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Considering Fenestration Finishes

Design-driven, high-performance paint and coating solutions for aluminum architectural products

earth-toned color palette

When considering finishes for fenestration and architectural building products, many architects start by selecting a color to convey the desired appearance for their client’s building projects. High-performance paint and coating solutions offer the greatest aesthetic flexibility along with proven durability and a long service life.

Color considerations

Current architectural color trends include calming, comfortable, cozy shades intended to soothe and inspire a sense of peace and well-being. These warmer, less saturated hues lean toward blue-gray, golden beige and peachy pink complemented by earthy browns tinged with red and purple. Specialty architectural coatings can further enhance the visual and tactile effects of the finished appearance, such as textured terra cotta and wood grain painted finishes.

To achieve the chosen finish color, architects use the assigned paint code provided by either the coatings system manufacturer or the finishing applicator. When color is critical, architects review a physical sample to confirm client approval.

The same color can look different in changing light or when placed next to other colors and materials. With fenestration, the glass selection will have the most influence on how the framing members’ finish is perceived. Architects should pair these samples together for optimal results.

Exterior surfaces of finished fenestration are best reviewed outdoors under natural light and the finished interior surfaces are best reviewed indoors using a combination of natural and electrical illumination.

Paint performance

Extruded aluminum framing is the most specified material for fenestration assemblies on commercial buildings. For more than 50 years, polyvinylidene fluoride, or PVDF, resin systems have demonstrated consistent, reliable performance for aluminum-framed fenestration.

The advantages of these high-performance aluminum coatings are:

  • Vast array of color choices
  • Fast and cost-effective for small-batch and custom colors
  • Color and gloss retention (UV resistance)
  • Resistance to abrasion, humidity, salt spray, chalking and chemicals
  • Structural integrity of the aluminum is protected and maintained
  • Field touch-up and repainting capabilities

The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance publishes three industry standard specifications for architectural coatings on aluminum extrusions. Finishes that are manufactured and applied to meet AAMA 2605-22, Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Superior Performing Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels (with Coil Coating Appendix) provide the highest performance. Finishes that meet AAMA 2605 include 70% PVDF resin-based coatings, which deliver durability and longevity. The rigorous testing of these coatings includes more than 4,000 hours of accelerated exposure to salt spray.

Specification simplified

Sometimes, a paint manufacturer’s brand name is mistaken for a specification. For example, Kynar and Kynar 500 are registered trademarked brands of Arkema. Other examples include:

  • AkzoNobel—Trinar
  • PPG—Duranar
  • Sherwin-Williams—Fluropon
  • Solvay/Syensqo—Hylar

To ensure the highest performance architectural coatings for aluminum fenestration and other building products, specify 70% PVDF resin-based coatings that meet AAMA 2605. 


Tammy Schroeder

Tammy Schroeder

Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associate, is the director of marketing for Linetec, Tubelite and Alumicor brands. With more than 20 years of experience in the finishing industry, she serves as an industry educator on high-quality, high-performance architectural products, finishing and services. She can be reached at