Good shopping means asking the right questions. This is true for just about anything money can buy, and powder coating is no exception.
I’m not talking about the powder coating service, this time. I’m talking about the powder itself. No matter who you choose as your service provider, there are a few things you – as an educated consumer – should know about the physical powder being applied to your part.
Let’s say you’re calling around for a quote to get your front porch railing powder coated. If you’re hearing vastly different numbers from the shops in your area, it’s likely that the cheaper ones are using cheaper powder, and the more expensive ones are using more expensive powder.
As with many consumer goods, a higher price tag on your powder coating (typically) correlates with a better-quality product.
When I say “quality,” I’m talking about two very specific indicators: gloss, and color retention.
On the less expensive end of the powder spectrum, you have what’s called “regular durable” powder. Generally speaking, this powder will hold up for about a year before your bright red fades to pink and your high gloss dulls to a chalkier finish. This degradation has nothing to do with how the powder coating was applied, and everything to do with the powder itself: the most skilled powder coating professional in the world will not be able to make a regular durable powder coating’s gloss and color last longer than its chemistry dictates.
By contrast, “super durable” powder will hold its color and gloss for five years. Sure, there may be a little bit of variation over time depending on the part’s exposure to UV light, but you won’t see noticeable fading or chalking unless you’re holding up a sample panel for comparison. Unsurprisingly, this higher-quality powder coating comes at a higher price point.
I encourage you, as the customer, to ask your powder coating professionals what powder they’re using. It’s your front porch railing, after all – you should have a say in the quality of its coating.
The more you know, the glossier you’ll stay.