Dealing with Discoloration on Your Screen Enclosure

You’re sitting on your lanai enjoying this great Florida weather and you notice discoloration on your screen enclosure.  You try and wash it off but it is still there. Then you notice it is in quite a few places on the enclosure. What is this? What could be causing this? How can it be fixed?

What you are seeing is the discoloration of the existing coating of the bronze finish on the aluminum screen enclosure.  As time goes on Mother Nature takes its toll on the aluminum and it starts to fade and turn a green color.  In some instances I have seen it where it turns it a yellowish gold color.  The good news is it can be fixed with a bit of Southwest Florida painting.

This picture was taken in the verandah of a home where we here hired to paint the aluminum screen enclosure. The homeowner was having most of the screens replaced and having part of his screen enclosure re-designed to a more modern look; however, he did not like the look of the aluminum that he was not replacing.  In the following picture you can see how labor-intensive it is to clean, seal and paint a screen enclosure.  There are several ways to do it, but the most cost-effective way for the homeowner is to have your screen enclosure painted before you replace your screens.

We always hand-wash all of the aluminum to ensure all of the mold is removed, but also removing as much of the chalk and discoloration as possible.  We then seal all of the aluminum with a clear chalk sealer to ensure the top coat of paint will bond to the surface.  Many times there is severe oxidation on the aluminum.  When we run across oxidation we will grind down the oxidation with either a dremmel or a wire brush attachment on a drill, lightly sand, and seal with a chalk sealer.  Once the entire screen enclosure is cleaned, sealed and prepared for paint, we then prepare the surrounding surfaces to make sure we do not get over spray paint on the surrounding home, pool deck, water in the pool, plants and roof.

On this particular home we painted the top portion of the screen enclosure, one wall where the door is on both the interior and exterior of the screen enclosure and the top brace of the large wall looking over the lake. The large wall is where the homeowner is having new aluminum installed, which we had to come close with the new paint color to  make sure it matched almost perfectly to the existing paint color on the aluminum screen enclosure that was not being painted and the new that was being installed.

We choose to spray paint the aluminum screen enclosure so it has a nice finish, and usually one coat of paint will cover the existing coating of paint on the aluminum screen enclosure.  However there are times that we have brushed and rolled a screen enclosure, when the existing screening is not being replaced.  When we brush and roll it, it does not give it as smooth a finish as spraying it, and it usually takes two coats of paint.  We always like using Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel when painting screen enclosures.  It gives the aluminum a hard finish and can be tinted to several different shades of bronze.

When we completed this job, we made sure everything was cleaned up, pool deck swept and furniture was put back in place.  Now it is up to the screening contractor to come in and do his job and replace the screening on the aluminum enclosure!