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How to Paint Over Powder Coat

For durable and lasting protection of metal surfaces, powder coating is an excellent choice. The convenient alternative to traditional paint looks good and protects against the elements, along with wear and tear. 

Even though powder coating provides a beautiful, stylish surface, it does wear down over time. That might leave you wondering how to paint over powder coat and whether you should.

It’s possible to paint over a powder-coated surface, but there are some key details to keep in mind before you try. The good news is that this article will tell you what you need to know. Contact us for all your metal fabrication needs, including powder coat finishing.

What Is Powder Coat?

First, you need to understand what powder coat is and how it’s different from liquid paint. To start, you need to know what you’re working with to get a good result.

While powder coating provides a finish resembling a fine paint job, it’s not the same

The coating uses a fine powder made up of pigment and other compounds to adhere the pigment to the metal. The glossy finish is resistant to chemicals, wear, and chipping, which is ideal for durability.

It also means that a powder-coated surface is tricky to paint over.

technician showing how to paint over powder coat

Challenges to Painting Over Powder Coat

The strengths of powder coating are what make it a challenge to cover with liquid paint and other traditional pigments. The combination of process and the components in the powder coat creates a very slick surface.

Of course, if almost nothing will stick to it, most paint will not adhere to the surface easily either.

Another issue to keep in mind is the condition of the metal underneath the powder coating. Powder coating helps prevent environmental stresses, but it doesn’t eliminate them. 

Over time, different areas of the powder-coating may wear away, but the process can be uneven. As a result, oxidation can attack the metal underneath, creating a surface that won’t cooperate with paint.

How to Paint Over Powder Coat Properly

The best option is to take your powder-coated metal to a qualified professional, who will approach the issue with a few key guidelines. If the coating is completely intact, the technician will lightly sand it. This creates a rougher surface to which the paint can adhere.

If the powder coating has worn away in some places but not in others, the technician may go ahead and sand off the coating entirely. This ensures a consistent surface for the paint application.

If areas of the underlying metal are oxidized, the technician makes sure to get rid of all rust before moving forward. Rust will continue eating away at the metal underneath the paint, increasing the risk of flaking and chipping.

powder coat samples on metal plates

Find Out More About Powder Coating and Other Finishing Options

If you want to spruce up your powder-coated metal, there are a few different approaches you can take. Painting over the coating is one option, but it requires a lot of additional work to get the best results.

If you’re unsure of whether painting is your best option or if there might be other affordable methods to protect your metal, Glenn Metalcraft can help you decide on the right course of action. 

At Glenn Metalcraft, our mission is to provide innovative, single-source solutions. Check out the rest of our site for more solutions, or reach out to us to find out how we can help.

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Welding

Complete Guide to Welding Types and What Each Means

What are the Different Types of Welding?

Since ancient Egypt, humans have welded base metal in one way, shape or form. Welding does not get the credit it deserves, but few skills human beings have created have had as much of an impact on the average person’s daily life.

Here are the major welding techniques, how they were or are used. Keep reading to learn how you can determine the types of welding processes you need for any projects you are working on.

And for a quote on welding services, contact Glenn Metalcraft today.

Welding’s Impact

A finished weld.

Just about everywhere you look, various forms of welding affect our lives. Your vehicle, furniture, appliances, even some electronics have some form of welding (which is different from soldering.) From the early days of forge welding through today’s most computer-driven, semi-automatic, and sophisticated welding methods, welding has helped us bond metal to create things that truly enhance our lives.

Forge Welding

Forge welding was the earliest form of welding. It started with ancient Egypt and spawned blacksmithing. It involves heating two metals to the point of a molten status and then pounding them into a single metal object.

Braze Welding

What are the different types of welding? Braze welding is a welding method.

This type of welding goes far back as well. Braze welding has been found in archeological sites worldwide. It was used for bonding bronze, silver, gold, and steel. This type of welding is still used today, primarily when working with softer metals that melt under lower temperatures.

