Most modern homes and commercial buildings nowadays feature facade systems that are efficient and long-lasting—one of the most popular materials the aluminum composite panels, also known as ACM panels. Although these metal cladding systems are highly durable, your home facade panels may have experienced some damage if not maintained properly, or you would want to implement an upgrade to your exteriors. The best and most economical way is to paint ACM panels.
If you are one of the homeowners in Canada that want to paint ACM panels but don’t have any idea of the process, you are in the right place. This 6 step guide will show you how to paint aluminum composite panels like a pro.
Even if ACM panels are new to you, don’t worry; we have provided the basic information about these modern construction materials.
What is ACP or ACM?
Aluminum composite panels are modern cladding systems that are made from continuous bonding between two layers of aluminum plate and one mineral fill core.
Before ACM panels, the aluminum cladding that was used in the construction industry was aluminum siding. Although aluminum sidings are still used for different applications, ACP is the dominant product for residential and commercial facilities due to its vast advantages.
Advantages of ACM Panels
Here are the primary advantages of modern aluminum composite panels:
- Weather and Temperature Resistant Material
- Flexibility and Versatility
- Lightweight Characteristics
- Economical Materials
- Low Maintenance
- Easy Installation
- Cost Effective
- Environmentally-Friendly Materials
- Color Variety
- ACP Increases Your Home Value
We have discussed the Advantages of ACM Panels in more detail, which we recommend you to read.
Now let’s get to the process of painting ACM panels.
You Need These 8 Tools to Paint ACM Panels
If you want to paint ACM panels and achieve the best results, you need some essential tools. This equipment and tools will provide a durable finish and attractive appearance for your ACP cladding.
Use a Primer With an Oil Substance for Painting Aluminum Composite Panels
Sealing the panels during the painting process is crucial, and the best way to do this is to use a primer with an oil substance. This will help you paint ACM panels with better coverage.
You Need Acrylic Paint to Paint ACM Panels
If you want good results at the end of the day, you need to use substances that will firmly bond the paint on the cladding panels. The best choice is Acrylic Paint.
Use Brushes with Synthetic Fibers
Always remember when working with acrylic paint for finishing your ACM panels, it is crucial to use brushes with synthetic fibers.
Use Lambswool Roller to Paint ACM Panels
Everyone wants to paint ACM panels and create a smooth paint finish while maximizing the surface coverage. If you also want to paint aluminum composite panels with these perfect results, you must use a lambswool roller.
Simple Ladder is Always Needed for Painting Any Cladding System
So, you want to paint ACM panels that are used in the second-floor exterior cladding. How do you reach it? It is simple. Use a ladder to access the higher portions of your building facade.
Don’t Forget to Have a Plastic Bucket When You Want To Paint ACM Panels
For a more accessible work process, you can hang a paint bucket from your ladder during the painting. This can also increase your painting speed and efficiency.
Plastic Paint Trays
One of the must-haves in your tools list is plastic paint trays, primarily when you use a lambswool roller for painting ACM panels.
Use Useless Cloths
It would help if you dropped useless clothes around the area. This can seem unpractical for you. However, it is essential to keep the site clean, and the best way is to use clothes that are useless in your routine life. It is very challenging to clean the splattered paint on the floor.
ACM Panels Painting Step-By-Step Process
After you get all the tools and equipment to paint ACM panels, it is time to learn how to do it perfectly. Although painting a cladding system may seem complicated, it is actually more straightforward than you think.
The ACM painting process has a few essential steps that you need to take. The best thing about this guide is that you will no longer need an expert to paint ACM panels for you.
Note: You can use this process to paint any other metal cladding systems, which works perfectly for aluminum sidings.
Since each step has a specific role in the process, you must do them wholly and precisely.
1- Prepare the Panels for Painting
Before you paint ACM panels, some preparations need to be done. You can start preparing the aluminum composite panels by scraping off the existing paints on the boards. Focus on the damaged panels and peel the stain with a scraping tool.
Then you must remove any mildew from the ACM panels with ten-part water to one part bleach combination. If your aluminum composite panels are dingy, the best way is to rent a power sander and sand down the cladding panels.
2- Apply the First Primer Coat to Paint ACM Panels
To paint ACM panels, you must create a primer layer on the cladding system. This step must be done in mild and dry weather conditions since different elements such as rain and debris can destroy all your work.
As told, using a lambswool roller is essential for the ACP painting process. Lambswool rollers come to your help in this step since, with this painting tool, you can apply the primer evenly. This process will take a few seconds per 0.1-meter panel.
You need to remember one more thing, particularly for this step: using the first coat in only one direction to maximize the dry time.
3- Add the Second Layer of Primer to the Panels
This step is the easiest one since it is almost like the second step. In this step, you need to add a second layer of the primer after the first layer is dried thoroughly.
Generally, the first layer takes about four hours to dry. So, applying the second layer four hours after finishing the second step is better.
Although this step is easy and very similar to the second one, you need more precision in this stage of painting ACM panels.
4- Paint ACM Panels (Top to Bottom)
From our experience, the most efficient method you can use to paint ACM panels and have the best results is doing the process from the bottom to the bottom of the panels by using a long and even brushing stroke.
In this stage, it is essential to know in which direction your panels are installed. If you paint ACM panels in the same direction as they were installed (vertical or horizontal), the results will be way more satisfying.
5- Apply the Second Layer of Paint
After thoroughly painting ACM panels in the required direction, you must leave them for about two hours to dry. After the panels are dried, apply the second layer of the paint in your desired color.
It may be unclear to you why there is a need for a second layer. When you apply the second layer of paint to your ACM cladding system, you correct any flaws that occurred during the first layer of paint. With this said, buying an extra gallon of paint for additional touchups is better.
6- Inspect Your Job to See if Your Paint ACM Panels Completely
If you have come this far, it means you have finished the hard part. After you finish applying both layers of paint, you need to wait for at least three hours to allow the panels dry.
After all, panels are dried, inspect your work precisely and search for any missing spots, bumps, or drips. Another thing that you need to be careful about is if you see a sign of the old finish beneath your newly applied paint finish. In this case, you must use an additional paint layer to eliminate such flaws.
Best Colors for Painting ACM Panels
Although you are entirely free in choosing the color for painting your aluminum composite material, some colors are trendy these days, which are:
- Earthly Brown
- Grey and White
- Grey and White with Brown
- Light and Shade
- Multiple Shades
- Green Accents
- Light Blue
- Unique Colors with Various Materials
- Charcoal Grey
- Dark Aluminum Composite Colors
- Red Accents
- Orange Accents
- Yellow Accents