Pretreatment Options for Every Budget

Pretreatment can be very sophisticated or super simple, and quite frankly, you can get a good quality part either way. So what are your pretreatment options, and how do you pick the best one for your budget?

You can pretreat parts with a bucket and a rag.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to achieve good pretreatment with a bucket and a rag. Your first objective is to clean the part: soak the rag with chemical, and start wiping. This will take a while. As your rag gets soiled, replace it with a fresh one.

Once the part is clean, your next step is to apply a conversion coating. There are chemical suppliers who will formulate a conversion coating that can be put on by hand with a rag. Soak the rag with your water chemical mixture and wipe it across the part. Slowly but surely, this will build a conversion coating on the part.

You can pretreat parts with a weed sprayer.

You’ll actually need several weed sprayers – one for each stage. Get one weed sprayer for degreaser. Get another weed sprayer set up with water. Get a third weed sprayer set up with a conversion coating. This setup can be used for a three-stage pretreatment process.

Bear in mind that weed sprayers don’t apply much pressure. You’re very lightly applying chemical to the part, which means that it’ll take longer to remove grease and oil than it would take with a pressure wand (or even by hand). 

You can pretreat parts with a pressure washer.

This setup is ideal, but it’s also the most expensive. Pressure washers are robust pieces of equipment that will save you tons of time, and allow you to set up a repeatable 3-5 stage pretreatment process involving pressure and heat.

That pressure means that you’ll need to build an enclosed wash bay. You can’t have water flying around the shop. This requires space and capital, two resources that could be in short supply for new powder coaters. No problem – you can achieve good pretreatment without this.

Powder coaters, you have options when it comes to pretreatment. There’s a wide range in sophistication between a bucket and a rag and a pressure washer, but no matter what you use, the end goal is a good high quality pretreated part. That goal is achievable no matter which route you take. Learn more here.



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