Painting Aluminium Windows in High Rise Apartments

Painting aluminium windows in high rise apartments can be undertaken but there are a number of restrictions.

This is because the body corporate is responsible for the outside of the building. 

Older apartments have either mission brown windows or bronze anodized windows. When renovating an older style apartment and considering on changing the colour of the aluminium windows, you are only allowed to change the colour of the windows inside as the body corporate is responsible for maintaining the outer perimeter windows of the building and part of their responsibility is to maintain uniformity. The body corporate can't have owners painting aluminium windows with different colours.

The body corporate of your building is responsible for the windows maintenance and replacement when the windows are worn out. However, when they replace windows, usually, the body corporate will replace them with a modern version in the same colour.

If in the past you wanted a different colour and you felt confused if it was a quality powder coat like finish in a different colour you wanted, nowadays, you have the option to source a specialist painter with two pac spray painting experience in high rise apartments. Having this experience is important because taking out a window opening high up in an upper level apartment increases the factors you need to take into consideration to produce a quality product as a contractor.

When Painting aluminium window frames in an apartment setting, you have to consider these complicating factors which elongates the process such as:

Limited space to spread out painted doors and sashes for drying. Drying windows is most prevalent on higher floors and takes longer to set up on a daily basis. And due to space restrictions, the number of men you can have working on it especially during preparation which is the most labour intensive part of the job can be limitted.

The Two Main steps in painting aluminium window frames are Preparation and Painting. It is important to take no short cuts on the preparation stage because this will affect the durability and quality of the finish. Preparation is where the inexperienced painter or DIY handy man fall short.

Preparation can be further broken down into a number of steps such as cleaning, sanding and masking and overspray protection of adjacent finished surfaces. I always recommend that clients vacuum the window tracks before we arrive to remove any built up layers of dust and bugs. The frames need to be thoroughly cleaned using a solvent wash technique of wiping on a wax and grease solvent wash such as prepsol on with a clean cloth then off again quickly before the solvent evaporates with another clean cloth. It is best if this process is done in sections because if the solvent dries before wiping off, then the grease and grim will remain.

Sanding the window frame surface is best done by hand. The coarseness of the sand paper will depend on the substrate and condition. It is recommended that 24 grit be used on non chalking powder coated surfaces and 60 - 80 grit on anodized surfaces. After sanding, the surface needs to be blown off with air to remove dust and dirt. It is also best that prior to painting, further solvent wash must be carried out.

Masking up and over spray protection of adjacent finished surfaces is imperative on a high rise apartment environmental setting. First, mask up the rubbers that are holding the glass in place in each window frame, and cover the glass using a paper or plastic film. Use film to protect the surrounds of each window from the edge of the window frame outwards, along each side by about 500mm.

Use plastic drop sheets and canvas drop sheets to protect the floors. Isolate the area that painting area by putting a plastic wall between the ceiling and floor.

Paint application Using a two pac three coat system and a HVLP spray gun. Apply a light primer sealer coat to the substrate. A single pac etch primer is recommended followed by two top coats of a poly urethane (Acrathane). To achieve desired film thickness, it's best to apply four light coats instead of two top coats.

Lastly, you should look into overhauling the mechanic components of each window and sliding door. It's best to replace all rollers, the weather felts in the frames, and any broken springs causing the window latches to fall down to the bottom of each window.

So if you want to change the colour of your old aluminium windows then you may want to consider getting your windows painted by the specialist painters that other painters get in to paint – “Window Revival” - call 1300 882 482 or email: admin@windowrevival.com.au

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