Powder coating is the process of baking a sand-like material at high temperature onto metal. The result is extremely durable, corrosion resistant and colourable in a variety of shades. Powder coating is a popular technique for automotive wheels, as well as engine parts such as valve covers. The continued popularity of powder coating means many complete aftermarket kits are now available, allowing an enthusiast to powder-coat at home without access to air tools or air compressors.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Powder coating kit
- Air compressor and shooting gun (optional)
- Electric oven
- Degreaser and non-solvent cleaners
Select your metal-only parts for powder coating. The most important aspect of powder coating is that the metal be clean and solvent-free to allow the powder to bond with the surface. Use a degreaser to throughly clean the part, then clean with soap and water. Avoid using strong solvents such as a brake cleaner, carb cleaner, or paint thinner.
Fill the gun from your powder coating kit with powder and, using an even back and forth motion, coat the metal part. The powder will even out during baking so just make sure you cover all parts of the metal surface.
Place the parts into an electric oven for baking. The powder you use will instruct you how long, but generally expect to bake the parts at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and while the metal is still hot, re-coat with a second layer of powder and re-bake.
Remove from the oven and if you want to shoot a clear coat over the part, shoot while the metal is still hot. Bake for a final cycle, then allow the metal to sit and cool for an hour.
Tips and warnings
- Start with small parts to build confidence in your powdercoating skills.
- Since the parts will be subjected to prolonged high-heat in an oven, they cannot have any rubber or plastic components, nor be painted.
- If there are any rubber gaskets or grommets on the part, remove them prior to powder coating.
- Do not use your home oven for baking. The powder will foul up the inside of the oven. Find an old electric oven for powdercoating.
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