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Powder Coating vs Wet Paint

by Marketgit Team

Surface finishing is essential for the practical use of reactive alloys like ductile iron and carbon steel. The iron in these metals reacts with oxygen to form rust if it is not protected. This implies that attractive exteriors aren’t only beautiful; they also serve a purpose by preventing corrosion. We recommend companies like TomBurn who are able to provide a professional high-quality service.

Powder coating and wet paint are two methods for finishing metal components. While they perform the same function, each finishing method has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered carefully.

Resins, additives, and pigments are all present in both paintings. The main distinction is that wet paint contains solvent, whereas powder coating does not.

Wet paint solvent keeps all the other components in suspended liquid form. Powder coating, on the other hand, is applied as a dry powder. The fundamental difference in chemical composition between powder coating and wet paint—as well as the way it’s applied, colour matching, texture, and even operator training needs—are due to that basic variation in chemical composition.

Application Processes

Even though powder coating and liquid paint are used in various regions (liquid versus solid), the industrial applications for both are surprisingly similar.

Both techniques include the same preparation. Before any coating can be applied, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned. Any oil, grime, dampness, or other foreign substance on the surface will cause adhesion problems.

Powder Coating

For powder coating, dry powder is shot through an electrostatic gun to the metal surface. The gun gives the powder a negative charge, and the negatively charged powder is attracted to the grounded portion. Fast, uniform application results because of the attraction.

The coating is baked at a low temperature until it reaches the required thickness. The coated item is then placed in a curing oven, where the heated powder gels. Thermal bonds are formed between powder particles during the process of curing, resulting in a smooth, hard finish.

Wet Paint

The entire surface is covered in a fine spray of liquid paint. It also has an electrostatically charged, but lesser, charge. Powder coating produces smooth, uniform coats with little effort; however, liquid painting must be applied by highly trained experts to avoid dripping or sagging.

Some liquid paints are air-dried, while others are cured in an oven. A primer and a colour coat are standard for powder coating as well as liquid paint, but liquid paint may also include many colour coats and a transparent topcoat.


In certain cases, the end-result paint job’s aesthetic value is just as important as its performance. Some textures may be produced equally well using powder coating or wet painting, while others are more easily achieved with a specific media.

Powder coatings may be used to create textured effects that are not possible with liquid paints. Thinner powder coats are inherently more textured, while thicker layers are smoother. It is technically feasible to achieve a high-gloss finish using powder coating, but it is far easier with liquid paint.

Colour Matching

Liquid paint, on the other hand, has several advantages over powder coating. When it comes to colour matching, liquid paint is superior. Any paint maker may mix custom colours of liquid paint on-site and with a high degree of accuracy. Purple paint may be made by combining blue and red pigments.

Custom powder coat colours, on the other hand, necessitate a one-of-a-kind manufacturing run. Powder coating is made from ground-down polymers. There is no solvent in powder coating; attempting to combine blue and red powders will just result in a blue and red speckle pattern.

Because powder coating is difficult to colour match, it is most often produced in large quantities of common hues. Custom orders are possible, but they are more time-consuming and costly than colour-matching with wet paint.


Powder coating, for example, is a coating that protects metals from corrosion and environmental harm. If the finish is damaged by scraping or chipping, it loses its protective function. Powder coating has better performance than wet paint because of the thermal bonding it undergoes during curing, as well as the fact that it can be applied in thicker layers. This level of performance is especially crucial for outdoor items like bollards and bike racks.

Powder coating also has a long life. Powder coating is more resistant to physical damage than paint because it consists of resins that are denser and more resilient.

Long-term exposure to moisture, sunlight, and heat destroys the resins found in both paint and powder coating, causing them to delaminate. Chalking occurs when resin and pigment particles lose adhesion as a result of this process. Affected particles form a chalk-like layer on the coating surface.

The early stages of chalking merely impart a faded appearance to the coating, but severe chalking will ultimately erode the coating enough to jeopardize surface protection. The rate at which chalk forms is determined by the resin’s resilience. Due to its high chalk resistance, polyester-based powder coatings are frequently applied as topcoats.

Health & Safety

Powder coating is not only more durable than liquid paint, but it’s also safer to store and use. Liquid paint is combustible, which is the first issue. Storage can easily lead to a deadly chemical fire if precautions aren’t taken. Wet paint poses a significant health concern for those who work with it.

Paints that are still wet emit VOCs, which can be harmful to one’s health. Long-term exposure to VOCs, particularly in confined places, causes respiratory irritation and exacerbates existing health issues. VOCs are also a major source of industrial pollution.

Powder coatings don’t produce any VOCs and are entirely free of health and safety concerns since they don’t contain any fluids to evaporate.


Powder coating is typically less expensive in the long run than wet paint, but the upfront costs are usually greater. Powder coating has been around for a longer period (it was invented in the 1950s), so there’s more equipment and supplies available. The savings from powder coating are mostly indirect, but they add up quickly.

The first benefit of powder coating is that it has a far greater utilization rate. The powder can be recycled and reused, unlike liquid paint. During application, overspray accounts for about 70% of pigment loss, but a material loss in powder coating may be as low as 5%. Safety and environmental regulation have an impact on cost as well.

Powder coating is also less expensive to apply. It doesn’t require the use of highly trained personnel. Powder coating may be completed by almost anybody, and it even has the potential to be automated. Finally, powder coating has greatly reduced disposal expenses.

Other evolution and innovation in finishing 

Coverings for metal are developing quickly, and the search for more durable and environmentally friendly alternatives is continuous.

TomBurn is a market leader in the metal finishing market. It’s applied like a powder coat in an electrostatic layer, giving it an unbroken barrier. By utilizing a different foundation than paint or powder, it delivers improved durability and maintenance ability. This base is more resistant to UV radiation, salt, popular outdoor chemicals, and graffiti than resin.

Powder Coating vs Paint

  • Both powder coating and paint are made with resin, colour pigments, and other chemicals. Paint also contains a solvent.
  • Although the cost of paint is increasing, it is becoming more readily available. It’s less expensive and simpler to match colours with existing paints. High-gloss finishes are simpler to obtain.
  • Powder, on the other hand, offers superior coverage and lower upkeep. It is somewhat more expensive than silicone.
  • When outside for a long time, both paints and powders are susceptible to chalking, which results in a worn look.

Powder coating is becoming increasingly popular because of new scientific discoveries and decreasing expenses. Powder coating, especially in industrial applications, is experiencing an increase in popularity due to these factors.

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