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Powder Coating vs. Painting Metal: Which One is Better?

Posted by CAMM Metals on Jul 25, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Powder CoatingThere are different options to consider when deciding on proper coating for metal product. Powder coating involves the application of a dry powder that settles with the application of heat from an oven. Painting involves the application of liquid paint with a pump, spray or other pressurized applicant. Both of these methods are viable options to coat a metal product, but come with advantages and disadvantages. Below is a comparison of the different aspects of powder coating and painting to help you evaluate which option is best for you. 


Powder Coating

Powder coating is a more efficient process where you can reclaim and reuse any overspray, causing you to waste virtually no product. This waste prevention can save you money on supplies. However, powder coating has large startup costs, as an oven is very expensive to buy and keep running.


Paint is easily accessible and has relatively low startup costs. The paint itself and the materials for application are fairly economical. However, paint is less efficient than powder coating. Paint will evaporate while it’s sitting and there is no way to reclaim any overspray. This waste of paint can be somewhat costly, however, it will overall be less expensive than powder coating.


Powder Coating

Powder coating is a solid insert. Therefore, there are no toxic fumes to breathe in. The fact that it’s a solid also makes it much easier to avoid contact if it contains harmful chemicals. However, there are risks associated with inserting the product in the oven, such as burns.


Paint can often have fumes that can be toxic if breathed in. It can also contain chemicals that can be harmful if they touch your skin. However, these safety concerns can mostly be avoided if the applicator takes proper precautions to cover his skin and mouth.


Powder Coating

Powder coating doesn’t contain any solvents or VOC’s, meaning the environment won’t be damaged during application. After the powder coating process, the waste is not at all hazardous to the environment and can go in the landfill. Powder coating is a very eco-friendly process from application to waste disposal.


Wet paint can contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can cause damage to the environment during application and waste disposal. However, it’s possible to prevent this damage when proper precautions are taken. Although painting is a less eco-friendly process, steps can be taken to minimize the damage to the environment. 


Powder Coating

Powder coating produces a covering that is twice as thick as paint. It’s more flexible and can easily bend and yield to the material it’s applied to, making it ideal for products that move frequently. Powder coating also stands up better to chipping. However, powder coating is not easily touched up the way that paint is. It can also be difficult to match powder coating correctly with metallic paint colors.


Painting produces a thinner coat than paint and is much less flexible. Paint is prone to chipping, but is very easy to touch up when chipped. It is very easy to mix paint to perfectly match different colors, making it the ideal choice for touch ups and for partial applications.


Powder Coating

Before powder coating, a product needs to be blasted, adding another step to production. However, an advantage to powder coating is that a product is ready as soon as 20 minutes after coming out of the oven. A powder-coated product can be put to work even when it’s too hot to touch without the worry of damage to the coating. However, powder coating cannot be used on all materials. Rubber, for example, can’t be powder coated because it will melt in the oven.


When painting a metal product, it does not always need to be blasted, saving you a step. However, paint can take up to days to dry. Before paint is dry, the product cannot be used because the coating will be damaged. However, paint can be applied to almost any material, making it a much more versatile option than powder coating.

CAMM Metals | CT Metal Fabrication Company

Whether you think painting or powder coating is better for your metal product, experts at CAMM Metals can help! CAMM Metals has years of experience, honing our skills across the board to deliver a quality product and measurable bottom line value to our customers.

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Topics: Painting Metal, Powder Coating

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