I bought some standard American Craftsman screens (Anderson) from Home Depot. The frame is aluminum and white.

I'd like to paint the frame to match the wood trim and vinyl door frame.

How should I prepare the surface for painting so the paint adheres properly and should I buy a specific type of paint?

  • 2
    You should buy a paint that claims to have the qualities you're after, and you should prepare the surface according to its instructions.
    – isherwood
    Jun 4, 2018 at 14:29
  • @isherwood I like what you're saying. I'd usually agree except that the surface is already finished. I don't recall seeing instructions on how to 're-paint' or 'paint over' finished surfaces. Jun 4, 2018 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


Scuff-sand the surface to remove gloss and create a micro-jagged surface (aka "tooth") the new paint can engage to.

For exterior doors my first choice is a marine LPU, but unless you paint boats (know anyone?) the cost of hardener, reducer, and other kit is prohibitive.

So I recommend a quality alkyd enamel ("oil paint"). Brush it unless you are setup to spray, get throwaway bristle brushes. Enough coats so the old color doesn't punch through.

Start with a wipedown with the paint's solvent to remove dust and surface contamination.

To buy the paint, either use a Rustoleum stock color (beware, some Rustoleum is latex), or go to a Sherwin Williams industrial outlet who can custom match and give you quarts. A more hooty-tooty brand is Fine Paints Of Europe.

  • I've heard of latex and oil based paints but never a 'marine LPU', can you explain a bit more? Jun 4, 2018 at 17:34
  • Linear polyurethane. It's a two-part paint like a true epoxy. It's very very tough and chemical resistant, they use it on boats and airplanes. It uses special hardeners and reducers all of which are expensive, and it applies with normal bristle brushes or special rollers that don't melt from the chemicals. It's harmless enough to brush or roll, but you really need special safety equipment to spray it. Jun 4, 2018 at 18:18
  • By the way, true epoxy paints are uncommon because they are extremely vulnerable to UV light from the sun, however epoxy primers work just fine, and are mandatory as a compatibility coat underneath LPU topcoats (which is part of why you need so much expensive kit). Epoxy paints also work inside tanks and interior spaces, and in fact are the lining of most food cans! I have heard of building steel beams being supplied with Epoxy paint, and owners being very unhappy that this paint chalked and failed from sunlight exposure Jun 5, 2018 at 2:12

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