can we paint our aluminum screen door? - December 16th 2009
Q. We have a white aluminum screen door on our front entrance and we have recently painted our exterior door brown to coordinate with our siding. We are now wondering what to do about the white screen door that does not match the new exterior colors and sticks out. I would hate to remove the screen door since we like to have our doors open during the summer. Is it possible to paint out the aluminum frame to match the door or should we just remove it?
A. Having that cross breeze of fresh air throughout the summer and encouraging natural ventilation is beneficial to any home and an energy saving way to keep cool. Fortunately, there are a few options that will solve your front screen door dilemma without impacting your curb appeal. It is possible to paint the aluminum but it would be worth replacing your screen door with a retractable screen door. They mount along one side of the doorway and you pull the screen across to the other side to close. They're a great choice for front entrances, which can practically disappear from the street view. There are brands such as Mirage that carry a range of colors to match your existing frame. Go to www.miragescreensystems.com to have a look.
If you decide to paint your existing door, it is getting late in the season for exterior painting so you may have to wait for spring. If you have a garage or a workshop you could complete this project by removing the screen door to paint inside and allow for proper curing. To begin, purchase a top-quality acrylic latex paint in a gloss or semi gloss finish for the most durable and long-lasting finish. The flexibility of acrylic latex paint allows it to expand or contract with the metal as it heats or cools when exposed to the elements; preventing peeling, blistering, and flaking. I would suggest the Ecologic brand available through Cloverdale Paint. If possible avoid dark paint colors since they absorb more heat from the sun. To prepare the surface before painting, you will need to lightly sand the surface with steel wool or sandpaper, and then give the surface a thorough cleaning with the Shell Busey Home Cleaning Formula. You will require three coats allowing 24-hours curing between coats.
Note: Do not allow any sharp objects to scratch the painted aluminum surface for at least two weeks to allow for proper curing.