Protect Interior and Exterior Design Elements with Architectural Hardware Powder Coating
What do you know about architectural hardware powder coating? When you last renovated your building, your interior designer paid great attention to what types of paint went on each surface. Everything from the color to the glossiness was an important decision because appearance matters to first impressions. But the invisible factors were considered, too. Your designer looked for paints that were easy to clean and would not lose their luster over time. They also selected paints with different properties: anti-mold and -bacterial primers in the kitchen and restrooms, and impact resistant topcoats in the hallways.
When you are choosing the right powder coating finishes for your architectural hardware, your final decisions are just as important. The finishes will last for years and stand up against wear and tear from lots of contact to UV radiation. That is why there are just as many choices when it comes to colors, features, and materials.
What kinds of powder coating will protect your architectural hardware?
Powder coating comes in many different types. The core materials of your powder finish are what offer the core strength and protections that keep your architectural hardware safe from scratches, rust, or sunlight. Just like different interior and exterior spaces need different paint on the walls, your hardware needs different types of protection.
Powder coat your interior hardware with polyester powders.
Polyester powder coating is the industry standard when it comes to protecting your hardware. It offers the standard set of protections you can expect from quality powder coating:
Impact and mechanical resistance.
Handles, door knobs, and window frames are handled by multiple people every day. That means they have to handle a lot of impact. People in a hurry might close windows and cabinet doors with too much force. They might balance something heavy on a doorknob as they fish for their keys or access pass. But these hardware elements say a lot about how well a building is maintained. Impact-resistant powder coating is much harder to chip than paint. The finish also will not tear free: the powder bonds tightly to the surface of the hardware.
Hinges and bolts need to withstand even more damage. Locks can get scratched up by keys quickly if they are not adequately protected. Hinges rotate against each other. Manual bolts and gate latches also interlock and the parts scratch against each other. But door locks that look damaged are bad for business. Even slight grazes and scratches on the surface can make guests or tenants uneasy. Polyester powder coating stops the scratches. The finish will stay strong and clear so your door locks look like new.
People carry all kinds of chemicals on their hands, and that chemical residue spreads to the hardware they touch. Oily and acidic substances can wear on your metal hardware, especially on high touch surfaces that are contacted and cleaned frequently. The top finish of polyester powder coating keeps chemicals well away from the hardware itself. If your building still has a smoking section or set of rooms, polyester powder coating can even combat a lot of the yellowing effect of cigarette smoke.
High resistance to chemical damage is important in public buildings or buildings with lots of visitors, especially in flu season. Not only do the door knobs need to keep buildup at bay, they need to keep their finish even if your cleaning company uses harsh chemicals.
Moderate UV resistance.
If you have tried coating your hardware with white or lightly colored finishes before, you might have seen them start to turn dull after exposure to the sun. But you do not have to leave white and pales shades out of your design options, even for hardware right by the windows. Polyester powder coating is much less susceptible to sunlight-based yellowing, too. It also provides some degree of UV resistance for hardware that is lightly used outside.
Add more protection to your kitchen and restroom hardware with super durable polyesters.
Super durable polyesters are exactly what they sound like. It has all of the protective qualities of polyester but is built to last longer. In fact, you can expect the finish to last five years longer on hardware that faces a lot of chemicals and impact, and it will last another ten years on architectural elements that have less direct contact.
But super durable polyesters have additional features that make them a better choice for more humid environments. Metal hardware is susceptible to corrosion. The more complex and ornate the fixtures are, the more likely rust is to build up in the crevices that cannot be cleaned easily. Even simple handles and hinges can start to corrode wherever there is a chance of humidity.
Your building’s kitchen and restrooms are precisely these environments. But they are also where cleanliness is most heavily scrutinized. Instead of frequently checking your cabinet latches and windows for rust, protect the hardware with super durable polyester. The material is built to withstand humidity, even in warm environments. Combined with the extra-strength resistance to impact damage and chemicals, this finish can protect your kitchen and restroom fixtures the best.
Use fluoropolymers for your exterior architecture.
But outdoor architectural hardware needs the most protection. The window frames face the elements all day, every day. Gate latches around the patio or outdoor seating areas are exposed to landscaping chemicals, air pollution, and daily slamming. So consider fluoropolymer powder coating for the highest degree of weather and impact protection. Fluoropolymer coats can last up to twenty years. Not only does this type of powder coating fully protect the underlying hardware, it maintains its color and glossiness for the life of the product. Your exterior fixtures should make a great first impression to visitors and clients. Fluoropolymers help you achieve that with little need for maintenance.
Another option for exterior architectural hardware is polyurethane powder coating. While this material is more expensive, it gives you more options in terms of the hardware’s final look. Polyurethane does not have the automatic glossiness that other powders, like polyester, have. If you want your exterior window frames and doors to have a matte finish, this gives you a wider range of possibilities. It is also more resistant to environmental abrasion. If you have a gate near the road, you do not have to worry about road salt ruining the gate’s finish during the winter.
What design elements can you have with powder coating?
Powder coating does not limit your array of possible designs and styles. In fact, the dry application and curing process allows for textured finishes or two-tone color blends that are not possible with wet application paint. Whether your building is styled to look rustic and charming, sleek and modern, or anything in between, powder coated finishes strengthen the look. Some of the most common finishes include:
Hammer, wrinkle, and sand textures.
These texture options add a bit of roughness to the surface and are great for exterior architectural hardware. Sand and wrinkle textures have a roughened feel and very little gloss or reflection. The texture makes the surfaces easily grippable, even during the rain or when the weather is icy. A hammer finish is smoother and more reflective but will not hold any fingerprint smudges. Each of these textures also helps to minimize the appearance of dents and dings. If someone accidentally slams their car door or a cart into your gate, a lightly roughened texture maintains its style. These textures also help enhance the look of vein color finishes.
A candy finish.
If you want a smooth, lustrous finish, you want a candy texture. This powder coating process adds a smooth transparent coat on top of the hardware to make the color deep and shining. This is perfect for interior hinges and door latches, especially if you want the hardware to have a burnished, metallic look. The high level of glossiness is built into the powder coating instead of being applied after the hardware has been cured. That means the look is longer-lasting and resistant to wear. You do not have to worry about frequently touched hardware, like cabinet pulls and handles, looking out of place next to the window frames.
Color selection also plays an important part in the overall appearance. You can choose between an almost unlimited array of colors and shades. Powder coats also come in metallic, iridescent, and pearlescent varieties that capture a soft blend of shades. A metallic finish is perfect for aluminum panels and profiles, and powder coats come in a wide variety of metallic grays to accent your building’s specific style. The appearance of your architectural hardware, on the first day you install them and years in the future, matters. The look should not fade or lose its luster, no matter how many visitors your building has.
When you and your designer are selecting the final powder coat finishes for your building’s architectural hardware, keep the material, finish, and texture in mind so your hardware has the right protection. Interior and exterior hardware need different finishes and protective features, and powder coating can offer all of them. Contact TLC Metal if you have any questions or you want to learn more about specific finishes and textures.