How to Master Powder Coat Paint - Painting Techniques

Powder coat paint is one custom painting procedure that will really put your custom chopper ahead of the pack. You want to know how to powder coat metals for fun and profit? Powder coating's not just for bikes; it can be used on everything from bikes to counter tops in your home! You can try customizing a car by painting parts of the engine with black wrinkle coat powder paint or coordinate the metal with the color of the exterior paint. Coat a couple of polished stainless steel parts with translucent powder in colors and they are colorful and shiny enough to hang as ornaments on a Christmas tree! Talk about sharp! Once you learn how to powder coat you will be putting a powder coat finish on just about everything in sight! What is it that makes this coating so different from plain old paint? The answer is that powder coat paint is nothing more than a fine mix of ground pigments and resin. The coating process is pretty unique, too. Yes, it's easy to learn how to powder coat. You put your selected metal pieces on a rack where they will be sprayed and received the powder coat finish. Powder coating is a process by which selected items are sprayed with a powder coat gun and coated with the fine powder mixture. Then just like a Betty Crocker in biker black leather, pop them into the oven for heating and curing. I would suggest that you set aside a special powder coat oven to be used for this purpose alone. A powder coat finish is pretty but may not taste too good to be good for your health.

The temperature needed to make the powder coat paint pigments melt would be somewhere around 400 degrees give or take a little. This is what makes up the unique and durable finish. And when I say durable, I mean durable. This finish beats stock paint hands down at resisting damage from chemicals or your average run of the mill scratches. Once you learn how to powder coat metals, you realize that it's not for decorative purposes alone. The powder coat finish surpasses any kind of paint for the purpose of preserving metals. Ok, so now you understand, here's one of those stand out deals that will really get everybody talking about your abilities as an artist and make your engine parts or frame colors almost bullet proof in the bargain. Buff up a few rides by combining several different painting techniques with some powder coat paint thrown in for good measure. Believe me, you will soon be powder coating your butt off! Believe me, you'll have more friends (and maybe a few customers) than you've got time! Use your imagination, get a one of a kind look at a super cheap price with a minimum amount of equipment. You can get started with the purchase of a few powder coat paint supplies, an electric stove or toaster oven and a powder coat paint gun! The beginner startup costs for any hobby would be comparable and model planes and cars don't touch this stuff.

Powdercoating is not that new. It's just that with all the custom garage shows on television, the public is becoming more familiar with all the slick stuff that can be done with it. The West Coast Chopper guys have done a lot to educate the public to all the ways they can personalize a bike building project. The drawback is that they don't really give step by step instructions on how a novice or an amateur would go about doing a powder coat paint project. If you want a good bit of aluminum or iron done, it would be a great idea to take the time to learn to do it yourself. Powder coat paint if done by professionals can be expensive.

If you just don't have the time to spare, there are lots of qualified companies that will do the job for you according to your specs. But I hope I'm convincing you to try your hand at it at least one time. So, get ready to break out the powder coat paint chart and pick out your favorite from the rainbow of colors out there! That's right, you don't have to do everything in black wrinkle powder coat, you can finish your stuff as slick as you want!

Here's a partial list of some of the stuff that can be powder coated:

  • Wheels and Rims

  • Vehicle Bumpers
  • Various pieces of trim
  • Engine Parts such as Valve Covers
  • Sway Bars
  • Struts
  • Coil Springs
  • Custom Chopper frames

If you opt to contract the job, there are two ways to proceed. Online companies keep a stock of popular items as core parts that they will powder coat for you. Once the process has been completed you ship your parts back to them for core. For custom powder coat paint jobs, you will remove the parts yourself, pack them and ship them to the powder coating company.

These are just some of the popular applications. Actually, just about any metal if properly prepped can be powdercoated. I have been told that it won't stick to chrome no matter how hard you try, but I still believe that if you get the surface ready according to instructions it will work.

Are you still not convinced? Ok, I'm going to layout some over-simplified instructions here on how to get the job done yourself. Don't get too cocky, the process is more detailed and you will need more detailed instruction, but the rudimentary basics of powder coat paint follow. This is just so that you'll know that you can do a few rims or scrap pieces if for no other reason than to show them off and impress your friends.

STEP 1. This is probably the most important, and yes boring, part: Your item must be completely clean. This means anything between the powder coat and the bare metal is BAD! You've got to get rid of any existing paint, crud or whatever through the use of sandblasting, chemicals or scrubbing like hell. I mentioned boring; did I neglect to say this is also labor intensive and tedious? Well, there you have it. Nothing worthwhile is a piece of cake. This step in powder coating is what will determine the overall success or failure. Ok, then you bake the stuff to get rid of any remaining moisture. Once scrubbed and baked, you degrease it to prevent future corrosion issues.

How easy is that? Well, I know getting the metal squeaky clean is a difficult process (read: pain in the butt), but believe me it's better than picking a failed paint job apart and starting from scratch.

Moving Forward:

Ok, then you put the stuff on baking racks, spray it, bake it and with any luck at all you will have perfect powder coated parts! Well, there's more to it than that, such as you'll need a compressor capable of powering your paint gun. If you have a friend who uses power tools or has a garage, ask him if you can use his compressor for a few hours. If you are afraid you will go out and run up a big bill on powder coat supplies or buy the wrong ingredients, there are businesses that sell kits to the do-it-yourself-er for about a hundred bucks.

If you have read all the instructions, directions and information above very carefully, the process and procedure of powder coat painting is not shrouded in a web of mystery any longer. The next time your biker buddies bring up powder coating you can speak with knowledge and authority and throw out some real facts that will blow their minds.

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