Anyone painted their AluBox / Zarges?

JB30

Member
After much hand wringing I've decided to finally ditch the plastic bins and spend way too much money on some aluminum cubes. Still deciding between AluBox and Zarges, but the only thing that's bugging me (cost aside) is the "steal me" vibe that shiny aluminum exudes. In a blacked out Jeep they'll stand out like a sore thumb. So... anyone painted theirs?

The old military boxes are the inspiration... even when they get beat up and the paint scratches off they look even better.

522784
 

4xdog

Explorer
I have a Zarges box bought for notalot on eBay a number of years ago 'cause nobody knew what it was. It's painted BRIGHT yellow and has remnants of Havana Joe shoe branding on it. I guess it was part of a retail display. It works for a living now and is almost as patinated as your mil surplus photo. In some ways it's better than my plain aluminum boxes because it seems less likely to leave marks on things.

So, sure -- go ahead and paint your box. A good primer, as Verkstad notes, is the right way to do it. But if you're looking for something that weathers in, almost anything would be OK.


PS: Just like this one -- which isn't mine.
 

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JB30

Member
Will be a bit nerve wracking painting a brand new $300 box... but then again it's going to get beaten up eventually, so can't go too wrong!

@4xdog my first thought was powder coating, but talked to one of the distributors of AluBox and and he said they wouldn't hold up to the heat required for powder coating. Would assume the seals, etc. would be removable, but anyway... guess a couple cans of spray paint will surely be more cost effective than a powdercoat!
 

4xdog

Explorer
The seals and the webbing checkstraps would never survive powder coating. I'd rattle can it, personally. Putting paint in the gun would probably give better results, but probably not enough to justify the work.

There are plenty of options, including low gloss/camo-like colors available from the usual suspects, Rustoleum or Krylon.
 

slowtwitch

Adventurer
I had some larger ammo cans powder coated a light grey color.. worked great. Just pulled the rubber seal and reinstalled after coating. The cans also had the diagonal bits spot welded to the outside.. for loading into a tank or some such.. I drilled out the spot welds and removed them for a smoother look and better storage.

Powder is way better than rattlecan paint.. added bonus the item gets blasted before hand.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
Quick/easy/ cheap is to clean with acetone, scuff with a scouring pad (medium Scotch Brite), wipe clean again and use spray can paint. After scuffing the paint needs to go on ASAP.....no longer than 4 hours. This will last 2-5 years. Not durable but it is really easy to scuff and spray again when needed.

Chromate and vinyl wash primers are not anti-corrosive primers which mean in a wet environment it will allow the corrosion once started (around hinges/ rivets / bolts / scratches ) to creap under the paint which at first is not easy to see. There are anti-corssive epoxy primers but I'd powder coat before using these if the boxes are not being used near saltwater for an extended time.

Power coating is the easiest and most the durable long lasting when not used near saltwater. Near saltwater I've seen it peel off in sheets after 4 years.

Anodizing (the most durable) is another option but the color will be differnt if different grades of aluminum are use to make the boxes.
 
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