Can You Paint an Aluminum Fence?

Ornamental Aluminum Charleston Fence

Aluminum fences are great investments in your landscape to protect your yard. They are aesthetically pleasing. They require low maintenance and are incredibly durable, making your investment pay off. Homeowners may choose from other fencing materials, such as wood fences; however, aluminum fences have many benefits. Wood fences may decay or rot faster, requiring more upkeep and maintenance. This is more work for the homeowner. They need to be painted or stained more often than aluminum fences. Aluminum fences last for years when properly cared for by the homeowner.  

While aluminum fences are a popular choice since they are relatively low maintenance, durable and long-lasting, they may still need to be painted to refresh their appearance or match a new color scheme in your landscape.

You can paint an aluminum fence!  Aluminum fences are powder-coated before they are installed on your property and with a new paint job, can look brand-new! This attention to detail and maintenance will protect your aluminum fence from the elements that cause damage and corrosion over time. Corrosion can damage your aluminum fence if it is not addressed. It is important to follow the steps listed below to ensure your fence is well-maintained and painted correctly. This will avoid future damage and the hassle of having to repaint sooner.  

Long® Fence is available for questions, estimates, installation, and maintenance of your fencing needs. Please note that Long® Fence offers aluminum fences with a powder-coated color. Ask your Long® Fence representative what colors you can get if you purchase a new powder-coated aluminum fence.

This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on painting an older aluminum fence to protect your investment.

If you are NOT installing a new fence with Long® Fence, then this blog post lays out the steps for how to paint your aluminum fence and how to maintain it properly to protect your investment. A well-maintained fence will provide curb appeal as it looks great in your landscape. It can be nerve-wracking to complete a home improvement project. Contact Long® Fence with any questions and concerns you may have. Our customer service representatives will be happy to direct your call to ensure you have the information needed. 

Prepare the Fence for Painting

To begin painting your aluminum fence, gather your materials for the project, clean the fence, sand the fence, and apply a primer before starting to paint your fence. 

Gather Supplies for Painting

Gather your supplies for the project. You will need cleaning supplies, sandpaper, primer, paint, and rollers. If the paint or primer fumes bother you, you may want gloves, masks or eye protection. You may decide you want to use a paint sprayer to save time. Check the size and perimeter of your fence to determine the amount of supplies you will need. Supplies can be purchased at a hardware store. 

Clean the Aluminum Fence

Cleaning the aluminum fence is necessary to clear away dirt and debris. You can use a pressure washer to remove dirt and debris or use a scrub brush and soap. Ensure your fence is clean before proceeding with sanding the fence and applying primer and paint. 

Sand the Aluminum Fence

Sand your aluminum fence by lightly running the sandpaper over the aluminum rails and posts before applying primer and, eventually, paint. This ensures the surface is ready for paint adhesion since it roughens the surface of the aluminum. 

Apply an Aluminum-Safe Primer

Apply a primer to your aluminum fence before proceeding with paint. A paintbrush or roller can be used for primer application. Paint rollers can provide a smoother application of the primer. Primer prepares the surface for paint adhesion. It ensures your paint is longer-lasting and has a professional-quality appearance when applied in the correct order. Use an aluminum-specific primer, such as a self-etching primer. This is an important step, and should not be skipped. The paint may chip or scratch over time if the primer is not applied prior to the paint application. Kilz and Rust-Oleum have primers that can be used for aluminum painting projects. Check your hardware store or paint shop for supplies. 

Painting the Aluminum Fence

The next step is to paint your fence! First, you will want to choose a paint for the project. If you consider a color change in your landscape or home, you can match the paint for your aluminum fence. Next, you will apply the paint with a few techniques to ensure your paint job has a professional finish that will adhere to your aluminum fence and last. 

Pick a Paint 

Choose a paint for your project. Select a high-quality, weather-resistant paint formulated for metal surfaces, such as aluminum, to protect your paint job and ensure it lasts. Using a paint that will not adhere to aluminum may ruin your fence and lead to corrosion. 

Apply Paint to Aluminum Fence

Apply the paint to the fence, after the primer has dried completely.  A paintbrush or paint roller can be used. The paint should be applied in thin, even coats for best adhesion and bonding to the primer used prior to paint application. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying times before proceeding with additional coats of paint. Check the number of coats needed and ensure coats have time to dry in between applications. Painting on a wet surface can lead to bubbling or clumping of paint. 

Painting Tips and Techniques

In order to have a smooth, professional finish to your painting application, you may want to consider a paint sprayer or paint roller.  There are a few techniques to familiarize yourself with prior to painting the aluminum fence. 

Using a Paint Sprayer

Using a paint sprayer is a quicker and more efficient way of applying paint to your aluminum fence. It also ensures the paint is applied more evenly to the surface than painting with a brush by hand. 

Using a Paint Roller

Using a paint roller that is “shed-resistant” can also provide a smoother finish to your painting. You do not want to use brushes or rollers that may shed bristles.

Painting Application Techniques 

Using a steady, back-and-forth motion when painting helps to avoid drips and streaks in your painting to create a more professional finish. Paying attention to the application of your paint and the techniques you employ can ensure your paint is smooth and high-quality. 

Maintaining the Painted Aluminum Fence

It is necessary to occasionally touch up damage that occurs to protect your aluminum fence investment and prolong the life of your fence. This ensures your aluminum fence is well-maintained, and you notice damage before it corrupts your aluminum rails and posts. 

Caring for the Paint

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintaining the paint finish to ensure your painting is done correctly. 

Touch-up Paint

Check your aluminum fence routinely for damage. Specifically, check for paint that is chipping, or scratches that damaged the paint finish. Debris from tree limbs may cause damage in inclement weather or rainstorms. Touch up any chips or scratches that you notice on the aluminum fence. Using a small paintbrush and matching paint, touch up damage to the paint finish and allow time to dry. 


It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on caring for your aluminum fence to protect your investment and properly care for your fence. 

It is important to follow the steps when painting your aluminum fence. Failure to complete a step may result in more wear and tear on your fence if the paint is not able to adhere. Using the correct materials for an aluminum fence ensures a long-lasting and professional-quality finish. Always use aluminum-safe materials and supplies. 

Contact Long® Fence with Questions

It is always important to seek professional assistance with your questions regarding any home improvement projects. 

Do not hesitate to contact a representative at Long® Fence with questions about maintaining your fence. Give us a call with your questions. Our company is the best in business and takes great pride in our work. We have locations in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, serving the mid-Atlantic region primarily. We provide residential and commercial services based on our customer’s needs. We are family owned fence company and have been in business since 1945! 

Read More:

Why Do So Many Homeowners Prefer Metal Fencing?

Why an Aluminum Fence Makes a Great Security Fence