Paint vs Powder Coating
but what about the rust?
Trying to decide on what coating will protect and give you the best performance, look and longevity of your parts? We get that question all the time, but what does it really mean. Having a good looking part after coating can be done just about anywhere including your basement or garage. What you don't know is that the surface preparation under that coating is what makes it last. Take for instance the parts in the left picture, they look terrible, rusty and not ready to seal with a top coating whether liquid paint or powder coating is the selected technique.
Surface Preparation FIRST!
Get your parts to bare metal is the best way to go. By far you will be more pleased with the end result if you don't have to guess what's under the prior coating, how long its been there, and ultimately will it fail and affect your top coating.
Now you can remove old paint, rust, and old powder coating with many ways:
1. Blast them with the appropriate media (as shown in the left picture).
2. Chemical strip the parts in a solution.
3. Sand them by hand.
If you don't do this critical step, all your work including the top coating will not perform to any standard and you'll have wasted time in the process.
Get to bare metal, that is your ultimate and best solution.
Now the original question, Paint vs. Powder?
which one is right?
This can be more of logical question than you think. Each technique of sealing the surface and giving it the right protection is a function on the coating properties and how it's done.
Powder coating is the process of applying a dry powder to a metal surface with the addition of an electrostatic charge. The metal is negatively charged, while an electrode on the inside of the powder gun provides a positive charge to the powder. This process allows for the best coverage and ensures efficiency. The main benefit of powder coating versus paint is the durable and UV resistant finish. Powder is also more flexible and able to bend with the material as it may flex or warp. Powder coating also provides a more uniform coat in one application than paint. For higher traffic pieces, an additional primer coat with a clear coat to finish will ensure the longest lasting finish for your piece. Powder coating can be an abrasion, corrosion, and chemical resistant finish if the right powder is selected.
Traditional painting and metal plating have their benefits depending on the application. With painting, you are able to achieve a smoother surface than with most powder coating techniques. Another perk of using tradition paint is that you are able to achieve thinner layers compared to powder coating.