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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