Powder Coating vs Wet Paint

By Rory Freeman

Powder Coating vs Wet Paint

When it comes to industrial coatings there are a variety of offerings available. Some great, some less great but all with benefits. After all, if there was an option that came out top in every respect, then it’s likely it would run the others out of production. Here, we’ll discuss the various advantages and disadvantages of powder coatings and traditional wet paint to help you to decide which option is the best choice for your next project.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of powder coating?

Powder coating offers a wide variety of impressive benefits. It allows for great performance and is more robust and durable than traditional paint – lasting up to 20 years in the right conditions. Powder coating can be applied in thick layers so only requires one coat which makes application quick and easy. It results in an even and professional finish as the powder sets as one – meaning there will be no drips. It also produces minimal VOCs so is a better choice for the environment.

What are the disadvantages of powder coating?

As with anything, despite its multitude of advantages, powder coating does have a handful of drawbacks – namely the high start-up costs. So, if you’re looking to coat a one-off item, powder coating may not be the right choice for you. Powder can also be affected by regular exposure to UV rays so won’t be the best choice for substrates located in direct sunlight and the preparation process is likely to take a fair amount of time as the part will have to be grounded prior to application. Powder coating also isn’t suitable for all materials, if you’re coating anything like rubber, wood or plastic (essentially anything that doesn’t respond well to high temperatures) then it’s best to opt for paint. It’s also worth noting that it’s not easy to touch up when damage occurs.

What are the differences between paint and powder coating?

The biggest difference between traditional paint and powder coating is solvents. Paint requires additional solvents to keep it in its liquid form. Powder coating is generally solvent free as they’re applied in solid form.

What are the advantages of paint?

Paint has been used to great effect for centuries so it must be doing something right. Unlike powder coating, paint can be used on objects that can’t be heated as no high temps are required to dry it. There are an almost limitless amount of colourways available so if you’re looking for a decorative paint, your options are vast. It also has the ability to produce a thin finish which isn’t possible with the thick coating created with powder. Finally, it’s cost effective. Paint has been around for many years meaning it’s easier and cheaper to procure not just the paint itself but also the right tools and material.

What are the disadvantages of paint?

In comparison to powder coating. Paint is less durable and will require regular maintenance to always look it’s best. It takes a highly skilled applicator to ensure an even finish without two or more coats. What’s more paint is likely to emit more VOCs so special measures should be taken to ensure the work environment meets the required health and safety standards.

Should I use powder coating or wet paint on my next job?

Of course, individuals will all have differing opinions and requirements for various jobs but as a general rule of thumb, we’d say opt for powder coating if you need a durable, protective coating that won’t be exposed to the elements. On the other hand if you’re working outdoors or you’re looking to save on costs then paint is the superior choice. In essence, it depends on you and your job.

If you’d like advice on which coating is right for your job then contact a member of our expert team today.

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