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Priming bare aluminium? - suggestions please

I am replacing the carpets and trim panels in my PA28. The footwells etc are bare aluminium so it feels right to paint them in some way before gluing the new carpets down.

In the past Alodine would have been one way of dealing with the issue. I believe this is now banned in Europe. Does anybody have any suggestions? Some sort of etch primer?

United Kingdom

Just use a zinc chromate primer. It is a poor man’s alodine alternative but at least accessible in and more than enough to protect against corrosion on interior panels.

by the way, I am going through the same process of renewing carpets and wall panels in my PA28 Arrow. The glue stripper unfortanately took away bits of the factory primer. I sprayed all over them with a zinc chromate primer. You really don’t have to paint them any further. Where did you get the materials from? Airtex?

Last Edited by By9468840 at 29 Sep 19:59

Alodine is no primer, its a preparation before priming to make the primer stick and to prevent corrosion. The basic idea is that the manufacturer of paint or whatever usually has a system you should follow. This starts at the preparation of the bare metal to the last coat. If it’s internal and there is no moisture, there is no need to prime. If you expect moisture, then strontium or zinc chromate epoxy primer will be OK. But, those products really aren’t for non professional use. I know what I would use, but you won’t get the product in the UK.


Thanks for the replies so far and yes @By9468840 I’m fitting an Airtex interior

United Kingdom

@Archer-181 I am about to pull the trigger on wall panels. I’ve done the carpet work last year.
Mind if you Pm me your email. It’d be great to learn from your experience. I am a bit skeptical about the fitment and install efforts of these wall panels.
Curious how your originals and new ones looks like.

This stuff is perfrect for zinc chromate spraying the parts the glue remover strips away. You can order it in Europe.

Last Edited by By9468840 at 29 Sep 20:27

LAS Aero has some Alochrom and some epoxy or etch primers

Nympsfield, United Kingdom

If you’re looking for zinc chromate is a good source at least in France.

I usually do a clean up using steel wool, then acetone, then alodine 1200 (sometimes bonderite for small touch ups, this one: then zinc chromate.

Is it theoretically legal to „wrap“ panels in leather under easa?

always learning
LO__, Austria

My understanding from those who do it professionally is that zinc chromate is not something one would choose for performance reasons, and that it tends to be used where you want authenticity e.g. restoring a WW2 aircraft.

For performance, use an epoxy primer.

A search for e.g.


digs out previous threads.

Epoxy paints are not at all UV resistant so the primer (alone) is ok for interior spaces. Outside, it needs another coat (which usually needs a UV lacquer but that’s another story).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

By9468840 wrote:

This stuff is perfrect for zinc chromate spraying the parts the glue remover strips away. You can order it in Europe.

That is zinc phosphate, not zinc chromate. Zinc phosphate works on steel (to some extent), but has no active pigment that prevents corrosion on aluminium.

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