10 Reasons to Use Powder Coating Instead of Liquid Paint
We’ve been there, and we know the top ten reasons to use powder coating instead of liquid paint. Art and restoration projects happen to everyone. In many cases, the inspiration for art is a practical one like restoring an older bicycle to its former glory or rescuing perfectly good patio furniture whose only sin was a rusting finish. Whether you’re trying to save money or have an eye for hidden value, often the only thing wrong with discarded metal items is a little bit of paint damage or surface corrosion which can quickly be cleared away by sandblasting. For the DIY crowd and creative parents, you may be inclined to use paint and bright finish, something that most people understand reasonably well but we’re here to suggest another way.
Powder coating has a lot in common with liquid paint. Both are pigment-based, change the color of an item’s surface, and can be used as a sealant to protect something from the elements. However, there are also some very significant differences, most of which point toward favoring powder coating. For your next restoration, art, or metal sculpture project (whichever comes first), take a look at the benefits of powder coating before picking up a can of paint at the hardware store.
1) Powder-Coating is Non-Toxic
When it comes to comparing powder coating with liquid paint, one difference very distinctly clear, the smell. Even walking into a room with exposed wet paint, your nose will quickly tell you that the air is toxic and to get out. This isn’t an over-reaction. The solvents used to render the pigment in paint are very toxic, and the entire way paint works are that these poisonous solvents evaporate into the air, leaving the dry pigment.
Power coating, on the other hand, doesn’t need solvents. Powder coating is powdered pigment electrostatically charged so that it will cling to an object where sprayed. Heat is then used to ‘cure’ the layer which melts the pigments into a solid finish. No solvent, no toxic, and no environmental hazard should the powder get spilled.
2) Much Less Likely to Chip
Everyone knows that paint chips, even incredibly sturdy exterior paint, and once paint starts to chip it generally continues to do so. Powder coating, on the other hand, forms a much more solid seal onto an item’s surface and it is practically impossible for powder coating to be scraped, scuffed, or chipped. This means that a powder coated item is likely to last much longer than a painted one so you will not have to do another restoration any time soon.
3) You Can Re-Use the ‘Spills’
When you lose a drip of paint, not only is that paint never going onto your item, it has also probably ruined whatever it fell on. While the painter and powder coaters both use plastic sheeting to deal with spills, the marvel of powder coating is that anything dropped or over-sprayed settles onto the ground and can actually be gathered back up and used again. This not only reduces the mess and waste, but it also saves you money.
4) No More Top Coat
Paint is notorious for needing multiple coats to reach your desired effect. Not only do you need more than one coat for rich colors or to cover a dark color, but you also need a top coat and often a sealing coat as well. While you can use multiple coats for effect with powder coating, the vast majority of the time all you need is a single application and cure for your items to be restored entirely and attractively colored.
5) Worth More Per Ounce
The weight of a can of paint is comprised of both the pigments and the solvent used to keep it liquid and readily applicable. This means that you’re getting a lot less pigment per ounce of paint than the weight of the paint itself because the solvents aren’t part of the final product. With powder coating, every speck of pigment powder is part of the coating. Almost nothing cooks off during the curing process, and the entirety of the material you buy can be used to color and protect your projects.
6) Incredibly Durable
While we’ve saved this point for a comfortable middle position in the list, perhaps the most critical difference between powder coating and paint is the incredible durability. Not only is it more challenging to mar the surface of a powder coated item, but they will also last much longer left in ordinarily damaging environments like outside in the weather, in the garage, or in a bathroom that steams up frequently. Powder coating is resistant to corrosion, oxidation, moisture, and friction even over time.
7) Safe for Cooking and Children
Knowing what we do about toxic paints, you would have to choose your pigments and solvents very carefully to refinish something that was meant to be used in the kitchen or with small children who tend to put items in their mouths. Just as you wouldn’t want anyone to eat a paint chip, you also don’t want to be cooking non-kitchen-approved paints in food. Powder coating, on the other hand, is entirely safe for kitchen utensils, appliances, and even baby toys because there are no toxic solvents and the surface won’t chip, crack, or flake.
8) Flexibility for Working Parts
One interesting factor of powder coating that makes it incredibly useful in the manufacturing and automotive world is how flexible it is. If a part is damaged, bent, or needs to have some give to function, powder coating is much more likely to bend with it than liquid applied paint. This means that you don’t have to strip it and re-apply it for minor repairs and a powder coated tool is much more likely to survive a little damage. The flexibility and durability combined are why you’ll find powder coating services available in many auto and metal restoration shops.
9) No Harmful Fumes
From professionals to experienced DIYers, everyone knows that paint may look harmless but breathing it is terrible for you. Painting without a face mask is not advisable and even passing by something that has been painted can be toxic for days after the final coat has been applied. Repainting a home has been known to drive families out for weeks at a time to not get sick from the constant exposure. Because powder coating is non-toxic, it can be handled and worked around safely immediately after both application and the curing process and is ready after 24 hours. You should wear safety gear during application, but only because the powder is applied at high velocity.
10) Powder Coating Has Fun Applications
Our final point is purely one of experience. While painting will always be a calmly enjoyable experience, with what other media can you shoot a gun full of electrostatically charged particles to make brilliantly colored and restored metal and glass items? Powder coating is a lot of fun, from choosing the colors and finish to curing the coated items in a large oven.
Powder coating is an incredibly important aspect of modern restoration, decoration, and even new car maintenance. Here at TLC Metal Restoration, we can use powder coating for almost anything, even if you bring in something exciting and unusual like a garage sale treasure or your metal sculpture. If you’d like to learn more about powder coating or need a professional powder coating service in the Manhattan area, contact TLC Metal today!