When To Use Powder Coating Instead Of Paint For Your Restoration Or Repair Project

21 October 2022
 Categories: , Blog


On any restoration project, there are decisions to make, and painting parts of the vehicle means deciding what to paint and what needs something more durable. Powder coating is an excellent option in places on the car that have the potential to be chipped or damaged, and it looks great when the application follows good prep work.

Understanding Powder Coating

Powder coating is so named because the material is a powder that is made by combining polymer resin, flow agents, curative agents, and color pigments. The material comes as a powder the painter sprays through a modified paint gun that adds a positive charge to the powder as it is applied. The metal component is grounded to ensure the powder and the metal bond.

The parts are heated in a large oven to melt all the components in the powder and create a beautiful smooth coating with a very high durability rating. After the material and the parts cool, they will be well protected, and the finish will last longer than standard paint. 

Using Powder Coating On Your Vehicle

When working on a restoration project or a custom car/truck, powder coating can offer the durability you need in places where standard paint could chip. A frame, suspension parts, axles, and many moving parts like springs can benefit from powder coating if you want them to look great and stand up to road debris long term. 

Powder paints can have custom pigments added to match the finish to the rest of the car, or you may want to use colors that offset the vehicle. The color options are vast, and many powder coating services offer custom colors if you can provide a sample for them to match. 

A car with the undercarriage visible could have a black frame and color-matched bracketry mounted to the rails. You may want to offset the springs to ensure they stand out with a bright color independent of the rest of the vehicle, or the same color to blend everything in for a subtle look. 

Preparing Your Parts

When preparing for powder coating, it is critical that the parts are smooth and free of grease, paint, and other materials to ensure good adhesion. Media blasting everything is often the best option, and some powder coaters will handle that for you. 

If you already have parts that are clean and ready for powder coating, the process is faster but still requires several days to spray and cure the product. In most cases, the turnaround on parts will be a week or more. In a busy shop, you could have a much longer wait, but the shop manager can give you an idea of the timeline when you drop off your parts.