Arc Welding

An industrial welder using the arc welding method.

Arc welding is the most common form of welding and was developed in England and France in the early 1800s. It uses an electrical pulse to melt metal at extremely high temperatures and carry it across a joint via an arc to fill the arc with an incredibly strong bond.

Arc welding came into prominence during World War I and eventually became a primary bonding method in modern manufacturing. In the war (and subsequent wars,) it was a vital tool in repairing ships quickly so they could return to battle or be retrofitted with new equipment.

Arc welding has improved in equipment, safety, cost, and weld quality and is now used in several different forms for various purposes. A few of the more common methods of welding are outlined below.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

What are the different types of welding? MIG welding is a type of welding shown here.

MIG welding is exceptionally simple but produces high-quality welds, and because of that, it is a favorite for many new welders. The welding process occurs by feeding wand-based filler metal into the portion of the weld that is arced, while gas expels to shield it from external elements.

It is not generally used to weld metals outside because of the need for a gas shield. It can be used, though, for many different types of thickness, making it a “go-to” for simple type welds. The wire serves as the electrode and melts when the arc travels from the tip of the wire to the base metal. This action creates a pool that hardens into a weld.

The arc process is controlled by the welder, which allows them to proceed at their own pace. When completed, a MIG weld is smooth, tight, and very linear.

Stick Welding Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

A welder stick welding.

Stick welding is the most used type of welding for non-complex projects because it is easy to learn, inexpensive, and easy to perfect. The downside to stick welding is that it splatters a lot, depending on the welder’s skill. The splatter makes cleanup afterwards nearly inevitable.

An arc from the stick to the base metal is created, and the stick serves as the filler metal. The arc will generate heat and flux, coat the stick, vaporize, and protect the metal from oxidation. It can be used outdoors and in adverse weather, including rain, ice, snow, and wind. Additionally, stick welding works on rusted, dirty, and painted surfaces.

Another upside to this welding method is that there are many electrode types, and they are easy to swap. This flexibility makes stick welding very versatile and able to work with most metals, including stainless steel. Because the process will create heat, it is not the ideal welding method for thin metals.

TIG – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

A closeup of TIG welding

This type of welding uses a tungsten electrode and requires no filler metal, meaning that you can join the two metals directly. Shielding gas is needed for this type of welding, and it protects the weld from external elements. There is no splatter, and the bond is incredibly precise.

Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Flux Cored Arc Welding at a construction site.

FCAW uses a wire as the electrode, which has a core of flux that creates a gas shield around the weld. FCAW is best with thicker, heavier metals, making it a favorite for repairing heavy equipment and components with large metal seams, like barges. The FCAW process is clean, does not need external gas, and is affordable.

Plasma Arc Welding

A smaller arc helps create a very precision-oriented weld with Plasma Arc Welding. This method also uses a different type of torch, which runs much hotter than a traditional torch. The torch is so hot that even base metals can melt, allowing plasma welding with no filler metal.

Plasma Arc welding creates deep weld penetration on relatively narrow weld channels. Plasma Arc Welding produces attractive welds that are exceptionally strong. It can also be accomplished at very high speeds, making it ideal for some forms of manufacturing.

Other Types of Welding

A finished welding seam on sheet metal.

While the welding methods outlined above are the most popular, several other types of welding are also frequently used. Each of these methods are used in hybrid situations, usually in some form of manufacturing. A few include:

  • Laser Beam Welding
  • Electron Beam Welding
  • Electroslag
  • Atomic Hydrogen Welding

What are the Different Types of Welding: Final Thoughts

A welder working.

Generally, the two most popular types of welding, stick, and MIG (GMAW), are used because they are easy, require little specialized equipment, are inexpensive, and the weld produced is superior and great looking. They are the most popular because anyone from beginner to expert can do them with little training time.

For more information on welding, contact Glenn Metalcraft.