Paint is applied in various ways, two of the most common being powder versus liquid. Before we get into the differences, what is powder coating?
Powder Coating is a type of colour application for metal substrates that is extremely durable. It creates a durable physical layered coating over an object and is formulated using polyester, epoxy, nylon, and polyurethane with additions of metallics. The formula comes in a fine dry powder that gets sprayed onto electrostatically charged metal surfaces for maximum adherence. The part is cured in an oven / furnace where the powder liquifies and turns into a uniform surface.
Just like liquid paints, it is available in a vast array of colours, textures and finishes. However it is considered to be more efficient and eco-friendly due to the ease of reuse, disposal and that it does not release as much Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere. It lasts much longer, and is much more durable than liquid paints.
The downside of powder coating is that due to its curing process, objects that are made of multiple parts must be disassembled and removed of anything that could melt in the process such as plastic. The coating is so durable that after it is coated, parts will no longer disassemble without either breaking the coating or removing it completely.
How to Choose Between Liquid vs Powder Coat
At Rice Rocket Powder Coating we work with automotive items daily such as rims. And we commonly work with customers who have previously tried a liquid spray for their wheels. Due to the nature of the item, being outdoors and hit with weather elements daily, liquid sprays available at hardware stores tend to flake off after a short period of time. This is also true for calipers. The misconception of these two systems often makes the consumer an easy target. It can be very easy for a business to charge premium prices for a coating that will not last as long as it should because it’s hard to tell while it is still brand new. There is nothing wrong with spray paint refinishing calipers, but many places charge a premium price for a coating that may last only a month. Luckily there are some tell-tale signs to determine what process was used.
1) If the part was sprayed while still attached to a vehicle, liquid paint was used. Powder coating requires the parts to be disassembled because it is cured in an oven / furnace at 400 degrees F.
2) If the part is plastic it cannot be powder coated because it would melt in the oven. And if there are plastic components on/in your metal object it would need to be removed.
3) Uniform surface: Liquid paints can have a grainy finish, not a uniform smooth glossy finish.
When determining what kind of coating system is best for your project, it’s best to visit your local paint shop or powder coating shop to get an idea of what the business offers. Our shop carries approximately 100 colours in stock that are displayed in our showroom. When you visit us in Brampton, our staff will help you select the exact colour and finish you want or help to inspire you with what is available in the vast world of powder coating.