Powder coating is a painting process for metal that is almost indestructible, allows for unlimited colour choices and is affordable. While sending parts out to get powder-coated isn't all that expensive, for those who do this regularly, learning the process is far more worthwhile.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Powder coat paint
- Powder coat gun
- Spray booth
In essence, powder coating is a process in which paint, in the form of a course powder, is sprayed on metal, baked until it liquefies and then cures.
Learn about the two different types of powder coating: thermoplastic and thermosetting. The thermoplastic process uses a type of powder that melts when heated and hardens as it is cooled. This process is different from the thermosetting process in that the paint can be remelted when reheated. This process is rarely used. Therefore, this article focuses primarily on the thermosetting process. In this process, once the powder is cured, it has the ability to withstand very high temperatures before melting or decomposing.
Choose a spray gun with which to apply the powder coat. This is the most important part of the process and hence the most important tool required. Chicago Electric and Eastwood both make adequate and inexpensive models. A compressor is also needed. However, only 8-10 psi is needed, so a small, inexpensive compressor will do the job. Finally, a way to strip the metal and create a favourable tooth for the powder to adhere to is also necessary. Hence, the need for a sandblaster.
Build a spray booth with adequate ventilation in which to apply the powder coating. Also ensure that the spray booth contains a method to securely ground the object being painted. This is an important factor in ensuring that the electromagnetic system in the spray gun does its job properly.
Decide what type of oven you will use for powder coating. You can purchase a commercial oven specifically for power coating or use a conventional household oven, as the heat range used is generally around 211,315 degrees C. Remember, though: If a household oven is used for powder coating, it can never again be used for food.
Tips and warnings
- An Eastwood introductory powder coating kit costs about £65 and includes the gun.
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