Powder Coating vs. Wet Paint: Which Is the Better Sheet Metal Finishing Method?

Spray painting and powder coating are excellent ways to add protection to any steel that you’ll use for your project. While both methods share similarities, each has its drawbacks and limitations.

Understanding which sheet metal finishing method is best for your products is a must. To do so, you need to understand each of its principles and processes. By getting an idea of its benefits and drawbacks, you can choose which one will best suit your project.

Powder coating

Powder coating is a finishing process where an expert applies a coating electrostatically to a surface of a dry powder. Most experts usually do it once it’s free-floating and before applying heat to complete the layer. Manufacturers often use products such as polyurethane to produce powder coating.

Other materials used are straight epoxy and polyester-epoxy. Most people often choose powder coating because of its solid finish. It means that it lasts longer than conventional painting. Also, it only requires one coat to complete the process, so it’s quick, easy, and much more affordable, too.

However, powder coating has its disadvantages, too. Since the powder coating produces a solid finish, it’ll be challenging to produce thin finishes. It can be problematic, especially if the polymer creates a bumpy texture. They’d either just let it be or repeat the entire process to fix the issue.

Second, you’d almost have to pay a similar amount even if you’re working on a smaller sheet metal job. That’s because powder coating requires an electrostatic booth to complete the process. Other pieces of equipment include spray materials and an oven.

Wet painting

wet paint

Wet paint is a more traditional way of adding protection to a metal sheet. After having a custom metal laser in Utah, professional craftsmen will then apply liquid paint to the metal product for finishing. Most fabrication processes use either a pressurized vessel, a pump, or a spray to apply the paint evenly.

The process requires thorough cleaning before wet-blasting the liquid paint on the surface of the metal object. Metal fabricators will continue to apply the paint until they’ve evenly coated the material with their desired thickness. The entire process can get complicated.

Also, the results depend on the metal that the fabricators are working on now. Unlike metal powder coating, you can touch up any imperfections with another layer of paint. It’s beneficial when the metal surface produced tiny air bubbles as you try to spray its surface.

It’s also perfect for projects that need a thin finish since it creates a lesser density compared to powder coating. But like powder coating, it also comes with its own drawbacks. The main issue with wet paint is its durability.

It’s not as durable as powder coating. That means that you might have to redo everything all over again once it gets damaged. Also, since it’s liquid, it’ll be tricky to get the same perfect finish.

Deciding which one is the best process will depend on your project. So, to help you decide better, it’s best to consider the metal sheet that you’re working on and if any of the finishes will work well with it.

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