Four Powder Coating Terms You Should Know

Savvy shoppers do their research. In order to advocate for yourself, you have to know the lingo. That’s particularly true if you’re in the market for services (i.e., powder coating).

Here are four powder coating terms you should know before you talk to a pro.


This simply means spraying powder. We use powder coating guns – “shooting” is a logical nickname for what we do. My team uses “shooting” and “spraying” interchangeably.


Say you’re painting your house with a sprayer, and it looks great. But when you’re done, you notice droplets of your color all over the neighbor’s place. That’s overspray. It works a bit differently in the powder booth – since the part is grounded and the powder is charged, powder is literally attracted to the part, and less likely to wind up elsewhere. On the other hand, powder is also more likely to wrap around corners and coat areas of the part that you might have been trying to avoid. That kind of overspray can be a big challenge for powder coaters.

Intercoat Adhesion

Anytime you’re spraying more than one coat of powder, you have to pay attention to the way that the layers adhere to one another. You don’t want your top coat falling off of your primer. The simplest way to avoid disaster is to gel the first coat (i.e., take it out of the oven right as it’s starting to turn from dusty powder to powder coating), and wait until the second coat is applied before fully curing the part. This will promote intercoat adhesion.


Powder coating cures around 400 degrees F. That’s a temperature at which liquids boil and trapped gasses like to escape from metal substrates, causing tiny bubbles and craters in the powder’s surface. This is called outgassing. The simplest way to avoid damage is to heat the part before coating it, allowing the gasses to release. Surface contamination can also cause outgassing, so make sure you’re pretreating your parts properly before coating them.

What other finishing industry terms can I demystify? Put them in the comments.




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