Powder coating is definitely a better option than painting when it comes to finishes, but it is a bit of a tricky process to do. Painting does not require much preparation, experience, or financial investment to do properly. Powder coating, on the other hand, requires all of those things, which makes it a challenging do-it-yourself project for most people. However, if you’re committed to powder coating at home, know that it is possible, it just takes some getting used to. In an effort to help the determined DIY enthusiast, here’s a list of things you’ll need to have before you powder coat at home.
There are three stages to the powder coating process, each with their own required equipment:
- Pretreatment. This is when your item is cleaned and prepared prior to being coated.
- Application. This is when the powder is applied to the item.
- Curing. This is when the powder is cured, creating a durable, beautiful finish.
In order to properly powder coat something, all 3 steps must be done—and done well. And in order for you to do them well, you’ll need the proper equipment. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what you’ll need.
The goal of pretreatment is to clean and prepare the surface of your object. This means you’ll need to get rid of any dust, oil, rust, paint, debris, other finishes, etc. To do this, it is best to have the following items:
- A compressed air system that will allow you to spray abrasive material against your parts.
- An area in which to do that.
- A wash station to help you get rid of chemical residue.
- Any chemicals that are necessary to wash with.
During the application stage, you’ll be spraying the powder onto your object. To do this, you’ll need:
- A powder coating kit, complete with a powder spray gun and an electrical current.
- A place in which you can safely powder coat (the powder is non-toxic) without getting residual powder everywhere.
- A fan system that will collect residual powder for you to recycle it (this is optional, but it will save you money in the long run if you powder coat a lot).
This stage is when the powder is heated at a certain temperature for a set period of time. In order to powder coat well, you will need:
- An oven. If you’re looking to do a good job, a normal household oven will not do. Powder curing ovens are built for the job and they are the only reliable way to maintain a consistent temperature for the required time.