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Powder Coating vs Painting – Which is Better?
Everyone has different needs and expectations when it comes to fabrication, and sometimes bare metal isn’t quite right for the intended purpose. If you’ve decided to opt for a finished surface, your choice will come down to paint or powder coat. Both finishes have their pros and cons, and in this blog post we’ll be highlighting the differences so that you can make the right decision.
One of the main reasons why people opt for a finish is because they want their product to look unique and create customised colours rather than leave the bare metal exposed. Powder coating is a better choice than paint, because it provides a more even covering and is not prone to dripping which can result in a substandard finish. Painting often requires sanding to ensure a smooth surface, whilst powder coating is applied quickly and easily via an electrostatic and heating (curing) process. Once complete, the powder coated finish is twice as thick as paint, giving you enhanced durability.
Both paint and powder coating have a range of colours to choose from, but it is much easier to play around with patterns and textures with powder coating. You can also create custom colours for a truly unique result.
Simply put, powder coating results in a more refined, tough and durable finish that is highly customisable.
As mentioned above, powder coating is two times thicker than paint. It is ideal for applications involving moving metal parts, as the coating is more flexible than paint. This makes it more resistant to environmental damage due to frequent vibration and movement.
Paint is prone to chipping and flaking, so it’s not the best choice for use outdoors or in high traffic environments. Powder coating will significantly enhance the life of the metal so that you can enjoy many years of reliable service.
We all know the pungent aroma of drying paint, and this is caused by the large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Not only do these have negative impacts on the environment, but they can also be hazardous to human health. Powder coatings do not contain any solvents, and as such they do not release VOCs into the environment.
There is also a reduced need for exhaust fans, helping to cut down on power usage and heating/cooling costs which can be quite substantial for paint-based finishes.
Painted finishes are more labour intensive, and more paint is required to achieve the desired finish. By contrast, powder coating can be measured to exact requirements to minimise waste. The powder is held in place on the metal thanks to an electrostatic charge, and the cost of materials is lower than paint.
Ease of Maintenance
It’s important to consider the long-term maintenance of your desired finish. Nobody wants to be wasting more time than necessary on cleaning duties, and the great thing about powder coating is that it can be cleaned with a simple soapy water solution and a cloth. Paint often requires the use of chemical solvents, and if it becomes damaged it will need to be refinished. Powder coat is much more resistant to damage and easier to clean, making it ideal for any application.
Powder coating sounds ideal! But what are the cons?
Powder coating is one of the most popular finishes, but in some cases paint makes better sense. For example:
- For thin metals which cannot accommodate or would be negatively affected (functionally or aesthetically) by the extra thickness of powder coating
- Smaller jobs – if you only need a few pieces finished, the cost savings can be negligible and in some cases paint may be cheaper.
- Metals which cannot be heated to allow for powder coating
- People who prefer a smooth finish rather than bumpy/orange peel finish typical of powder coating
Mascot Steel – The Finishing Experts
At Mascot Steel we are your one stop shop for all your metal fabrication and finishing needs. Powder coating is by far the most popular option these days thanks to its ease of application, high-quality appeal, durability, weather resistant properties and ease of maintenance.
If you would like some help with choosing a finish, please contact our team today.