Paint vs powder coat pros and cons

Paint and powder coating are two methods for coating objects or surfaces. It is important to understand the differences between the two in order to select the most appropriate coating process for your needs.

Briefly, the most important difference between the two processes is how the coating is applied to the object. These differences lead to other differences in the way the two processes are applied and the results produced.

painting vs powder coating

In this guide, we will explain how paint vs powder coat differs from each other and what are the similarities of both of these materials on your desired surface.

I have tested and tried both of these and analyzed the results which I will explain in this guide.

What is powder coating?

Powder coating is a dry powder coating application, which mixes powdered coatings with binders, pigments, and fillers, and then applies the powder coating to a substrate.

This type of coating is used to provide a smooth, durable, corrosion-resistant finish that is free from brush marks or sags.

Powder coating is generally used for thinner gauge metals, where thicknesses are less than 1/16th of an inch.

Or for thicker gauge metals where the requirements for high quality, smooth, durable, and corrosion-resistant finish are needed such as equipment housings, engine blocks, transmission cases, truck beds, etc.

How to apply powder coating?

Powder coating is a thin and uniform film of fine particles that are applied on the surface of the material using an electrostatic charge.

Powder coating helps in reducing the rate of corrosion, abrasion, and friction, improves the appearance, and in some cases (for example the coating of metal sheets used in the auto industry or the coating of the interior of buildings) provides increased fire resistance.

Before applying the powder coating on a surface, that surface should undergo a thorough degreasing process. By degreasing, the surface is prepared and the coating forms a bond with the surface.

For metal finishing, akin to powder coating and plating, the object is cleaned thoroughly until clean metal appears and then sprayed at a certain thickness with special liquid paint.

To ensure the careful application of paint evenly to the object the whole surface is carefully blasted at once.

After that, the right amount of time is allowed so that paint can fully dry before it’s polished with electric brushes or manually.

Whereas military ballistic vest coatings are done at room temperature there are variants that also use heat and pressure to get a tougher bonding between paint and iron or steel body.

The coating is then dried. This can be done in an oven or air dryer or both. Then, the surface is primed and then the powder coating is applied.

painting vs powder coating

The process for powder coating is simple: the exterior of any metal surface is lightly sanded and cleaned before receiving a very thin coat of paint.

Powder coats are applied quickly, with minimal mess and no drip. Once the proper amount of powder has been applied, the piece is taken to an epoxy oven curing for 24 hours.

The finished product is a smooth and strong finish capable to withstand all kinds of weathering or extreme temperatures.

For metal finishing, akin to powder coating and plating, the object is cleaned thoroughly until clean metal appears and then sprayed at a certain thickness with special liquid paint.

What is wet painting?

Wet painting is a process in which the object to be painted is dipped in paint solvent and then applied to the surface. It is mostly used on cast iron.

Wet paint is generally applied to large surface areas; it dries quickly, is easy to clean, and offers a smooth, level, and uniform paint coat.

Wet paint is used commonly in the sheet metal fabrication process. Since its invention, it has proven to have many benefits as well as drawbacks which is why technical development has invented different types that seem to perform best with certain jobs.

In today’s market, there are also really new things coming out such as how we use wet paint with a pump or sprayer.

Some of these people who are buying this product might not know what product to buy for a reliable experience and cost-efficient project outcome for them.

Advantages of powder coating

Powder coating is a dry powder that is sprinkled on the surface to be coated, followed by heat and pressure to bind the powder with the other coatings.

Powder coating is an alternative to liquid paints and is used on steel and aluminum parts.

Powder coating has several advantages over liquid paints. The powder can be applied quickly and easily, and the process primarily uses electrical energy rather than thermal energy.

Powder coating is ideal for heavy industrial parts that are not easily heated.

It can be used on small parts as well, such as auto parts or electronic parts. Powder coating is also used in the military and aerospace industry, to protect parts that are sensitive to heat or moisture.

Disadvantages of powder coating

There are several disadvantages of powder-coated plastic products. One of the biggest disadvantages of a powder-coated coating is that it wears off with time.

This can make it look dull and old, as well as leave it vulnerable to adverse weather conditions. Not only that, even the surface becomes vulnerable to rust and corrosion over time.

Advantages of painting

The biggest advantage of painting over powder coating is that paint is far cheaper and easier to use. Painting is perfect for amateur craftsmen and DIY enthusiasts since you can apply paint by yourself.

In addition, different colors are also more readily available. Powder coating needs to be done professionally, and the paint is more expensive as well as difficult to apply.

On the other hand, powder coating does give a far better finish compared to paint. The paint tends to get scratched off with time, and the powder coating finish is far more durable.

Disadvantages of painting

The biggest disadvantage of painting as compared to powder coating is that you will have to remove all the existing paint from your surface.

This can be a costly and time-consuming procedure, especially if you are working on a big project.

You will have to sand down the surface and then wash the area repeatedly to remove all the dust, grease, and grime. The second major drawback of painting is that the process is quite messy.

It is difficult to get professional-looking results when painting, especially if you are working on a large surface. This is especially true if you are a beginner and don’t have the skills to use a sprayer.

Is powder coating hazardous to health?

Powder coatings are specifically designed to be durable and superior to liquid paints. However, they contain no hazardous materials that would produce toxic fumes if improperly stored or prepared.

 Powder coatings also don’t require the wide space needed for an oven or kiln, which means it is limited to only the amount of surface area you want to be painted and costs less overall because they are much easier to use.

Liquid paints on the other hand can become pernicious fumes in confined quarters and often requires tremendous amounts of open space to work with.

FAQ’s

Yes, powder coating is more expensive than painting. Powder coating is a process of applying dry color in a fine form over the product. Painting is a liquid coating process. Painting cost less than powder coating because the cost of powder coating machine is more than painting machine. So, the cost of powder coating is more than painting. But the quality is better than painting.

Powder coating is not recommended to be painted over. In fact, you may have problems with adhesion, it is prone to cracking and warping, and can even break down the base material. If you are looking for the best quality powder coating, we will be more than happy to provide you with a free estimate. If you’re looking for the best powder coating service, do not hesitate to contact us.

Powder coating lasts between 3 to 5 years. It depends upon the amount of sunlight, weather and wear and tear the powder coating gets. Also powder coating is not made to last as long as fiberglass or gelcoat. So you have to repaint the boat or car in between or at times, before the 5 years. But powder coating lasts longer than most paints. Plus, it’s not as expensive as fiberglass or gelcoat repair.

The kind of paint that can stick to powder coating depends on two factors – both of which are related to how the paint is applied. The film is created by electrostatic attraction, so the paint should be sticky to attract powder. The surface you want to coat should be clean and free of any contaminants that need to be removed before application. You can use an abrasive, or a solvent to remove contaminants. Removing contaminants will also help you achieve a better adhesion. In general, enamel paints (acrylic, vinyl, or urethane) are the best choices for paint that sticks to powder coating.

Powder coating is not like normal paint. You can’t really add another layer of paint after a previous coat has dried. Powder coating is technically a thermoset plastic. So, when you powder coat, you are creating a new plastic surface on top of the existing plastic material. If you simply apply another powder coat or regular paint, these will not bond together. All you can do is remove the existing powder coating, sand the surface, and then apply another coat of powder coating.

Conclusion on paint vs powder coat

We hope you have enjoyed this article on the benefits of paint vs powder coating. Again, if you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us in the comments section.

Thank you for reading, and we always enjoy getting the chance to answer your questions!

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