking finish.
- May require multiple coats: Some users found they needed to apply multiple coats to achieve even coverage.
- Cans may arrive defective: The nozzle on these bad boys may not work as intended, and there is no quick fix.
|Surface Recommendation||Aluminum, ceramic, plastic, wood, and metal|
|Size||11 ounce or 311.84 g (pack of 6)|
2. Krylon K05588007 Colormax Primer (Best for Multipurpose Use)
This Krylon product is a must-have option—if you’re looking for a primer that will stand up to the elements. You can use it on metal or wood surfaces, providing excellent coverage. It’s also resistant to chipping and peeling, so it will continue to look good for years.
The best part about this primer is that it’s available in various colors to choose the perfect one for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a white primer to use under paint or a black primer to use on its own, the Krylon K05588007 Colormax Primer is a great option.
I also like that this primer is affordable. It’s one of the most reasonably priced options on the market, and it works just as well as some of the more expensive brands. These features make it an excellent option for people who value a good product rather than a specific high-value brand.
Bottom line: Krylon K05588007 Colormax Primer is an excellent option for those looking for a high-quality primer that’s also affordable. It can be used on metal and wood surfaces and provides excellent coverage. It’s also resistant to chipping and peeling, so it will continue to look good for years.
- Affordably priced: Save money with this primer without sacrificing quality.
- Excellent coverage: This primer provides excellent coverage on metal and wood surfaces.
- Resistant to chipping and peeling: This primer will continue to look good for years.
- Available in various colors: Choose the perfect color for your needs
- Some colors may be difficult to find: Some of the colors offered by Krylon K05588007 Colormax Primer may be difficult to find in stores.
- Not as widely available as some other brands: You may have difficulty finding Krylon K05588007 Colormax Primer in stores as it’s not as widely known as other brands.
|Usage recommendation||Aluminum, glass|
|Size||11 ounce or 311.84 g (Pack of 1)|
3. Rust-Oleum 248903 Automotive High Heat Primer (BEST FOR HIGH-HEAT APPLICATIONS)
Rust-Oleum’s Automotive High Heat Primer is an excellent option for people looking for a product that can stop rust and withstand high temperatures. It is suited for use on automotive surfaces exposed to high temperatures, such as exhaust manifolds and engine blocks.
It’s also ideal for use on metal surfaces subject to high temperatures during operation, such as grills, wood-burning stoves, and fireplace inserts. The primer comprises a high-solids formula that provides excellent coverage and can be top-coated with either latex or oil paints.
The best part about this primer is that it works on all metal surfaces. Whether you’re working with aluminum, cast iron, or steel, this primer will do the job. It also dries to the touch in just 30 minutes.
Bottom Line: Most primers cannot withstand high temperatures, but this one from Rust-Oleum can withstand temperatures of up to 2000°F (93.33°C). It’s great for automotive applications, as well as any other metal surface that will be subject to high temperatures.
- Designed for use on surfaces exposed to high temperatures: Up to 2000°F (93.33°C).
- Works on all metal surfaces: Aluminum, cast iron, and steel.
- Gas and oil resistant: Automotive juices will not affect the color or durability of this product.
- Durable: expect a decently long life of the primer in extreme conditions.
- The colors may not be accurate.
|Usage recommendations||All metals|
|Size||12 oz (340.19 g)|
4. Krylon K01406 Brilliant Aerosol (BEST FOR CRAFTS)
This all-purpose primer is perfect for a wide range of surfaces, making it ideal for crafting projects. It offers excellent adhesion and works well on both light and dark surfaces. The primer also provides a smooth finish that will help your paint job look its best.
This product is made in the US and is available in various sizes, so you can find the perfect option for your project, no matter how large or small.
It also dries fast, so you won’t have to wait long for your project to be ready. And it’s affordable, so you can get the job done without breaking the bank.
Bottom Line: The Krylon K01406 Brilliant is an all-purpose primer—perfect for various surfaces. It offers excellent adhesion and works well on both light and dark surfaces. The primer also provides a smooth finish that will help your paint job look its best.
- All-purpose: You can use this primer on various surfaces, including aluminum, wood, and plastic.
- Affordable: This is one of the most cost-effective options—You won’t break the bank with this purchase.
- Excellent adhesion: This primer adheres pretty well to aluminum.
- It provides a smooth finish: Great finishes all-round. You won’t have to do a lot of sanding work.
- Fast drying: It is touch-ready in as little as 30 minutes after application.
- Made in the USA: This means it is a quality product.
- The manufacturer did not specifically design this primer for aluminum.
|Size||11 ounce or 311.84 g (pack of 1)|
5. Seymour 20–1675 PBE Professional Primer (BEST SELF-ETCHING PRIMER)
Seymour 20-1675 PBE Professional Primer is an excellent choice for a self-etching primer that you can use on aluminum. This product provides excellent adhesion and corrosion resistance. You can also use it on other metals, including stainless and galvanized steel.
