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Paint or Powder coat

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Foghorn12, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Foghorn12

    Foghorn12 Member

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    Going to be doing some aluminum signs that will need to hold up outside as long as possible. They are all 4'x8' and need to be .063 and I need 3 different colors. I can only find them in white so I need to find a way to make 6 green, 4 yellow, and 4 red. NGlantz said I can scuff the surface and paint with an enamel but I'm wondering if that will hold up. I'll be applying vinyl to the sign after it's painted. Will painting work or should I get them powder coated? Or do you know of any suppliers who sell those colors in .063. I've found them in .040 but I think it's too thin
    Thanks
     
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  2. Poconopete

    Poconopete Very Active Member

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    Paint will be fine
     
  3. Foghorn12

    Foghorn12 Member

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    any special prep needed other than a light scuff and cleaning?
     
  4. andy

    andy Active Member

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    This might sound a stupid question but why aren't you using Dibond?

    8x4ft is a standard sheet size. White, Green, Yellow & Red are all standard colours, no painting no farting about. Colour warranty on Dibond is 5 years exterior life at a minimum.

    If you must use aluminium I wouldn't think powder coating is an option. Many coating firms don't like re-coating panels which already have some kind of paint on them. Powder coating works best on bare metal and there is an etching and cleaning cycle which needs to be carried out for aluminium.

    Spraying a full 8x4 sheet will require a proper booth and a very good quality gun. Cheap guns aren't worth buying... trust me. The difference between a DIY store gun and something like a Devilbiss or Iwata is like night & day. I would personally use 2 pack colour with a super UV resistant clear coat. Enamel is OK but it'll probably be too thick to spray unless you thin it heavily.

    The last option is the easiest... face the White panels in a good quality cast vinyl colour. You can do this yourself by hand, alternatively find someone local and get them to run the sheets through a board coating lam machine.
     
  5. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    Use Dibond/Alupanel, etc.
     
  6. Foghorn12

    Foghorn12 Member

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    I'll see if the customer would mind Dibond. I'm replacing old signs so I was just trying to keep everything the same but Dibond might do the trick. Thanks
     
  7. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    You'll save them a ton of money going with Dibond. You'll be a hero.
     
  8. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    I only wish my suppliers would stock other colors of DiBond besides white. It's always an expensive special order item coming from across the country every time I try to get it.
     
  9. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    See if you can find someone stocking Alupanel. Great stuff.
     
  10. Foghorn12

    Foghorn12 Member

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    would alumacorr or alumalite work?
     
  11. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Alupanel® http://www.multipaneluk.co.uk/alupanel/alupanel_ral_colours.php ....all the way. 22 standard colors including metalic, brushed and polished finishes. Gloss one side, satin/matt opposing side.
    Forget powder coated aluminum unless you know a top-notch powdercoater that is well versed in coating Aluminum. I have seen powdercoated aluminum fail miserably on many occasions. If you paint, you will need to use a "metal etching primer" or a quality zinc-chromate primer prior to painting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  12. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    like WHAT 50 years????
     
  13. Foghorn12

    Foghorn12 Member

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    7-10 years with little to no maintenance would be nice. I know they aren't going to last forever. Just trying to get my customer a quality sign with decent life span.
     
  14. Custom Bob

    Custom Bob Member

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    You can also purchase aluminum sheets in the basic colors.
     
  15. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Dibond & Reynobond are both premium European manufactured products.

    Alupanel isn't.....

    If you want to use a generic Chinese manufactured composite there are many better choices.
     
  16. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

  17. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    You could take the stuff to a local body shop and have them basecoat-clearcoat them with urethane. They will look terrific for 7-10 years no problem. A friend of mine does this all the time with the high end signs he makes.
     
  18. Foghorn12

    Foghorn12 Member

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    Thanks everyone. Tons of help. I think we're going to go the Alupanel/Dibond route. Going to save me a ton of time and headache.
     
  19. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

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    The local body shop here wants $500 a sheet to do that. Sometimes the budget isn't there.
     
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