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Painting VS. Powder Coating

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I have never had anything Powder Coated before. Is there one method that is better than the other?  Is the prep for each one different? Which one is

 

tougher than the other. Is one more suited for a trailer queen vs. a tractor that's going to work. I need some education here from you restore guru's

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Martin Howard is the expert powder coater member on Red Square.   I am sure he will pipe in soon!

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before and after deck refurb.  this was a $75 vertical shaft deck that I converted over.  powder coat wont fill any pits and while there maybe some sort of heatable metal filler (Martin will know), my guy hasnt had good luck with it.

 

RDdeck_zps33343588.jpeg

 

newdeck_zpscb4f2753.jpeg

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I use powder for all of mine, more convenient for me as i work with it everyday. while i am probably going to give a biased opinion towards the powder, it is based on the fact that its the most economical and time saving method for me. 

if you can find an economical coater that does reasonable work then you are set. powder is expensive compared to rattle cans but in the end if you are doing the whole tractor it can save you a bunch of time. if you are doing a professional wet paint finish, the costs are about the same, but the powder won't look as nice as its more of an industrial type finish.

 

if you are going to powder, the parts must be stripped to bare metal either by blasting or chemical stripping. parts must also be able to survive the cure oven at 375-400 degrees f. ferrous and non ferrous metals are good parts to powder coat, the parts must be able to conduct an electrical current with almost all powder equipment available, although there is technology available for doing plastics and wood products (most powder coating places won't have this ability- my place of employment included). powder won't make rust pitted parts look good, it will protect them but it takes more than a coat of powder to smooth out rough metal.

 

advantages of painting and powder for my perspective......

 

painting (rattlecans or similar). 

quick for small parts, can do at home easily, can paint parts not able to be totally disassembled easily (generators, engines etc in place) by simple masking, professional results with the right amount of effort.

 

 

powder,

parts can be handled as soon as they are cool to touch (no days of waiting to cure), consistently good gloss and finish by just blasting and paint on smooth metal, not affected by humidity the same way as wet paint, (we paint in 110+ temps and high humidity all summer long). tougher finish. parts will not chip or scratch like wet paint IF surface is prepared properly and paint has been cured correctly.

 

 

you should use powder if you will be rough on the tractor and its not going to be a trailer queen, if you don't want a perfect finish (you will have more orange peel than a nice wet coat paint), you are impatient like me and like putting parts together the minute they are cool to touch! wheels are a good example here, tires can be mounted the same day and while you can't beat on the wheels, the powder won't get damaged by normal tire mounting. powder is also great for implements, decks etc like Don has shown above.

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My powder coater went out of business. I used to get a set of 4 wheels blasted and powder coated for $55.00. Most people said that was cheap. I guess that's why he went out of business. :disgust:

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I was at a Sherwin Williams open house yesterday and a guy was showing powder coating.

He actually had a small booth made up with a funnel type base with a vacuum connected. He said the powder that did not adhere to the part would be "recycled".

He had the same opinions as Martin stated.

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thats one more advantage to using powder in a reclaim situation. we run big numbers of parts through an auto line, which means the parts travel by overhead conveyor through a wash stage then through a booth set up with guns down each side of the booth spraying a curtain of powder. as the parts pass through the curtain they get coated. then they travel on to the cure oven. all the powder that misses the parts gets sucked into a module below the booth and then pumped through a reclaim cyclone and mixed back with virgin powder to spray again. you have to keep the % of virgin to reclaim right, but almost all waste is recycled and used again in a 'reclaim' setup.......

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Thanks Martin for the info. Looks like both ways have pro's and con's and kinda of equal out.

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I'm in NJ and found that it was far to costly for my needs. I found a guy who specializes in Corvette restorations to paint a 2 stage WH snowblower for me. We had it blasted at his friends shop and then primed and painted with industrial products. Needless to day the finished product is about as nice as a blower could be.

The lowest powder coating price I got, which included sandblasting was $1200. I believe by the time I was done paint totals ran approx $800-900.

My painter was not a fan of powder coating at all. Given his line of work I could see why. Just keep in mind prep is everything with powder coating. Poor prep = poor results.

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I can tell you one thing,its near impossible to remove powder coated paint when restoring,my sand blaster was pretty much bouncing off a part from my skid steer that the previous owner told me he had powdered,i had to grind it off with 24 grit sanding disks and lots of them,when I do wheelhorse stuff my sand blaster peels it off like butter

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I can tell you one thing,its near impossible to remove powder coated paint when restoring,my sand blaster was pretty much bouncing off a part from my skid steer that the previous owner told me he had powdered,i had to grind it off with 24 grit sanding disks and lots of them,when I do wheelhorse stuff my sand blaster peels it off like butter

This is what I'd be afraid of. I have seen some power coat jobs on some fairly rare tractors that didn't look so good. Low gloss and kinda egg shellish. It sounds as though it would be a real pain to get the power coat off to do it over...

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I had the frames, front axles, spindles and pedals powder coated on my pulling tractors then had paint mixed to match for the sheet metal. The powder coat is tough but it doesn't have the gloss that the paint has. The guy that did my powder coat does a nice job, it's almost as smooth as the paint and it has a good gloss, just not as much as the paint, but the paint is base/clear so it looks a lot deeper.

Edited by Jim_M
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I'm Johny come lately here, but one item that really should be mentioned is that a properly prepared powder coating job has better corrosion resistance than wet paint. If it's gone through an iron or zinc phosphatizing process (there are others) the powder will cross link better and in the long run will last a very long time.....

 

There are powders that are wicked glossy (Bike Black - Axalta) and there are special effects that one can create if you have the time and money.....

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