This zinc-enhanced primer can withstand harsh weather conditions and is ideal for industrial, marine, and automotive applications. Furthermore, you can use this product as a primer or top coat. It has a VOC-compliant formula and is available in a 15-ounce (425.24 g) pack of 1.
The coating can also withstand temperatures up to 250°F (121.11°C). And it also has a remarkable shelf life of 12 months.
Bottom Line: This Seymour product is a good option if you seek a worthy alternative to the top-rated primers. It is an excellent self-etching primer that you can use on various surfaces, including aluminum.
- Excellent durability: This primer offers long-lasting results.
- Multi-surface use: You can use it on different surfaces, including aluminum, stainless steel, and galvanized steel.
- High-temperature resistance: The primer can withstand temperatures up to 250°F (121.11°C).
- Long shelf life: This product has a shelf life of 12 months.
- The can is a bit small: You might not get a lot of product for the price.
|Color||Self Etching/ weld through gray|
|Item package capacity||1|
6. Seymour 16–1201 Hot Spot Primer (BEST NON-BLISTERING PRIMER)
When it comes to high-heat applications, blistering is always a concern. But with Seymour 16-1201 Hot Spot Primer, you can rest assured that your paint job will not be compromised.
Seymour designed this primer for use on metal surfaces that will be subject to high temperatures, making it the perfect choice for aluminum. In addition to being heat resistant, this primer provides excellent adhesion and corrosion resistance.
It can be used on new and previously painted surfaces and dries to the touch in 30 minutes. Best of all, it comes in a convenient aerosol spray can, making it easy to apply.
Bottom Line: Seymour 16-1201 Hot Spot Primer is the way to go for a blister-free paint job on aluminum. Its heat resistance provides excellent adhesion and corrosion resistance and dries quickly. Plus, it comes in an easy-to-use spray can.
- Blister-free: This primer is suited to metal surfaces that will be subject to high temperatures without blistering.
- Durable: This primer provides excellent adhesion and corrosion resistance.
- Dries quickly: You canuse it on new and previously painted surfaces, and it dries to the touch in just 30 minutes.
- Easy to use: Best of all, it comes in a convenient spray can, making it easy to apply.
- Strong odor: This primer has a strong chemical smell that may be off-putting to some users.
- Requires topcoat for full protection: While this primer provides excellent adhesion and corrosion resistance, it will require several coats for complete protection.
|Item weight||1 pound (0.45 kg)|
When choosing the best primer for aluminum, there are a few factors you will need to consider, such as the following:
- The type of paint you will be using: If you plan on using oil paint, you will need to use an oil-based primer. However, if you plan to use latex paint, you can use either an oil or water-based primer. But this won’t matter if you use a primer as the final paint.
- The condition of the aluminum surface: If the aluminum surface is new, you will need to use a self-etching primer. If you have a painted or powder-coated surface, you can use either a self-etching primer or a non-etching primer. This primer contains acid, which will etch into the surface of the metal and create “a rough” surface for the paint to adhere securely.
- The environment you expose your aluminum to: If you intend to expose the aluminum to high temperatures, you will need to use a heat-resistant primer. Otherwise, you can use the appropriate primer for the situation. For example, you want an outdoor-rated primer if the aluminum you intend to expose your aluminum to the elements.
- The amount of time you have: If you are short on time, you will need to use a fast-drying primer. Most primers will dry to the touch within 30 minutes. But this is only dry to the touch—the paint takes much longer to cure fully.
- The coverage you need: If you need a high level of coverage, you will need to use a thicker primer. But this depends on your spraying experience and the aluminum surface’s smoothness.
Yes, you can use regular primer on aluminum, but I don’t recommend this method. Standard primer is not designed for smooth surfaces and will not provide the same level of adhesion, corrosion resistance, or heat resistance as an aluminum primer.
Of course, you might save a couple of bucks by using regular primer on aluminum, but it is not worth the risk. If the primer does not adhere properly, you can end up peeling and flaking; then, you will have to start over again.
So, unless you are an experienced painter who does not mind painting parts every other weekend, we recommend that you stick with an aluminum primer.
Before painting aluminum, it is best to clean the surface and remove any dirt, grease, or other contaminants. You can also scrub the surface with a detergent and water solution.
Once the surface is clean, you will need to roughen it up to provide a good key for the primer and paint. You can do this by sanding the surface with sandpaper.
After sanding, you will need to clean the surface again to remove any dust or debris. Once the surface is clean, you are ready to apply primer and paint.
If there are parts you want to avoid painting, you can always use painter’s tape to mask off these areas. You can then remove the tape after you have finished painting. If you are wondering, the number of coats needed depends on the aluminum surface and the amount of primer you have at your disposal.
We hope this guide has helped you to understand the different types of primers available and the factors you need to consider when choosing a primer for your aluminum project.
We know there are many Rust-Oleum products in this guide, but that’s because they make great primers (and paints). I’ve used their products for years and have always been happy with the results.
Of course, there are other brands out there that make suitable primers, so feel free to experiment until you find the products that work best for you.