Two Warnings for Anyone Considering Custom Powder Coating

My advice to anyone who wants a custom powder coating color is very simple, and always the same: don’t do it.

Is it possible to create a custom powder that matches the exact color you want? Yes. Is it necessary sometimes? Also yes. But the road to custom powder coating is long and full of challenges. Heed my warnings before you embark on this journey.

Be prepared to wait.

I (the powder coater) receive a color sample from you (the customer). I send that sample to the lab, where the powder coating will be created. Already, we are at the mercy of the lab’s lead time, which could be quite long.

It’s not uncommon for the lab to make several test batches before landing on a match. They ship me the sample panel, and I decide whether it’s worthy to be shared with you (if not, I send it back and have them start again). We go round and round until all parties approve, at which point the lab schedules the actual powder production.

This whole process takes forever and doesn’t account for my shop’s lead time, which hovers around 4-6 weeks, depending on the season.

Be prepared to spend.

Material costs are high for custom powder coating. Why? Because we’re talking about low volumes of a very specific color, made only for you. The manufacturer stops all other production, cleans their equipment, sets everything up for your color, and runs batches until they get it right. This costs money.

It’s worth noting that if you ordered 50 lbs of powder and the lab makes 65, they’ll charge you for 65 lbs of powder coating. This, of course, is on top of what it will cost for my shop to coat your part.

Depending on where everyone lives, we have to account for mail costs. Shipping sample panels back and forth via Next Day Air adds up.

Powder coaters, if you’ve had this conversation with your customer and they still want to proceed, there are things you can to do make the process less painful. I get into them here. 


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