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Will Alumabrite Strip Faded Anodization from Aluminum?

  Skipper

Drew Thompson asked:

I’m interested in your Alumabrite. I’ve used some of your other products with good results.
I recently bought an older sailboat which has (had) a golden anodized finish on the mast and boom. The mast is about half golden, and half aluminum colored, in a bad weathered pattern. I don’t recall seeing any corroded white powder. I thought I was going to paint it to make it look better. I’d rather save the weight, and was wondering if your Alumabrite would strip the remaining faded golden color. I’m open to suggestions.

Answer:

For your convenience, I’ve highlighted the hyperlinks. Click on the hyperlink to get more information about the selected product.

Alumabrite is often used on anodized aluminum masts and booms because it does not strip the ammonization. In your case the aluminum was anodized with a gold color and either some of the ammonization has been worn off or more likely the UV from the sun has faded the gold color. You can test Alumabrite to see if it will give you the results you are looking for, but it won’t strip the anodizing. if the remaining gold color has migrated to the surface or is unstable, the Alumabrite may lessen it. If nothing else, it will clean the aluminum in preparation for paint.

If you have success, I suggest that you refinish the aluminum with Alumetron. It’s a clear coat that can be applied directly to the aluminum without primer, heat treating, chemical etching etc.and it bonds chemically for long lasting durability. If not and you decide to paint, keep in mind that paint does not stick well to aluminum. Most factory painted masts are power coated and baked on, usually over an epoxy primer which will at least give you a mechanical bond for the paint. The other option is to send your mast and boom to an anodizer and have them strip and re-anodize the pieces, but I’ll bet it will be a little expensive. You’ll also have to remove and replace the spreaders, fittings etc.

In summary there is no clear answer. You just have to try different things until you get the results that you are happy with.

Thanks for your question,
Captain Aurora

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