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Choosing Between Powder Coating vs Painting

Posted on: August 25th, 2017 by byersbushblog

It seems that the debate on which is better between powder coating and painting will forever wage on. Obviously, there are a great number of people that favor each side. When you carefully look at it, each finishing process has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. What should you know when choosing between powder coating and paint?

The Wiser Choice

powder coating vs painting

Paint will always have its following, but according to many industry experts, powder coating will remain as the wiser choice between the two; especially when you talk about finishing for metal products like chassis for example. Why is this so?

For one, the powder coating process is relatively basic and straightforward. The combination of the right choice of finely grounded plastics mixed with hues and pigments will determine just how the finished metal product will look and feel.

In many instances, the finish is not only similar to that of a painted metal, but even better and stronger. This is achieved through the use of electrostatic transfer method.

The defining factor in this wiser choice presumably lies on the preparation of the surface to be powder coated. Essentially, the bare metal surface should be free from rust, paint, metal shavings, and other foreign matters that can prevent proper adhesion of the powder coat.

Surface Prepping

surface preparing

There are two ways that you can prepare a metal surface that will be powder coated; chemical washing or sandblasting. Both methods are widely acceptable, but sandblasting is normally preferred because it results in a rougher surface that will help the powder to adhere more to the metal surface.

Once the chosen cleaning process has been completed, the metal must be allowed to dry off completely. To achieve this it has to be oven baked at 300 to 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. This will ensure that all moisture will be drained from the metal. If there is just the slightest amount of moisture in the metal, the resulting finish can be less than desirable and acceptable.

The same preparation can be done for painting metal surfaces.

Coating Procedure

coating procedure

Powder coating relies on a specialized gun that will propel the finely grounded plastic onto the negatively charged surface of the metal. The powder coat is positively charged to ensure that it sticks to the surface. This will allow the powder granules to stay in place until the metal part is baked in an oven.

Normally the metal part will be baked at 350 degrees for about 45 to 60 minutes to melt and cure the powder to the metal. This will create an even and uniform look with an extremely strong finishing that is comparable to 3 or 4 coats of liquid paint. This is basically the end of the powder coating process.

When you choose liquid paint coating, you will need to allow the paint to completely dry off before you can apply another coat. Usually, you will need about 3 coats of paint to get the desired finish. The process can take a couple of days to finish, which is significantly longer than the time it takes to complete a powder coat.

Advantages of Powder Coating

advantage disadvantages of powder coating

Since it is considered as the wiser choice, let us take a look at the advantages of powder coating. Aside from the uniformity and durability of the finish, you also have a wide choice of colors and textures to choose from. In fact, often, powder coating provides a wider choice of colors than liquid paint does.

The general advantage though of powder coating lies in the durability of the finish that also delivers protection to the underlying metal. Generally, the finish will remain rust and chemical resistant for a good number of years provided that it is properly cared for. In most instances, this simply means wiping off any liquid that gets on the surface.

Environmentally, powder coating is absent of the Volatile Organic Compounds commonly found in liquid paint finishing. The powder granules can also be collected and reused so that it results in little to no waste material at all. This cannot be said with over sprayed paint that is already wasted.

Price-wise, powder coating is also comparatively cheaper. Take a car chassis for example, the cost of powder coating would be around $350 on the average. If you want to splurge a bit, the cost would go as high as $550. You would be hard pressed to get a decently painted chassis for the same amount.

Being the wiser choice, is there any disadvantage to powder coating? There is one huge disadvantage, everything can go wrong if not done professionally. So since you already know the wiser choice, make the right decision and choose Byers Bush Powder Coating. Contact them today.

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