Search #powdercoating on Instagram, and you’ll see hot pink wheels with contrasting inlays, metallic powders layered like galaxies, and neon green car parts with clear coat so thick you could get lost in it.
It’s beautiful. It’s also very niche.
Most people don’t realize that the sparkly neon powder coating they see on Instagram requires three coats: a base (usually white or silver), an intermediate coat (typically brightly colored, slightly metallic, and very translucent), and a clear coat to protect the fast-fading color from the elements.
Spraying three coats of powder is always time consuming, but even more so when two of those coats are see-through. If any of the three coatings is less than perfect, the coater has to take the part back down to bare metal and start again. It’s meticulous work.
That’s why these coaters specialize in one-off custom projects. They stock low quantities of very cool, very expensive powders, and they – rightfully – charge an arm and a leg to apply it. They’re artists, putting out unique or small-batch work that’s prized for its aesthetics.
Kaser specializes in a very different type of powder coating.
I raise this topic because it can be a source of frustration for general public customers, who don’t understand why we turn down requests for detailed, custom projects requiring high-maintenance colors. I respect that kind of work, and would happily recommend shops in the area that do it well…it’s just not the kind of powder coating I do.
Large runs of industrial parts are Kaser’s bread and butter. We coat tens-of-thousands of pounds of parts a week, all of which are destined for hard labor in harsh environments. We aim to be durable, efficient, and cost-effective, and the colors we stock reflect that.
What you see on Instagram is none of those things.
Do we ever deviate from our stock colors? Yes, for the right project. If an industrial client tells me they’d like 10,000 parts done in a specific metallic powder coating, we’ll order it in bulk, spray a few test parts, make sure the customer is pleased, and then proceed with the project. We do it all the time.
However, I can’t justify a bulk order special powder for one lawn chair, and I’ve found that customers tend to get sticker shock when I quote them what it’ll cost to order (and apply) a small batch of the powder they want.
It should come as a surprise to no one that Instagram leans very heavily toward a small, niche area of powder coating that’s devoted almost entirely to aesthetics. Yes, that powder coating exists, and yes, it’s impressive; but you’ll have to find your artist, and get ready to pay.
If durability and price point are important to you, good news: you have options. Give us a call.