The Comparison: Liquid Coating vs. Powder Coating
Before you can decide what kind of coating you should use on your project, there are some things you need to determine about the utility and state of the object(s).
- How durable will the object’s coating need to be?
- Does the thickness of the coating matter?
- Will the object be indoors or outdoors?
Each coating has its own strengths and characteristics, and it is important to play to these in order to have the best fitting coating for your project. Here is a breakdown of both powder coating and liquid coating to help you determine which would be best for you
What is Liquid Coating?
Liquid coating is the process in which liquid paint is applied to your objects using either a pump, spray or pressurized vessel. The wet paint is applied until there is an even coat at the required thickness.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a form of dry coating that is applied to your object electrostatically. Once the powder is adhered to the item, it is then cured in an oven under a high heat to turn the powder into a durable and opaque “skin.” Due to this application process, powder coating is ideal for metal items, but can also be used on other materials that can conduct a charge an endure high heats.
Durability and Longevity
Between liquid coatings and powder coatings, powder coatings are much more durable and longer lasting than liquid coatings. Surfaces that have been coated with a wet paint will need to be touched and maintained more often than one that has been powder coated. This is why powder coating is usually the popular choice for objects that are exposed to the elements and/or used in situations that encounter mechanical stress.
Due to how it is applied, powder coatings create a consistent and opaque coat with just one pass. Since the powder is heated up into a gel, there are no corrections that need to be taken for runs or drips. Powder coatings also don’t require any stirring, mixing, adjustments or additions like liquid coatings do, so the potential for coat variation is much lower. An even finish can also be obtained with liquid coating, but it will likely take more than one coat to get the desired opacity.
Though powder coating usually only needs one coat, that definitely doesn’t mean that it has the thinnest coat. After the powder coated item is placed in the oven and the powder is heated up to form a gel, the coating becomes quite dense and thick. Trying to create a thin powder coated finish can end up compromising the coating’s texture. For a thinner coat, liquid coating is your better choice.