Tarnished aluminum

Finishes, paints and coatings

Tarnished aluminum

Postby Fordh8ter » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:38 pm

Hey guys! working on getting my build up and going on the build journal page, but in the mean time, i have found a supplier locally for some aluminum skin for my project! unfortunately i didnt think to take pictures of it...oops, but the supplier had a few options available to me. the first was new off a fresh coil of standard mill finish aluminum 7ft wide, used for the roofs of the cargo trailers they build; pricey but not to many other options around me at $25 a foot. Keep in mind i only need 5ft wide (building a 5 wide x 5 tall x 9 long trailer), so i will have some leftovers to use for misc. trim and finishing (cupboard doors maybe?).

The second option, and to my real question, he had a couple rolls of some old stock that was what he described as water damaged. Its never been used, still in a coil, but was what i understood as got flooded at some point and the coil was in the water for a length of time. now the product is still good, but a very tarnished finish and some good "markings" on it. it didnt feel like it was scratched or anything, but did not have any luster to it. He was willing to go basically half the full price on this stuff just to get rid of it as its unusable to him. Is this something worth entertaining? do you guys figure that with quite a lot of tlc i could polish this back to a desirable finish? The kicker is i want it to match the mill finish already on the doors that ive purchased! Is it worth all my time and effort??
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Re: Tarnished aluminum

Postby daveesl77 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:47 pm

There are going to be lots of folks here with way more experience than I in this, but I can tell you from what I did, that you can polish really screwed up aluminum to almost any level of finish, even a mirror finish if you want. The downside, and it is a biggie, is that it can entail a lot of work and patience. What aluminum is on mine came from a bunch of aluminum shelves that my neighbor gave me. They were is pretty bad shape, and I wanted a "brushed' look to them so they took several hours each to get from really bad to pretty nice. Not sure is 50% off is worth the work, but it might be and who knows, he might go lower.

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Re: Tarnished aluminum

Postby ae6black » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:01 pm

My new sheets of aluminum were damaged when i made the mistake of storing them out on the back porch while I worked on my build. The sheets oxidized where they were touching. I tried using fine sandpaper to scuff the stains away followed by finer paper and then polish and had some success. But then the next year I tied a tarp on top of it for winter storage. where the rope touched the aluminum now I have a bunch of black marks. At first I stressed over this but now I don't even mind and have decided to let it age naturally. Maybe when some thieves see some nice polished unit next to mine they'll take the nicer looking one and leave mine alone. It's all in what you want really. I really didn't build a very fancy unit in the first place. I just built something to hunt out of and serve as a bedroom away from home when I am visiting relatives. For that purpose it works quite well.

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