I'd like to paint in white my Ikea shelves's brackets (described thus: Aluminium, Nickel-plated, Clear acrylic lacquer).

What would be the best (but hopefully cheap) route in terms of products I need to buy for this job?

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  • Product recommendations are off topic, I would probably sand and coat with a metal spray paint that matches what you want. – Ed Beal Feb 26 at 14:47
  • Thanks, no primer? – drake035 Feb 26 at 15:34
  • After painting, you can bake your metal pieces for an hour or so at 150F and get a better finish. – Steve Wellens Feb 26 at 16:21
  • Many spray metal paints do not require primer with properly prepared surfaces. – Ed Beal Feb 26 at 17:47

Prep is the key

You can make it look good for 3 months with a rattle can. If you want it to look good for 10 years, paint prep is called for. Prep has 2 components: de-gloss(microscopically roughen) the surface so paint can bind to it, and cleaning the surface to remove contaminants.

A 3M Scotchbrite pad, green pots and pans style, for scuffing the surface to remove gloss. Even if it doesn't seem glossy now, give it a rub. The objective is to degloss the chrome surface, not blow through to the aluminum layer.

Common bathroom alcohol e.g. Isopropyl, with a double cloth wipe, to remove contaminants.

Rattle-can spray primer such as Rustoleum 7779 rusty metal primer. Take the time to learn to apply paint competently.

Nickel and aluminum are a challenging surface for Rusto metal primer, but I gather a mil-spec aluminum primer (the green stuff on unfinished airplanes) is out of the budget. (It doesn't come in cans because it's 2-part; you mix the 2 parts minutes before you apply it. Also, the B-part is toxic until it cures, so, not a thing they want in the consumer marketplace.

Rattle-can spray paint for your paint layer.

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  • Thanks a lot, no chance I can get away with skipping the primer step as suggested by Ed Beal's comment above, or will such omission make the paint start peeling away after a while or something? – drake035 Feb 26 at 20:29
  • @drake035 Well I'd much rather you skip primer than skip prep!!!!! But skipping primer is always a dice roll. I've got a job right now where I'm overcoating some plated steel, and I skipped primer on the first 12 pieces and it's chipping off from handling. Switching to primer for the last 6 which means 4 coats since holidays are a huge problem on these intricate pieces. As for the 12 already done, I don't look forward to sandblasting off all the failing paint. That's the trouble with shortcuts with paint; the cost of redoing work is painful. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 26 at 20:48

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