The Road to Custom Color

Color carries meaning.

The right color can build a brand, create an atmosphere, and make a statement. It has the power to capture attention, or deflect it. Whether you’re using it as a spotlight or as camouflage, color matters.

At Kaser, color is our livelihood. We stock a wide range of powder coating color options, and if a customer comes in with a specific color request, we’re proud to offer custom color matching.

Custom colors are often the key to achieving our customers’ vision, but they require patience.

Unlike the latex paint on your living room walls, powder coating can’t be custom-colored by inputting a formula into the Home Depot computer. Powders also can’t be mixed: red powder plus blue powder does not make purple – it makes red and blue speckles.

That’s why we send custom color requests out to a powder manufacturer.

The manufacturer analyzes the color sample in a lab, and formulates a blend of raw materials with the proper color pigments to match the sample. They feed the ingredients through an extruder, which melts and mixes the raw materials into a gooey plastic dough. The end result of the extrusion process is a polymer in a thin solid form. For the final step, the manufacturer grinds the solid into a powder.

The freshly ground powder is sprayed out on a sample panel and cured in an oven. If the powder coated panel doesn’t match the color sample, the formulation is adjusted, and the process begins again. The manufacturer often starts over two or three times before achieving the desired result. This can take up to two weeks.

When the manufacturer is confident that the color is right, they will spray it onto a panel, which gets shipped to us. We confirm with the customer before placing the order, and then wait an additional three weeks for the lab to create more powder and ship it to us.

From start to finish, custom color matching can add a month or more to the powder coating process. In my experience, it’s worth every minute.

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