How Is Powder Coating Different from Regular Paint?

The differences between powder coating and regular paint are as fundamental as it gets. Their chemical makeups, their application and curing processes and their health and environmental impacts are vastly different, which might surprise you when you consider they’re both designed to perform the same function––bringing color to your life:

  • What they’re made of: Powder coating primer is zinc based, and the colored layer of powder coat is made with pigments and hard resins. Both come in powder form, as you might have guessed. In its inert form, powder coating in Washington is totally harmless, and its materials are considered much safer than regular paint—safe enough to dispose of in normal fashion, whereas liquid paints must be treated as harmful agents and disposed of separately, because regular paints contain oils and various volatile organic compounds.
  • Application and curing: As with regular paint, powder coating is done in two stages: a primer stage and a final coating. When being applied to metal, the metal piece is electrically grounded, and then the zinc coat is positively charged by the powder gun and sprayed onto the piece. The zinc is attracted to the piece and clings electrostatically. It is then baked and cured for the first time. Then a second coat is applied––this coat is the pigmented coat––and then the metal piece is baked and cured again. This is quite different from regular paint, which is applied wet and cures by air drying.
  • Protecting people and the environment: Powder coating is far less wasteful than regular paint. The powder is physically attracted to whatever you’re painting, so less of it misses the piece in the first place. And whatever powder misses the piece can be collected and used again, whereas with regular paint––since it is only useful for application before it cures, and it cures at normal air temperatures––whatever paint you lose is gone forever. Also, as long as you follow a few simple safety procedures, powder coating in Washington is much better on the lungs than paint, due to the lack of volatile organic compounds that can be found in paint. These chemicals off gas as paint dries.
  • Advantages and disadvantages: When it comes to painting metal, powder coating holds the edge in just about every single regard. It’s far more durable, less likely to chip or flake and protects metal from rust far better. During our 20 years of offering powder coating in Washington, what’s become one of our favorite things about powder coating is how evenly it coats. Because it’s attracted to the object it paints, it doesn’t over-paint some areas and under-paint others, leaving a very smooth finish. About the only advantage of regular paint is its ability to paint things that cannot be cured in an oven—which is an integral part of the powder-coating process. This means whole machines cannot usually be powder coated, unless done piece by piece, because the baking would ruin their electronics. Practically, this means you can’t powder coat your vehicle the way you can repaint it. You can powder coat particular parts of your vehicle, though, such as your rims and wheels, for example.

Powder coating is a durable and long lasting finish. At Powder Vision Inc., we love it because it leaves a smoother paint job, and has no solvents, carcinogens or hazardous byproducts—so it’s much better for us when we apply it. We’ve been providing powder coating in Washington to commercial and individual clients for 20 years now. We’ve got the experience for any job you could throw at us, so give us a call today.