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Easy DIY Guide to Sandblasting and Power Coating

Posted on: April 25th, 2018 by byersbushblog

For anyone who is not familiar with it, powder coating is an excellent technique that allows you to coat virtually any type of metal there is. Compared to other finishing methods, it is quite safe and easy to do while delivering a strong and shiny finish. What we will discuss here are the basics so that you will have an easy guide on how to do sandblasting and powder coating.

Before You Start: the Setup

Despite being a straightforward technique it still needs ample preparation. Here are the things that you will need beforehand.

  • Compressed air;
  • Blasting cabinet;
  • Abrasive media;
  • Powder coating gun;
  • Spray booth equipped with filtration system;
  • Curing oven;
  • Industrial sink;
  • Latex gloves and heat-resistant gloves;
  • Powder coating media;
  • Polyester tape;
  • Hanger or wire;
  • Paper; and
  • Steel cleaner.

When dealing with a small project it would normally take around two hours to complete. It is likewise advisable to have a long-sleeved shirt on and closed-toe shoes for ample protection.

powder-coating

Getting Ready

It is assumed that you already have a material in mind that you would need to powder coat.  It does not matter if you want to do a simple powder coating or custom powder coating procedure, the first step in preparing the material is to always make sure that the surface is completely clean; and this normally means sandblasting.

This will eliminate any impurities like rust that reside on the material surface and allow the powder to properly stick to it.  An enclosed space like a blasting cabinet is ideal for this purpose to ensure safety and prevent materials from getting all over the place.

When working with relatively small materials like a key for example, it would help to attach it to a metal wire or any other material that would keep it in place.

The blasting gun should be held a few inches away from the material to ensure that you get the desired result. You are working with highly compressed air so be aware at all times where the nozzle of the spray gun is pointed. Move the blasting gun up and down the material until all of the coat has been stripped away.

To make sure that the surface is satisfactorily cleaned, you will need to rinse the material to get rid of remaining impurities. This is commonly done with chemical cleaning. Your hands must be protected with latex gloves so that the chemicals don’t get in contact with your skin.

You can gently scrub the cleaning mixture onto the material to rid it of excess impurities. When this is done you can rinse it under running water. Make sure that the cleaning mixture is appropriate for the type of material you are using. For example, cleaning aluminum or brass is entirely different from cleaning steel.

Start Powder Coating

Once the material has been completely cleaned, you can now start the powder coating process. It is advisable to hang the material (especially for small ones) to prevent patches from appearing in the finish.

sandblasting

Preheating the material is necessary (normally at 400 degrees) to prepare it for powder coating as well as allow any moisture to evaporate.

It is likewise assumed that you have chosen the type of powder coat that you would want to use. For custom powder coating, it is advisable to get the opinion or consult with experts before proceeding. You must be aware that too much powder can result in unnecessary thickness that can negatively impact the final coat.

After preheating you can now place the material in the powder coating booth or cabinet and ground the material to be coated. This will allow the positively charged powder to adhere to the grounded surface of the metal. You can still easily remove the powder at this stage if you want to make corrections.

Make sure that the air filtration system is working so that any excess powder can be pulled towards the vent. This can be reused if needed. Test the powder coating gun first by pointing it at the filter. A fine cloud should be produced.

To achieve an even coat, hold the trigger for a couple of seconds as you move the gun around. Never touch the coated material otherwise the coating can be ruined. You can now carefully move the material to the oven for baking.

Make sure that you observe the proper temperature and heating time for the material. This will ensure that your powder coating will come out right. Once it is done, allow the material to cool off.

This is the basic guide on how to sandblast and powder coat. If you want to get a professional finish, make sure that you get in touch with Byers Bush today.

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