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Painting Brushed Aluminum - Flatten First?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have a Cooler Master Cosmos C700M, that I intend to paint with automotive tri-coat spray paint.


My intended result is for the surface to end up like a car's surface.


Do I first have to sand down the brushed aluminum surfaces till they're flat? How can I achieve best results?

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Even if you wanted to retain the brushed appearance, you would still need to lightly sand it. To get a smooth surface, you will need to sand away all the brush marks. Otherwise, they will telegraph through the paint.


To maximize adhesion, immediately after sanding, clean throughly with 99% isopropyl alcohol and prime with a self etching primer (I recommend SEM self etching primer). After putting on the recommended coats of self etching primer, put on a coat or two of regular primer, then finish with the color coats (and maybe some clear on top of the color). All coats have to be kept thin to avoid excessive buildup. Also, sand with 400-600 wet dry sandpaper or rub down with 4/0 steel wool to knock off any fuzzies from overspray sticking to the freashly applied paint (especially with the self etching primer) between coats.



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