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Why Powder Coat - Powder Coat versus Paint

Why Powder Coat

Powder Coat vs. Liquid Paint

DO NOT be mis-lead by companies that disparage powder coating and its application processes.

Usually the deciding factor for iron companies that paint instead of powder coat comes down to cost. If a company does not have its own powder coating capabilities, there are resulting additional costs that are passed to the consumer.

1. Loading the product for transport (labor)

2. Shipping to the powder coating company (labor and fuel)

3. Unloading at the powder coating company (labor)

4. Being at the mercy of the company’s schedule (diminished efficiency)

5. Picking up and delivery to the jobsite (labor and fuel)

As long as the prep process is done correctly either process will work and last with upkeep being done regularly on the liquid painted surfaces (less maintenance with the powder coating).

Better Coatings

According to the United States Department of Commerce, the annual loss due to corrosion in this country is ten billion dollars. Powder coatings can help reduce this figure. Coatings formed from dry powders are homogeneous, coherent and free from porosity caused by solvent evaporation. Many experts believe that this is one of the reasons why dry powder coatings exhibit greater corrosion resistance than coatings formed from the same resins in liquid coatings systems. This is further complimented by the user’s selection of predetermined chemicals.

Other Advantages

In order to achieve sufficient thickness to provide the necessary corrosion resistance, most liquid paints must be applied in two passes. Electrostatic spray powder coatings from 1- to 6-mils thick can be applied in one pass. This eliminates the need for two coating booths.


Powder coatings are cost competitive with liquid paint. In fact, many powder coatings cost less than equivalent coatings formed from liquid paint, because:

1. Powders are 100% solids.

2. Efficient powder recovery provides nearly a 100% material utilization.

3. The coating line can be completely automated and requires very little maintenance.

Continual research and development of new, lower cost coating powders should reduce costs even more.

Continuous recovery of over-sprayed powder is key to economical production of powder coatings. Powder recovery systems can reclaim up to 98 percent of overspray for reuse.
In contrast, liquid paint overspray is lost and cannot be reclaimed. The deposition efficiency of liquid paint spray systems ranges from 30 to 90 per cent, and seldom averages more than 65 percent.

Info can be read in its entirety here - this is an excellent read. https://www.modeanindustries.com/resources/why-powder-coat/

Some misinformation on Powder Coat vs. Liquid Paint

1) Does powder coat flake, peel or crack? A) It will if not properly prepared.

2) Application of the powder is done in multiple passes? A) Unless it has 2 colors or a clear coat going on after the initial application, multiple passes are not needed.

30 Metal edges and corners are not coated properly? A) All painting (at least should be) and powder coat are applied with an electro static gun. Which means the material paint or powder is drawn in by a negative charge and thus it has a wrapping effect on the material when being applied.

4) Incorrect Pre treatment? A) Whether it’s Paint vs. Powder Coat. If the Pre Treatment is not done correctly it doesn’t matter what type of material is being used (it will Not Hold up to basic weather patterns)

5) Using the Wrong Powder? A) True there are some interior colors that are not recommended with an exterior application. Some are not used at all and other can require a clear coat put over the initial color. That can also be said for the liquid paint being used. If it is wrong it will not last in the weather.

6) Powder coating is too thick or thin? A) As the powder is applied it has a recommended coverage mill thickness that is tested to assure that it is being properly applied. Paint also has a recommended coverage mill thickness that must be followed.

7) Inadequate Curing? A) Any professional powder coat company will be set up with a digital monitoring system, which includes digital timers and a digital temperature monitoring system with alarms. Liquid painting process if not monitored properly can dry to fast in the summer or not dry fast enough in the winter. If painted in high humidity the paint will not adhere to the product and will flake or fall off in time. Some liquid paints can take 24 hrs to dry to the touch. If the weather is bad this can make an adverse affect on the coating.

8) Wrong temperature? A) Again with companies that use liquid paint are reliant on the weather conditions heat, cold, humidity and other variables. Powder coat is climate controlled in an oven for its cure process.

9) The environment? A) Modernindustries.com, an automotive parts manufacturer had difficulty passing a 96-hour salt spray test with a one-coat liquid paint system. Since converting to an epoxy powder coating, also applied in one pass, the manufacturer gets over 200 hours in the same test. The powder coating also withstands subsequent forming operations.

When it comes time to repair or replace any iron work around the property, keep in mind that constant water hitting any liquid paint or powder coat products will cause premature aging on the coatings.

If you have an existing project that needs updated or refinished it is possible to paint over anything that was liquid painted or powder coated with proper pre-treatment. As a matter of fact, the powder coat finish makes an effective primer to be painted over as you do your maintenance and upkeep on your products.

Wikipedia this is also a great read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_coating

Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electro statically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin". The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermo set polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Powder coating is mainly used for coating of metals, such as household appliances, aluminum extrusions, drum hardware, and automobile and bicycle parts. Newer technologies allow other materials, such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard), to be powder coated using different methods

Powder coat is used on many different types of materials. Think about its durability when used on car and truck bumpers, rims and frames. It is an extremely durable finish that will last for years to come with proper care.


1. “First High-Volume Epoxy Powder Coating Line in Auto Industry,” Industrial Finishing, August 1971, pp.20-23.

2. Breton, “Experience with Powder Coating,” Proceedings First North American Conference on Powder Coating, February 1971, Mclean-Hunter Ltd., pp. 85-89.

3. Widdifield, G., “Economics Involved in the Use of Thermosetting Powders,” Proceedings First North American Conference on Powder Coating, February 1971, Mclean-Hunter Ltd., pp. 69-76.

4. Azzam, H.T.., “Coatings Without Solvents,” Machine Design, March 18, 1971, pp. 91-95.

Here is a great video on a durability test:

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