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When it comes to metal finishing, you have two options - powder coating or liquid paint. But what's better for metal fabrication? Why is powder coating a smarter choice than wet paint?

Liquid paint application has been the traditional approach for metal finishing. However, it has several limitations, which we'll discuss at length later. On the other hand, powder coating is a modern approach to metal fabrication that provides a higher-quality finish with enhanced durability and less environmental impact.

Let's talk about powder coating at length.

What is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a dry finishing process used across a wide range of industries. Powder coating is applied through an electrostatic process and subsequently cured by heat. The result is a high-quality finish that excels in form and function.

The powder is composed of a polymer resin combination with several additives like pigments, flow modifiers, leveling agents, etc. These ingredients are melted together, cooled, and grounded to form powder.

Powder coating results in incredibly durable finishes. It can be used on many surfaces other than metal - like plastc, steel, and even concrete, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Powder coating causes long-lasting and cost-effective finishes without any detrimental effect on the environment.

How is Powder Coating Applied?

Powder coatings are mostly applied by an electrostatic spray gun. The following steps are involved during powder coating metal surfaces:

Step 1. Preparation

Preparation is the first and perhaps most important step of powder coating. The surface to be coated must be cleaned properly by sandblasting or applying phosphate rinse. This is important to remove any contaminants on the surface that may hinder adhesion.

Step 2. Application of Powder

The powder is then sprayed via an electrostatic gun onto a grounded metal surface. The opposite charge of the powder in the gun is instantly attracted towards the grounded metal surface.

Step 3. Curing

Now that the powder is applied onto the surface, it has to be cured at high temperatures depending on the type of coating to be achieved.

Some items may require additional layers of coating. In this case, the same process is followed once again from step 2.

While there are other methods for powder coating as well, this method mentioned above is the most common. It eliminates any overspray wastage that is caused by liquid paint.

One of the major reasons why powder coating has substituted liquid paint is due to the former's ability to add more layers to achieve the desired thickness. Thicker coatings offer more protection to the metal and increase its longevity.

Durability & Longevity of Powder Coating

Powder coating results in a highly durable finish on a multitude of surfaces. The chemical bond on each coating makes it much superior to liquid paint and suitable for several components like machinery and daily items. It is highly resistant to extreme weather and physical wear and tear, which means you don't have to worry about scratches, chips, fading, and other forms of abrasion.

Powder coatings are also long-lasting, though it depends on several factors. From the quality of pretreatment to the type of powder used, several considerations play a part in determining the longevity of powder coatings.

On average, powder coating can last for up to 20 years. However, consistent usage and exposure to natural elements can cause it to break down faster.

Fortunately, you have the option of various coatings that have different lifespans. For example, certain polymers and urethanes last longer than other coatings, making them suitable for outdoor products that have to resist hard weather conditions. On the other hand, Epoxy coatings are used for long-lasting finishes on indoor items.

Why Choose Powder Coating Over Liquid Paint?

Powder coatings have several advantages apart from durability and long-lasting results. You are spoiled for choice with numerous finishes and colors available. It also provides a host of other benefits over traditional painting. Let's take a look:

Less Wastage

Due to the electrostatic spraying method, there's almost zero wastage during powder coating application. Moreover, an experienced applicator can apply the desired amount of powder in a single application. The items don't require to be dried between applications, making the whole process cost-effective and time-efficient.


Powder coatings don't require additional layers of coating for thickness, making it a cost-efficient alternative to liquid paint. All materials are consumed as per the project specifications, making powder coating less costly than liquid paint.

High Durability

As established earlier, powder coating is a much more durable option than other finishing methods. The powder forms chemical bonds during the electrostatic process creating a heavy-duty finish that's resistant to corrosion, wear, and flaking.

Wide Range of Colors & Textures

The biggest advantage of powder coating is that it comes with a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes - making it apt for custom projects. Leading powder brands blend in unique colors, textures, and finishes for a comprehensive range of options and greater versatility.


The powder is free from toxic chemicals and solvents. The application process results in no discharge of harmful chemicals and very little wastage. On the other hand, liquid paint consists of volatile compounds that are harmful to the environment.

Lesser Maintenance

Powder coating is also incredibly easy to maintain without requiring cleaners or solvents. There's also no concern about rust or corrosion due to its high resistance. Simply soapy water and a dry cloth are enough to keep your parts clean.

Wrapping Up

It's easy to see how powder coating is a simple process with several advantages over wet paint. However, DIY powder coating should be done with extreme caution.

With the right equipment and expertise, powder coating leaves a high-quality finish with several options, no wastage, and less time. At Rusty Lions, we have trained and licensed applicators with two decades of experience in powder coating.

We can complete any project with a tough and durable finish with eco-friendliness and cost-efficiency.

Get in touch with us for more details.

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