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Anodized Aluminum vs. Painted Aluminum

When considering coloration, durability, and cost in terms of aluminum trim, both anodized and painted aluminum rely upon the same underlying material. However, they do differ significantly in a variety of other ways. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the differences between anodized and painted aluminum trim so you can make an informed decision that best meets your needs and those of the building project at hand.


Here at EasyTrim Reveals®, we offer color options for our extruded aluminum trim systems in black anodized, clear anodized, and primed (ready to paint on the job site). Let’s discuss each choice’s benefits and potential limitations to ensure your next project matches with the aluminum trim that will provide the best result for years to come.

Anodized Aluminum

What is Anodizing?

Anodized aluminum is a process that creates a hard, durable coating on the surface of an aluminum base. The process is simple and has been around for over 100 years; it involves an electrochemical reaction that forms a protective layer of aluminum oxide on the surface of the base metal. This outer layer on the trim increases the overall strength and durability of the metal.

Long-Lasting Durability

No matter what color you choose, you can count on the trim’s durability. Anodized aluminum has been tested and proven to be only second to diamonds in hardness because the outer anodic layer bonded to the original aluminum on a molecular level-making it naturally resistant to scratches and abrasions. 

EasyTrim’s anodized aluminum trim is also a great choice because it doesn’t chalk, flake, chip, or peel. So not only will it stay looking good longer with no costly repairs, but it’s also easy to maintain.

Due to the trim’s protective layer, keeping it clean is simple and easy. An annual wash and rinse with mild detergent is all that is required. 

Cost Comparison

Although initial costs are comparable to paint, anodized aluminum is more cost-effective when considering durability and the need for maintenance-providing a greater return on investment (ROI).

Painted Aluminum

Primed Aluminum Trim

Along with black and clear anodized aluminum trim options, EasyTrim Reveals® offers primed aluminum trim. This allows builders and homeowners the opportunity and freedom to paint their trim in any color they choose.

All EasyTrim aluminum trim systems that have not been anodized are primed using a PPG Duracron Primer and have a one-year paint application window after installation. To paint the trim, it is recommended that only high-quality, 100% acrylic latex paint is applied. 

Maintenance Costs

Even with top-grade primers and paints being utilized on aluminum trim, it is within paint’s general nature to eventually peel, crack and fade. Unfortunately, this means you will be required to repaint and repair any affected trim an estimated every 5-10 years. Ultimately leading to higher maintenance costs over time when compared to anodized aluminum.

Installation Times

When using anodized aluminum trim, installation can be a quick and seamless process as the trim is fully set and prepped when it reaches the job site. On the other hand, primed aluminum trim will take longer to install due to having to paint before installation is completed. 

While painting trim on site is an option with our primed trims, you need to make sure conditions are suitable. Weather and temperature can affect the curing process, and improperly cured paint can lead to chipping and peeling. EasyTrim Reveals offers painting with our ColorMatch® paint program.

If you’re considering aluminum trim for your next project, remember that both anodized and painted aluminum relies on the same underlying material—aluminum.  If anodization is ultimately the best option for your needs, select a durable, high-quality manufacturer like EasyTrim Reveals®. It’s always a fine balance between cost, quality, and the effort it will take to achieve what you desire. This is true regardless of what material you choose to work with in your project. Contact us today, and one of our expert representatives will work with you to discover the best aluminum trim choice for your build!

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